Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: resist the devil

Dueling Forces

Whether you accept this premise or not, there are dueling forces that exist on earth.  Previous illustrations have depicted an angel with wings whispering into one ear, with a demon urging individuals to do the exact opposite.  Former atheist C.S. Lewis referred to this invisible tug of war as dualism.  This theological term believes there are two equal and independent powers at the back of everything, one of them good and the other bad, and that this universe is the battlefield in which they fight out an endless war.

But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts], Galatians 5:16.

The apostle Paul applies spiritual elements to dualism in the passage above, revealing the Holy Spirit as the positive force and sinful nature as a series of negative impulses.  The presence of this spiritual battles make appreciating the little things in life difficult.  As soon as your heart is pierced by conviction, minds are bombarded by disparaging thoughts to diminish that which you should be thankful for.  Perhaps, this may explain the apostle Paul’s advice in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 about taking your thoughts captive.

For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do, Galatians 5:17.

One of Satan’s objectives is to turn joyful Christians into cynical souls, void of any excitement, hope or life.  When cold water is poured out over a blazing fire, it does little to extinguish the flames.  However, as steady rains persist like Tropical Storm Florence, drenching tired and weary believers with a deluge of trials, it doesn’t take long for even the strong to become comfortably numb.  In view of this harsh reality, prepare your heart, soul and mind for the powers of darkness, Ephesians 6:12.  Submit to God, resist the Devil and let your faith become rooted in Christ so that future storms won’t hinder your ability to appreciate the little things in life.

by Jay Mankus

Advertisements

Looking Through a Key Hole

My dad’s mother, an immigrant to this country, spent most of her time in the United States living in Binghamton, New York.  Beside working as a nurse at a local hospital, my grandmother rented out the second floor of their house which consisted of three separate apartments.  After her three sons graduated from college, Joanna continued to work at this hospital but left these spare rooms vacant.  During my childhood, these upper rooms provided an excellent place for hide and go seek.  Due to squeaky wooden floors, you were forced to tip toe, spying through open keyholes in antique doors.  From this vantage point, you could check to see who was coming or wait until someone revealed their hiding place.

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Matthew 26:41.

Prior to high tech security systems with hidden cameras, most modern front doors contained a peek hole to look through before opening the door.  This safety feature protected children from unwanted strangers like the classic scenes from Home Alone and Uncle Buck.  However, these peek holes were not always used for wholesome reasons.  Over the years, some have fallen prey to voyeurism, using binoculars, open key holes and peek holes to feed fleshly desires.  Those who give into these ungodly desires open the door for pornography that leads to reprobate minds.  While each individual is vulnerable to different types of temptation, Jesus urged his own disciples to watch and pray so that the Holy Spirit will override earthly desires.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you, James 4:7.

Jesus’ earthly brother chimes in with his own advice.  In the first chapter to first century believers, James 1:13-15 claims that temptation is not God’s fault.  Rather, the process of giving into sin is a series of compromises, often subtle that lead careless souls on the verge of going beyond boundaries defined by the Bible.  Thus, James commands his readers to resist the Devil by submitting yourself to God.  Meanwhile, the apostle Paul adds another piece of this spiritual puzzle, 1 Corinthians 10:13, when tempted look for the way out of your predicament.  If there is one song that demonstrates the danger that lurks on the other side of a keyhole it’s the children’s classic O Be Careful Little Eyes.  May this blog inspire you to avoid taking a second glance so that the urge to sin is quickly broken by eyes fixated on the cross of Jesus, Hebrews 12:1-4.

by Jay Mankus

Preparing a Room for the New Year

New Year Eve celebrations vary depending upon your age, number of friends and preparations.  Opting for a smaller crowd this year, I spent a quiet evening with an old friend and his wife.  Instead of playing games, we watched War Room for the first time, a 2015 film which illustrates how prayer or a lack there of influences the life of a family.  Several scenes struck a nerve, convicting me that I need to prepare a room for 2016.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you, Matthew 6:6.

An elderly woman reaches out to a real estate agent trying to sell her home.  Seizing the moment, Miss Clara played by Karen Abercrombie introduces Priscilla played by Elizabeth Jordan to the concept of a war room.  This spiritual mentor challenges Priscilla to find a secluded room, without distractions so that an intimate prayer life with God can begin.  However, until the stage is set with a broken heart desperate for change, most war rooms remain powerless, unable to shift the momentum of losing battles within our lives.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you, James 4:7.

