As Christians, it should come as no surprise that we have a real enemy and it’s Satan. Satan is known by many names whether it’s the devil, Lucifer, the dark prince, and on and on. Regardless of what you call him, he is still as dangerous with any other name but many Christians are confused by this because too many have not been taught properly or just believe whatever it is they want but this is against Biblical teaching.

Deuteronomy 4:2 reads “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” In other words, there is still a right and a wrong way of doing things and while no man is perfect, we are still to do our best. This is difficult in the world in which we live, I understand, and it gets even more complicated the more we think about different situations.

However, rather than thinking too hard about things, there comes a time when we just have to let these things go and move ahead with what God says. Unfortunately, the enemy is real and he is here amongst us. Before we go any further, Satan cannot be everywhere which is just one aspect and/or characteristic that separates him from Christ but he does have his demons that do his dirty work. This is why we cannot think about things too hard or for too long and go with what God is telling us.

One thing that I am certain of is that most Christians have read and/or heard Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].” Although most have heard this verse again and again, many never seriously think about it or do not understand it. Simply put, this verse describes the spiritual battle that exists in the lives of Christians and the enemy is very clever and crafty.

This is a topic that I, and the other contributors for Give Your Witness, have touched on. We have written about this verse and/or applied it to our writings for a very important reason and that reason is our biggest fight is spiritual. When we do things we know we shouldn’t do, we feel an uneasy feeling in us and that is the Holy Spirit. We do have physical engagements without question but our biggest foe is spiritual and as I can relate to whole heartedly, our mind can become our biggest threat.

If this confuses you then let me explain. As human beings, we work through our mind or guided by our thoughts. There have been many things that I have thought that were not reality nor did they ever occur but the thoughts of my mind, guided by Satan himself, led me to think of them. This is often true for a relationship between a man and woman. One, or both, individuals make things harder by thinking of things that have not happened yet and the thoughts or ideas are not founded on anything the other person has said done. Rather, they are there because of what others have done or what we have witnessed and observed.

Unfortunately, this is also something that I can relate with. In my current relationship, there have been things that I have thought about happening not because of anything she has done or said but because of what things have been and/or done to me in the past. Many people say that a mature person is one that lets the things of the past go and I agree with this as we cannot hold on to the hurts especially bring them into a new relationship but is very difficult to do. This is why Christ instructs us to forgive and forgive time after time.

This does not mean that we have to go back through the pain but God wants us to let them go for our own benefit. Forgiveness is not just about the other person but it’s also about the individual who the hurt happened to. Think about what holding onto to the pain does. It causes frustration, anger, depression and desperation, bitterness, and/or mistrust in the individual and carrying around this amount of pain and hurt causes so much toxicity. When we let go of all the toxicity, we are able to do so much more for ourselves, others, and God.

One more trick of the enemy that I have been a part of and witnessed/observed personally is too many Christians explain that they are not in the right position to come to Christ. A family member of mine told me they believe in Christianity but they are not a Christian because they are a sinner. In fact, I have been told this multiple times by different people which lets me know they either do not know and/or understand that each and every person is a sinner: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”. This is clear that all of us are sinners rather than just a certain few so I’m not sure where this idea comes from.

Too often, I have observed people reading too much into a scripture or not reading enough into it. This is strange how this can play out but the going on in our everyday world is very strange. Take the fact that we are all sinners and this is true and we have to acknowledge this but this is not a justification to say you are not a Christian. In fact, if you are a believer in Christ than you must claim that you are a Christian as Christ is clear that must make a decision: Him or the world. There is no middle ground and we cannot make a negotiation: “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).

These articles that I write and the programs that I do may not reach the amount of people that I had hoped for when I first began this adventure but over the last few years, I have realized that it is not necessarily the amount of people, in numbers, that I reach but the amount of people who truly engage in the material. There are many, many churches that fill up each and every pew in the church house whenever their doors are opened but not all of them have Christ in them but Satan does lurk within their halls while there are many, many churches that only fill half (or less) of their capacities but Christ is front and center.

This is a reminder that just because the world walks with you does not mean that Christ is there which is just another trick of the enemy. We must pay close attention to the traffic that we encounter and the people that are around us because “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character'” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Again, the principle is the same: just because there is a large group of people following or walking with you does not mean they have your best interest(s) at heart so we must always evaluate our environment and surroundings: “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).

Forgiveness is not just about the other person but it’s also about the individual who the hurt happened to. Think about what holding onto to the pain does. It causes frustration, anger, depression and desperation, bitterness, and/or mistrust in the individual and carrying around this amount of pain and hurt causes so much toxicity.

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Written by Billy Ray Parrish


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