Tag Archives: demons

Easy?

11 Mar

I have a really strong conviction about the word “easy” in Christianity.

I just wrote a post last week about how this life isn’t getting “easier” even though I’m growing in my journey of unconditional respect and also closer to the Lord in general.

It has been brought to my attention that it might have come across as though I was saying I wasn’t finding victory without constant struggle.

Please give me the chance to explain why I don’t and won’t use the word “easy” in any of my posts regarding my life with Christ.

Let me start by acknowledging that Paul wrote well over the majority of the New Testament and yet when discussing his sinful nature he says this:

Romans 7:14-15 “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

He doesn’t make walking in Victory sound “easy” at all!!! And clearly, Paul was victorious over sin so many times, I couldn’t nearly count. He wasn’t sinless before God’s power was mighty and evident in his life, leading him – speaking to him – directing him – giving him courage and strength – and bringing victory.

He goes on to say to the church of Corinth “12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be temptedbeyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (I Corinthians 10:12-13)

Do you see that??? BUT — WHEN you are tempted.  At no time does God promise to remove our temptations.  Ever. That would be “EASY”. HOWEVER!!!! He will provide a way out so that you can endure it (even with joy and worship!) if you call on His name and resist Satan or your own flesh. That is “VICTORY!”

Victory over sin never comes without cost.  That payment is always good and holy because it causes us to die to ourselves, and lay our sin down to choose righteousness, but it isn’t free.

I can be victorious with greater frequency and joy (which praise God almighty, when it comes to respecting my husband, this is proving true!!) but that doesn’t mean it comes easy. Or that if it isn’t coming easy, I’m failing.

I desire God and the victory in my marriage WAY BEYOND the love I have for my flesh.  It’s becoming SO MUCH MORE NATURAL to choose respect quickly and with little hesitation because the results are fulfilling emotionally, physically and spiritually like nothing else! Giving into my sin nature promises fulfillment but it leaves me empty and miserable. I am learning from my mistakes!

I’ve seen far too often in this life, the parable of the seeds ring true, and I cannot be party to the misconception Satan intends to paint.

Do you know what I’m talking about?  The seeds that hear the truth and dismiss it, the one’s that take root but when trials come they fall away, and the seeds that take deep root and produce fruit.

I never want to paint a picture that I’ve dug my roots deep in the ground and have fruit in my life because I have Christ – I pray and I read my Bible every day and my sinful nature is dead and life is EASY now.

Jesus had victory on the cross.  Was that easy?

John the Baptist paved the way for the Savior and then was beheaded.  Was that easy?

Most all of the disciples were stoned and flogged for testifying to the gospel.  Did they find victory from their flesh by facing fear and laying down their natural instincts to follow Christ at all cost? Absolutely!!!!  Was it easy?  No.

WORTH IT?  YES!!!!

ETERNALLY MINDED?  NO QUESTION ABOUT IT!

JOYFULLY CONTENT IN THE LORD?  OF COURSE!

VICTORIOUS OVER SIN? YES, YES, YES!!!!!!

DEFEATED AND ABANDONED?  NOT FOR ONE SINGLE SECOND!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I saying that if we’re following the Lord life is Hard, Impossible, and we should live in Misery and Defeat?

NO! That’s NEVER the truth!!!!!!!!!

The closer I grow to the Lord, the LESS I even WANT to sin.  I want victory!  And He gives victory!  And that joy in Him is greater than any other feeling I could ever feel. JOY is not happiness as much as VICTORY is not easy.

Satan’s attacks on me, his nasty accusations, and his relentless temptations hold no power compared to the cross.

However, he is still vicious, and choosing to die to my flesh every day is not easy and without thought or intent.

When he sees his attacks are losing power because victory in Christ is stopping him dead in his tracks, he morphs into another temptation and attacks another area.

So if I painted the picture that I am not gaining INCREDIBLE, UNDENIABLE, and AMAZING VICTORY in Christ…. then I failed in writing the post.

Satan has not nearly the power to convince me to disrespect my husband.  God has shown himself faithful to help me recognize Satan and shut him out and choose righteousness.

However, if you walked away from that post understanding that I’ve found immeasurable victory in Christ from where I was with disrespect 19 months ago to where I am today… but I don’t have an EASY life now just because I love God, read my Bible, and respect my husband, then you got the right message.

If Satan was EASY to resist…. we’d live in a different world.