In the past, prayer didn’t get my attention until I began to see answers to my cries for help.  Yet, this is just the beginning.  War rooms come to life as individuals learn to submit their lives to God and resist the devil.  If you reach this point, your mind will be transformed, resulting in boldness as you reclaim your relationship with God, home and family back from the control of demonic influences.  Although you may not be as successful as Miss Clara, this world is in need of prayer warriors willing to go to battle daily in their war rooms.

by Jay Mankus

 

Three Years and Counting

This blog marks the end of 3 years of writing, ignited by a Discernment Conference I attended on February 1st and 2nd, 2012.  Since this day, each of the past 3 years represent different phases that I have undergone, summarized by 3 words: disappointment, transition and recovery.  Becoming unemployed is one thing, but losing a position that you were born to do was a tough pill to swallow in 2012.  Meanwhile, re-defining my career path in 2013 was a longer journey than I expected, often spent in the wilderness, trying to find my way home.  Finally, 2014 provided clarity, stability and a clear passion, to one day write full time, averaging one screen play per year, God willing of course.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come, John 16:13.

In the meantime, its important to ask for and receive feedback from my readers.  Depending upon current and world events, I want to continue to provide a biblical response or perspective on these topics.  However, without having a pulse of my readers, its impossible to meet their needs as well as grow this site.  Therefore, I am urging you to participate in the first poll that I have created below.  This will give me instant feedback that will shape this blog throughout 2015.

To complete my final blog of year 3, I want to offer you essential steps to walking with God.

1) You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.              Deuteronomy 5:33

2) Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.           Psalm 119:133

3) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.                                     James 4:7

May the Lord mightily bless you as you talk one step at a time, obeying His decrees along the way.

by Jay Mankus

 

Six, Six, Six

In biblical numerology, the number 7 is symbolic of perfection, like a complete 7 day week.  Thus, the number 6 refers to being incomplete.  Without a day of rest on the 7th day, a week is imperfect, breaking from God’s design for mankind in Genesis 2:2-3.  Meanwhile, the number 3 indicates wholeness, like the trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  When you add 3 sevens together, this signifies complete perfection.  On the other hand, 666, also known as the mark of the beast, represents complete imperfection.

Ezekiel 28:11-19 contains a prophecy against the King of Tyre.  Strangely enough, this leader is compared to Lucifer, the angel of song thrown out of heaven by God the Father.  Based upon the account in Genesis 3:1-5 and Matthew 4:1-10, the devil appears to be an imposter, someone trying to imitate the Lord of All.  This masquerade continues today with angelic qualities, described by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.  Although counterfeits have nearly exact features, time will give away their cover.  In the end, this knock off of the Creator of Life will be exposed, but will his victims have time to turn back?

Every decade, another prophet so to speak will claim he or she knows the day when Jesus will return.  Others will swear to be made aware of signs from the Holy Spirit like a modern day John the Baptist.  Their words can be tested, using the Bible as a measuring stick, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.  Some may even fall prey to spells cast by these dynamic leaders just as Jesus predicted nearly 2000 years ago, Matthew 24:10-11.  Since everyone is forced to live in the world, the best solution is following the words of Jesus’ baby brother, James 4:7-10.  May this advice serve as a blue print, to protect you from the schemes of the one labeled six, six, six, Ephesians 6:10-11.

by Jay Mankus

The Pain of Sin

Since the garden of Eden, the consequences of sin have left people in agony.  Guilt has become like a nightmare that won’t go away, often overwhelming your soul.  Meanwhile, shame isn’t far behind, leaving a trail of disappointment, embarrassment, and tattered reputations in its wake.  If this wasn’t enough, the fear of punishment and rejection bombard an individual’s mind, wishing they did not partaken in sin.

Regardless of how moral you claim to be, everyone has had a 2 Samuel 11 moment.  One second you are thinking about others, then boredom leads to idleness, from here aimless wandering leads your heart into the presence of sin.  These momentary lapses in judgments are common, except the time they last.  The sooner a person comes to their senses, the softer the blow you have to endure.  However, if you choose to go on a binge of rebellion like King David, adultery, lying and murder will flush your legacy right down the toilet.

When a man after God’s own heart sins, 1 Samuel 16:7, no one is exempt from the power of temptation.  Psalm 38:1-11 serves as a confessional for David, describing the pain sin has left behind within his soul.  This crippling state should inspire Christians to follow the words of 1 Peter 5:8-9, who also struggled with this pain, swallowing his pride after publicly denying Jesus 3 times.  Submit to God, resist the devil and the pain of sin can become a distant memory, James 4:7-8.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: