“The opposition can take things from you, but he cannot take your salvation.”~TB
Like a thief lying in wait for the opportune moment, he will try and steal your peace and joy by any means necessary. His main goal is to get you to feel as though God isn’t with you. Friends, don’t turn your back away from God when you are going through tough times. Remain calm and learn all you can in your trials so that you grow from the experience.
When you experience setbacks that come from the evil one, rest assured that these attacks are temporary and they will pass. In times of great trial, lean on the word for comfort. The Bible is filled with stories of men and women who have endured trying times and great opposition. What comfort it is to know that our experiences are no different from those before us!
Whatever the opposition attempts to steal, God will redeem and then some. Christ is the ultimate defender and protector, so when evil comes against you, there’s no need to fight. Be still and know that your Creator is in control. Our own defense or vindication does not hold a candle to what Christ can do for us. So when evil tries to take, remember who redeems and what He was decided cannot be changed.
Are you remaining still and allowing God to work in your life?
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1Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.
2Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth— a stranger, not your own lips.
3A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.
4Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.
5An open rebuke is better than hidden love!
6Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
7A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.
8A person who strays from home is like a bird that strays from its nest.
9The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
10Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.
11Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad. Then I will be able to answer my critics.
12A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
13Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.
14A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!
15A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.
16Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands.
17As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
18As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.
19As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.
20Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.
21Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.
22You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.
23Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds,
24for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
25After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in,
26your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field.
27And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself, your family, and your servant girls.
“The enemy will always attack you in your weakest area. The beauty of this is that you know his strategy.”~TB
The devil’s job is to get you off task, off focus, and offline so that you reject the truth and do his bidding. As such, his sneaky underhanded tactics are visceral, jarring, and strategic. He will use any deceptive practice that is the most effective in getting you to stumble. Now, this may seem discouraging. Your weaknesses and footholds will always be where he’ll hit you the hardest. It’s not his job to make your walk with Christ easy, in fact, it’s the total opposite. While you may experience attacks, setbacks, and discouragement, the devil’s unfair play makes it easy to recognize his strategy. Further, if the devil is messing with you so intensely, know it’s because you’re disrupting his plans for discord and destruction. He’ll never go after the lukewarm, so stand firm in Christ and keep moving.
Knowing how the opposition will attack you is like having his playbook to prepare against his moves. Take stock of your weaknesses, vices, and footholds. Knowing your greatest areas of opportunity is the first step in discerning how the opposition is going to attack you. When you experience opposition of any kind, take a step back, calm your feelings, and observe what is going on around you. Remember who made you and that He is available to help you always. Ask God for help in revealing the playing field and the best plan of action to rise above the opposition’s nonsense. Know that the evil one cannot take your salvation and standing with Christ. The best plan of attack is to acknowledge your weak points, ask God for help, and do the work in improving your walk with Christ. Remember, in times of trouble, double down in your faith and not your own understanding. Though you may stumble, God will not let you fall.
Are you using the playbook or are you falling prey to the oppositions dirty tactics?
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1These are more proverbs of Solomon, collected by the advisers of King Hezekiah of Judah.
2It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.
3No one can comprehend the height of heaven, the depth of the earth, or all that goes on in the king’s mind!
4Remove the impurities from silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith.
5Remove the wicked from the king’s court, and his reign will be made secure by justice.
6Don’t demand an audience with the king or push for a place among the great.
7It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table than to be sent away in public disgrace. Just because you’ve seen something,
8don’t be in a hurry to go to court. For what will you do in the end if your neighbor deals you a shameful defeat?
9When arguing with your neighbor, don’t betray another person’s secret.
10Others may accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation.
11Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.
12To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.
13Trustworthy messengers refresh like snow in summer. They revive the spirit of their employer.
14A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
15Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.
16Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!
17Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome.
18Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.
19Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.
20Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound.
21If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
22You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the LORD will reward you.
23As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger!
24It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
25Good news from far away is like cold water to the thirsty.
26If the godly give in to the wicked, it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.
27It’s not good to eat too much honey, and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself.
28A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.
“As you grow in Christ it’s important to discern the difference between conviction and condemnation.”~TB
Each step you take, following Christ, you will see that your old misdeeds of yesterday no longer bring you the same pleasure as they once did. Even still, as you mess up, you will feel the Holy Spirit correct you in your wrongdoing. Conviction is the tug from the Holy Spirit letting you know that you’re doing wrong. It brings you closer to God. Friends, take joy in the correction of conviction. This means that your flesh is being tamed day by day. While we will always fall short of perfection, the conviction of your sin and the condemnation that may occur after are two separate things.
Once you’ve confessed your transgressions to God and have turned away from your wayward behavior, that’s it. Notice how God does not harp on you about who you were yesterday, let alone a decade ago. If you feel the weight of sins that you’ve confessed and fled from creep into your life, that is not of God. Condemnation is the recurring guilt of old behaviors you left behind. Condemnation brings guilt and shame, making you feel stuck, ultimately leading you away from God. The opposition will use this to get you off your walk Consult God daily to understand what is conviction and what is condemnation.
Have you spent time with God and the Word to know the difference?
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1Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.
2The king’s fury is like a lion’s roar; to rouse his anger is to risk your life.
3Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.
4Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.
5Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out.
6Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?
7The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.
8When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good.
9Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin”?
10False weights and unequal measures — the LORD detests double standards of every kind.
11Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.
12Ears to hear and eyes to see— both are gifts from the LORD .
13If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!
14The buyer haggles over the price, saying, “It’s worthless,” then brags about getting a bargain!
15Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies.
16Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.
17Stolen bread tastes sweet, but it turns to gravel in the mouth.
18Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.
19A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.
20If you insult your father or mother, your light will be snuffed out in total darkness.
21An inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end.
22Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.
23The LORD detests double standards; he is not pleased by dishonest scales.
24The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
25Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.
26A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat, then runs his threshing wheel over them.
27The LORD ’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.
28Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king; his throne is made secure through love.
29The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.
30Physical punishment cleanses away evil; such discipline purifies the heart.
“Wherever God sends you, whatever job He gives you, be sure to follow through.”~TB
In the eyes of man, God’s ways and plans for your future may appear to be foolish to your peers. If He’s given you a purpose or a plan, follow through. Because we are unable to understand the infinite perspective of God, we can talk ourselves out of amazing opportunities. Of course, with these opportunities comes the potential for great setbacks.
The devil will always try and find a way to disrupt the joy and peace in your life. This is especially true when you are operating in an assignment from the Lord. My point in saying this is that obstacles will always happen. It’s why we must arm ourselves with the Word so that when opposition comes, we know to avert our gaze and focus on the task at hand. Friends, life is easy for no one, persevere anyway.
So, no matter how obscure or miraculous your work for God is, follow through and finish well. Avoid the pitfalls and traps laid out by the evil one. The truth is, his distractions cannot harm you, there merely exist to get you to fumble your task. Learn to ignore the noise. When you walk and talk with God regularly, you build up the discernment to finish the job. Develop your relationship with Christ to follow through with the call He’s placed on your life.
Are you following through or full of excuses?
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1O LORD, rescue me from evil people. Protect me from those who are violent,
2those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long.
3Their tongues sting like a snake; the venom of a viper drips from their lips. Interlude
4O LORD, keep me out of the hands of the wicked. Protect me from those who are violent, for they are plotting against me.
5The proud have set a trap to catch me; they have stretched out a net; they have placed traps all along the way. Interlude
6I said to the LORD, “You are my God!” Listen, O LORD, to my cries for mercy!
7O Sovereign LORD, the strong one who rescued me, you protected me on the day of battle.
8LORD, do not let evil people have their way. Do not let their evil schemes succeed, or they will become proud. Interlude
9Let my enemies be destroyed by the very evil they have planned for me.
10Let burning coals fall down on their heads. Let them be thrown into the fire or into watery pits from which they can’t escape.