Even Jesus heard Satan’s voice loud and clear in the desert during that 40 days with his accusations and twisting of Scripture.  Did He have victory? Of course.  He was sinless.  Did he not even hear Satan’s voice at all and just walk through life easy, and without temptation because He was sinless and in tune with God? No. He heard Satan and had a conversation with him.  That doesn’t mean he was spiritually immature.

Practical Application:

Remember, the measure of Victory is not based on if you hear Satan or not.  He can be loud and out of control, and that doesn’t mean you haven’t found victory or arrived on your journey.

And — just because the journey isn’t easy, that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.

EASY was never, ever, ever a promise in Scripture.  Don’t make that the goal.  Make VICTORY the goal!

His favorite thing is torture.

14 Sep

The post I wrote yesterday caused someone to comment the phrase “I, like most women, have watched one too many romantic comedies”  and this spurred something in me instantaneously that I don’t think I’ve ever fully tackled here before — so buckle up, this one’s intense.

I’m absolutely confident that I’ve talked a few different times about how over the last 12 years, we’ve had countless talks, arguments, and even hurtful fights over the television in our home.  Both of us heavily had an opinion and even though we were listening to what each other was saying, we almost grew MORE angry because we felt so polar opposite that it didn’t feel like the truth to hear a different dissection of the situation.  For me – and hang with me women because I believe this ONE statement destroys us over and over again in so many areas –

I was incredibly angry about the issue at hand, but I was enraged that he didn’t feel the same as me. And because my feelings were so on target, he couldn’t just have a different opinion, he was DEAD WRONG.

It took me until roughly a year ago to come to grips that he wasn’t wrong.  If he was telling me his “side” of things, I had to believe him instead of hating him.  I saw how I was taking my convictions, struggles, temptations and truths and demanding that he had all the same and was constantly pointing them out to try to break him down into just admitting it.

It never worked.  It pushed us apart.

My husband absolutely loves the television.  This magic black box allows him to escape to thinking nothing, being responsible for nothing, finding rest, enjoyment, contentedness, relaxation, and entertainment.  And practically anything can be on to fulfill these feelings.  With the exception of a few annoying cartoons, reality shows, and intensely derogatory shows, he’ll gladly watch anything.

I’m the opposite.  And the only way I know how to explain this well is to give a few examples.

First and foremost, when the television goes on, I battle jealousy.  Why can’t I be that love in his life?  (Which I addressed in another post about having him as an idol in my life.) How come he isn’t running in the door to be with me? Why isn’t hanging out with me enough, but rather the television has to be on all the time?

Then comes the show options:

Scary/Horror shows or films – If I’m not scared out of my mind watching them (which I always am) I am plagued with intense nightmares for weeks.  Even that have nothing to do with the exact story line, once I’m frightened – Satan has a hay day with my paralyzing fears.  I’ll lie awake at 2:00 in the morning in tears battling thoughts about my kids being kidnapped and sold into the sex trade and I can’t find them and they’re suffering.

Romantic shows/comedies – These are the worst.  You know how most women absolutely LOVE a good chick flick?  NOT ME.  I hate them!! Of course there is the obvious problem that it paints this picture that men are capable of swooning over the love in their life in romantic and creative ways.  It causes anger and jealousy toward my own husband because I have always wanted that kind of romantic marriage.  And when it looks so attainable, ESPECIALLY When he’s watching it too and doesn’t pick up any pointers, I’m furious with him.

But so much worse than that is the women in the film. They have flawless bodies, and flawless skin.  I can get on board that models are airbrushed.  Actress can’t be airbrushed and filmed at the same time.  They’re gorgeous.  And the movies make them appear that they are naturally gorgeous.  Like first thing in the morning with messy hair and seemingly no makeup – that kind of beauty is SO out of reach for me.  And then they always end up naked (or mostly) at some point in the movie.  And I’m staring at the screen thinking “you’re hot.  holy crap, there is no possible way my husband isn’t turned on right now — I mean, I’m even a little turned on for crying out loud.  he’s gonna think about this scene later.  and if he initiates anything with me tonight, it’s not gonna be because of me, it’s gonna be because he’s turned on by this incredibly gorgeous woman.”

Action shows/movies – I don’t find them entertaining at all.  The whole time I’m struggling to understand how destruction, evil forces, death, or make-believe is captivating and enjoyable.  I’m so uncomfortable and often fighting back tears because I can’t take the display of innocent lives being slayed.  I also sit there dumbfounded at the screen wondering how when I ask my husband a question about something that hasn’t happened but I want to know what he’d think/do/feel if we were in that situation, he can’t answer and seems annoyed.  Yet here he is completely engaged and desperately hanging on his seat for the next super-hero movie to come out and I’m like, what in the heck?  It’s seriously make-believe.  It can NEVER happen.  This is so stupid.  Why the double-standard???

I could go on because this type of thing happens with almost every type of entertainment.  But I think this paints a good enough picture to make the point.

I have to stay away from the television because other wise I grow jealous, angry, unfulfilled, dissatisfied, accusatory, bitter, and most of all unsatisfied with my own looks, skills and abilities.

And when my husband’s favorite activity in the whole world in watching television/movies and he loves for me to sit in the chair or on the couch with him and *enjoy* this too and it’s literally one of the most painful activities in the world for me…. it stinks, bad.

I try to do it every so often.  I want to love him in the ways he feels it most.  I want to spend quality time with him doing things HE likes too.  I want him to feel like he married someone who accepts him and appreciates his recreational desires.

But it’s tough.

Practical Application –

I don’t know that I have any real good advice to put in here.  If you don’t struggle in this way, it’s easy to be judgmental (just like I was of him for so many years for NOT struggling in the same ways I do.)  I just pray a lot that God allows this to be something that doesn’t tear us apart.  That we can accept these truths about each other and exercise love for each other to protect each others hearts.

Jude

21 Nov

In my Bible reading this morning, I read through Jude and I was overwhelmed by the power pouring out of my Bible.

It’s this tiny little one chapter book tucked right before Revelation, and yet, it might be some of the most intense study time I’ve ever had.

For the sake of not writing an essay… I really just want to hit on Jude 17-23

17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

First it can’t be overlooked that this warning is FORETOLD.  That means, we should already know this is going to happen, not be surprised by it, but be prepared to handle it.

The church today isn’t prepared to handle much because most are not studying God’s Word at home, or even at church.  We’ve taken to topical studies and book studies in large number (which are not bad) however, we’re laying aside the study of scripture in context on a habitual basis because it isn’t “attracting” people in large number.

Because we’re not prepared… we’re being taken under by this reality of being divided by people who follow their own ungodly desire and mere natural instincts.

The Spirit of God is not divided.  We wouldn’t have division in the Church if we hadn’t been divided by scoffers without the spirit leading people astray.

How many times have you heard “I just don’t believe God would ….”  That’s a natural instinct.  Those kind of statements come from a desire for God to fit into what we want him to abide by.  Scriptual arguements start by “God’s Word says here …..”

Sometimes you may hear it said as “A good God wouldn’t…”

And the primary absolute number one way to pinpoint a divided person is by this number one rule….

When they use scripture against itself.

It will either be in the form of ignoring something stated in scripture and using a verse out of context to try to cover up the area of sin in their life that they don’t want to remove.  – Typically used in the forms of “do not judge” or “if you believe Jesus existed then you’re going to Heaven.”

OR

It will be in the form of taking one verse and building an entire theory or religion off of one verse.

Scripture is repetitious of itself.  In almost every case imaginable, if you see a theme somewhere, you’ll find it somewhere else.  If you happen to find something worded in a way that isn’t repeated anywhere else, or is further explained in another section that gives it more clarity that seems a little different from the way it was first read…. it is crucial to pay attention to those further understandings AND to do word studies to get back to the original context as the English language can alter meaning for meaning translations, even ever so slightly.

So those of us who ARE studying God’s Word… what are we to do?

20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

Be merciful to those who doubt. Mercy that is mixed with fear.

I LOVE THAT!

There has to be a level of mercy that says, I feel for you because you just don’t get it and you honestly need to get it.  But also a great level of fear of them because they have the ability to divide the church.

We know from other sections of scripture that they can have smooth talk.  They can twist words and try to confuse and frustrate the believer and their witness.  They can debate and elaborate on areas of scripture that are hard to uncover completely and lead people astray with doubts.

I’m encouraged to show a heavy level of mercy today for the lost, but with fear that I will protect myself through prayer and power in the Holy Spirit from being led into a division of the gospel.