11Don’t let liars prosper here in our land. Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.
12But I know the LORD will help those they persecute; he will give justice to the poor.
13Surely righteous people are praising your name; the godly will live in your presence.
“Don’t let the devil scam you out of your inheritance”~TB
Evil’s job is to scam you out of your God-given inheritance. When you’re tired, leary, and impressionable, he’ll come up to you and offer the riches, attention, and desires of the world. This sin-fallen world is worth a hill of beans, yet many will happily sell their soul to try and rule it. Friends, don’t you see the devil is trying to trade your salvation for temporary fake pleasures and an eternity of hell?
A hedonistic lifestyle is superficially desirable because to the untrained eye it is glittery and illustrious. Of course, heathens seem like they’re having all of the fun. How else do you expect sin to work? If sin appeared as evil and as hideous as it actually is, we wouldn’t dare touch it! Look closer, and you will begin to see the cracks in the glitter and the torment that worldly desire brings. Learn to discern God’s true riches from the fake, so that you free yourselves from a scammy lifestyle.
Are you enjoying your inheritance or did you trade it in a scam?
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1What if the LORD had not been on our side? Let all Israel repeat:
2What if the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us?
3They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger.
4The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us.
5Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives.
6Praise the LORD, who did not let their teeth tear us apart!
7We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free!
8Our help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
“Take control of your thoughts and feelings as nothing corrupts the heart and mind like mindlessness.”~TB
Life has a way of getting people off track and onto autopilot mode. When your mind is on autopilot, whatever default cycle that is playing in your mind takes over. The opposition uses this time to insert negative and fear-mongering ideas into your brain. If you’re not paying attention, you may think these ideas are your own. Reject them. In a disciplined mind, the teachings of Christ have equipped you to see the trap and avoid it. In an undisciplined mind, the lack of Biblical understanding makes it impossible to discern truth from fiction leaving you in a vicious cycle of fear, anguish, and doubt. In order to break the cycle in your mind, you must firmly plant yourself in the truth.
Purposefully walking with Christ requires intentional action. Get back in the driver’s seat of your mind. Arm your thoughts by reading the Truth and planting it firmly in your brain and heart. Take hold of righteous thoughts and reject the corrupt ones. No one’s thought life will be perfect, but if you allow the fake thoughts to pass you by without much thought, they will not be able to root and rot your brain. Fill your mind with the word of God so that you are awake and able to see when evil is trying to trick you. When you discipline yourself, you will see clearly, making the decision to lead your mind as God intended.
Did you do the reading to get out of the mindless mindset?
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1Praise the LORD, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth.
2For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the LORD ’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the LORD !
“When you’re working in your Holy employment, expect distractions. Don’t be alarmed, it’s simply a smokescreen”~TB
The devil can only do so much to those who are working in the will of God. Therefore, what little he can do, he will. Like the mirror maze at a carnival, he’ll spin seeds of discord, distorting the truth to get you off of your path. Fear not, his tricks are harmless, unless you allow them to get under your skin. The point is to get you to question your purpose and to ultimately get you to question God. Remember that we’re operating under pre-destined conditions. The results are set in stone, we’re simply seeing it through. Think about that and let it be written on your hearts. If the battle has already been won, no detours, derailment, or delay will stop God’s victory. Sidestep the smokescreen to live in peace.
Right as Rain
When you’re operating on all cylinders for the Lord, opposition trembles at the very thought of you. When you face difficulties, rejoice in the fact that you are viewed as a threat. This means that you are on the righteous path that Christ has set before you. There are so many examples of this in the Bible, which is why you must do your reading. The more you understand the lay of the land, the easier it is to spot the feeble attempts of the evil one. Talk with God and He will help you see the distractions on your road map. Listen, study, and look to avoid senseless nonsense. Trust in the Lord and He will remove the smokescreen from your path.
Are you being distracted by the face smokescreen or did you do the necessary studying to realize that it’s just a poorly laid trap?
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1The LORD is king! Let the earth rejoice! Let the farthest coastlands be glad.