Practical Application:

Verse 20-21 says

Pray

Stay in God’s Love

Be merciful – but mixed with fear.

 

The Dark.

11 Nov

I’m extremely afraid of the dark.  Always have been.  Always will be.

Tonight I had to go to church alone, which is 35-40 minutes away from home and then stop at Walmart for a couple quick things between the hours of 5:00 – 8:00.  Which means… it was dark. And I was alone.  Somehow, even driving down the road in my car, I can have anxiety about that.

The terrible “What If” game starts racing through my mind.

What if I get a flat tire?

What if I stop at a red light and someone busts open my window and hurts me?

What if someone is in the back seat?

It sounds so ridiculous when I’m sitting in my home  safe and sound, with my hubby in the chair, and the lights on…. but when I’m alone in the dark…. it’s scary. End of story.

While I was driving tonight, I was worshipping at the top of my lungs (because I can do that when no one else is in the car) and I was having such communion with the Lord that I had to keep forcing my hands back on the steering wheel instead of raising them in worship.

And the Lord started speaking to me about the dark.

Do you know why the dark is SO scary?  Because without light, you can’t see anything.  And without sight, you’re powerless to defend yourself.

The same is true in our spiritual lives.  Dark spots in our hearts are EXTREMELY scary.  And we may not even realize it.

When we have a hidden sin, we’re powerless.  The Light (Jesus) isn’t there (in the dark area of our heart that we haven’t released to Him) and we’re powerless to Satan, who lives in the darkness.

So I started thinking….

Do I have any dark places in my heart that I haven’t let anyone see?

For some reason tonight – I didn’t feel like the Lord was speaking to me just for me.  I think He wanted me to type this.  So I am. Maybe for you too?

Practical Application –

Find someone to tell my dark spots to and GET THEM EXPOSED!

(It won’t work to tell someone who doesn’t recognize the dark from the light.  Someone who is spiritually blind is not going to expose my darkness and help me name it and rid it from my life. It has to be someone who I’m “afraid” to tell because they won’t let me keep it.)

Get the power back from Satan and walk out life in honesty instead of in hiding.

Accusations from lies, not reality.

22 Oct

Yesterday in the middle of a REALLY good message about toxic thoughts, the pastor shared a personal story that mirrored with my own life.

He was describing a time in his life when he was dating his (now) wife, and they lived in different states.  One Friday night while walking up to his apartment, he knew that he wouldn’t be talking to her that night because she was going to be out with friends.  And the thought crossed his mind “What if I can’t trust her?  What if she is going out with guys too?”  And he immediately took those thoughts captive and said “No. She loves Jesus and she loves me.”

He then shared that if he hadn’t done that, the next day he would have questioned her with things like “What did you do last night?  Who were you with? And so forth.

I’ve talked before in the My Demon post about how I have recognized that I have vivid conversations with the accuser and liar (and those evil spirits who are busy about his business) and need to fight against that.  But I’m going to go ahead and share some more ways this plays out in (my) life today.

The pastor was describing that toxic thoughts lead us to 4 categories.  Negative – Critical – Discontent – Fearful.

In all honesty, I find myself in all of those from time to time.  But I was able to see clearly that the emotion that has held me hostage most of my life is fear.

I can’t tell you the number of times, especially early in my marriage, that I wondered if Josh was being faithful at work.  Was he eating lunch with girls, talking to them too much, flirting with them, staying over to be around them longer?

Let me be VERY clear here…. NONE of that happened, and NONE of that fear was even based on REALITY!!  All of that fear stemmed from toxic thoughts that I was unable to take captive.  Unable- because I didn’t know enough scripture or truths from scripture to speak against the lies, and I wasn’t walking in communion with the Spirit to accept His help.

Toxic thoughts like “when we walk into a work function, is everyone laughing at me behind my back because everyone knows about this secret affair that I’m clueless about?” literally left me in a state of sheer fear that morphed entirely into distrust and distance in my marriage.

I had conversations with Josh for the sole purpose of “digging for dirt.” Which ended up sounding a lot like accusations flying from my mouth.

“Why did you have to stay late today?  Who stayed over with you?  How long did it take? Why couldn’t so & so stay over and do it instead?”

Ack!  Admitting all this now is grueling.  But I feel it necessary to help the person out there who is still living in this vicious cycle of fear.