2Dark clouds surround him. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3Fire spreads ahead of him and burns up all his foes.
4His lightning flashes out across the world. The earth sees and trembles.
5The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.
6The heavens proclaim his righteousness; every nation sees his glory.
7Those who worship idols are disgraced— all who brag about their worthless gods— for every god must bow to him.
8Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced, and all the towns of Judah are glad because of your justice, O LORD !
9For you, O LORD, are supreme over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
10You who love the LORD, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.
11Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.
12May all who are godly rejoice in the LORD and praise his holy name!
“You become like the Pharaoh of Egypt when you enslave your peers, usurping their goods without offering them anything in return.”~TB
Why did you take that which does not belong to you? Are God’s provisions not enough? Your appetite for authority and prestige has blinded you to your maliciously evil deeds. Look in the mirror and who do you see; a child of God or a modern day slave owner?
Your heart is hardened, making you blind to the wrath of justice right around the corner. You’ve failed to listen to the truth, opting to believe the lies of strangers of God. When you are the supreme ruler of your life, eventually you will surround yourself with people who are more than happy to aid in your demise. Soon you will see what happens to the emperor who succumbs to false flattery and evil deeds.
Are you ready to abdicate your evil throne or does God have to smack some sense into you?
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1Come, let us sing to the LORD ! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
3For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods.
4He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains.
5The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.
6Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,
7for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!
8The LORD says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah, as they did at Massah in the wilderness.
9For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw everything I did.
10For forty years I was angry with them, and I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’
11So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”
“Let’s be honest; you want God’s grace but you don’t want the honest work attached to it.”~TB
People aren’t successful because they fail to put in the honest Biblical effort to build a foundational relationship with God. This isn’t a transactional endeavor. God seeks your heart, spirit, and mind, not your wishful prayers. If you honestly seek Him, roll up your sleeves, dust off your Bibles, and get to work.
God has more respect for those who unabashedly reject their inheritance than those who pretend to till the soil. You may fool everyone with your schemes, dreams, and plots to steal what doesn’t belong to you, but God is no slouch. You will be dealt with. Instead, honestly examine your heart and make the honest choice to return home to the Lord.
Are you an honest worker or are you honestly stupid?
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1It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High.
2It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening,
3accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre.
4You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.
5O LORD, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts.
6Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this:
7Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever.
8But you, O LORD, will be exalted forever.
9Your enemies, LORD, will surely perish; all evildoers will be scattered.
10But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil.
11My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents.
12But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
13For they are transplanted to the LORD ’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.
14Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.
15They will declare, “The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”
“Why waste time arguing with fools? If the message is falling on deaf ears clearly it’s not intended for them.”~TB
This world is full of fools who are willing to believe stupid things due to their blatant disobedience. They seek any justification to stay in their stupor and will look for supporters high and low. Friends, let the wicked have this world, they’ve made their choice. When you fight with the willfully deaf, you are engaging in a battle that isn’t meant to be won. Instead, you’ve wasted your resources and energy on a futile effort. Focus your efforts on yourself and your service for God. He will instruct your steps if you allow Him to. Don’t let the evil one deceive you by distracting you with dumb people. It’s a trap, keep your eyes peeled and sidestep the noise.
It’s important to understand that we aren’t here to change hearts and minds. That’s God’s job. We are here to live and speak the Truth. Though we may be part of that plan, our job is the mirror the Truth to the best of our abilities and let God handle the God stuff. He knows how to handle that far better than humans, so let’s just stick to our holy occupations. When you focus your efforts and habits, you will see that your honest, Biblical deeds yield more fruit than arguing with an idiot who is souled out for the devil. Do not engage with them. If you practice kindness and humility, their own deeds will heap coals on their heads, without you having to do a thing.
Are you wasting your time on stupid stuff or are you focusing on your personal holy employment?
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1Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2This I declare about the LORD : He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
3For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.
4He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
8Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.
9If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,
10no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.
11For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
12They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.
15When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.
16I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”