So many of our earlier fighting and problems, which I thought were because my husband couldn’t have a healthy conversation without accusing me of accusing him… were really MY fault.  I was entertaining toxic thoughts and then living life as if the toxic might be real and reality might be deceptive.

I’m so thankful God has helped me, and is helping me recognize those lies from Satan and reject them, and take them captive.  The prison of deception is brutal.  And it destroys us, and all of our relationships.  Not just marriages.

Practical Application-

Stop and think about those four categories.  Really be honest.  Do you find yourself in there?

Say it out loud.  Speaking sin OUT LOUD is powerful.  It brings it to light, and Satan has to flee from the light.  He is the king of darkness.

READ THE BIBLE!! Knowing truth gives POWER to recognize lies!!

Take those thoughts captive and refuse to entertain them.  Even if that means calling a friend to talk about shopping or whatever it takes to get out of the trap to “think” and think WAY too much about untruth.

Paint a spiritual picture.

4 Oct

My friend was telling me a story yesterday and it was one of those REALLY frustrating ones where a person who TOTALLY doesn’t deserve something is somehow being awarded a prize and it seems so wrong and unfair.

In the moment, undoubtedly because of the Holy Spirit, I was able to paint a spiritual picture for her.  To the world, it seems so unfair that this particular person is gaining so much success, but in reality… the life that is coming with this success is honestly extremely dangerous for this person’s eternal salvation.  The more success and achievements they reach in this certain area, the farther they walk from the Lord, pick up more bad habits, and indulge in the sinful nature of the flesh.

Have you ever thought about situations strictly in light of an eternal perspective before?  It isn’t easy to do because it goes against our flesh and our reality in this world, but it is really crucial for us to actually reach a place where we feel compassion for the lost and learn to love our enemies.

When we see the distance their actions take them from the Lord, the entanglement they are bound by sin, and the blinders that keep them from seeing or accepting the light of Christ, we can honestly start to care less about what gain or success it appears they have in the world, and have a sympathetic understanding for the bigger picture that eternity is at stake, not worldly fame and riches.

I want to take one area that causes us so much disgust for people and help unfold the spiritual aspect of what is really happening.

Everyone has told a lie.  Everyone knows someone they label “a liar.”  No one likes to be lied to.  And no one likes not being believed (even when they are telling a lie.)

I’m willing to bet that each person reading this post knows someone in their past, present (or even future) who seems to have a habitual lying habit.

Lies come out of mouths in a number of different ways.

1.) An exaggeration to a story.

2.) An added sentence or plot to make a story more interesting.

3.) An added twist so a story doesn’t sound so bad (like including an excuse for certain behavior)

4.) A cover-up to keep from getting caught.

5.) A cover-up to hide a secret for someone else.

6.) A made-up story entirely.

I don’t necessarily think this is the end of the list, but I think I pointed out the main ones.

Some of you might be burning with guilt right now.  Some of you started drifting off and may not even be reading now because you’re thinking about a specific time that you told a lie or that you were lied to.  And some of you are looking at an image in your mind of a person you think is a habitual liar and they disgust you.

In order to get to a place where we can have any compassion for this disgusting behavior, we have to look at what is going on spiritually.

Lets look at what scripture has to say in John 8:44

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Wow! That is really heavy and a brutal description of Satan and lying.  And SO necessary for us to understand.  First and foremost, when Satan talks to us, he speaks in lies.  He makes bad things sound good.  He makes accusations against us and against others in our lives.  He twists truth.  He embellishes ideas.  He takes things completely out of context.

And the bottom line is, he teaches us by his twisted whispers how to be just like him by example.

When we lie, we’re speaking the language of the devil.  We’re acting in total bondage spiritually and actually carrying out Satan’s desires.

The person who is lying is trapped in sin.  And chances are they feel entrapped in quick sand and they really don’t want to be, and would gladly take a hand out, if they had any idea how to ask for help, admit their evil ways, or were offered a hand of mercy.  Lying brings total suffocation to someone by slowly squeezing the life out of them.  Many times, they only intend to tell one lie.  But when the one lie risks being exposed, they have to tell another and another and pretty soon, they can’t remember what they’ve said, who they’ve said it to, and possibly even what is true from what is a lie.

It is not a walk in the park for a liar, though it may seem self-inflicted behavior.  And while it seems justified to detest the liar and the twisted stories, in reality we ought to consider hating the lying tongue encouraged by Satan and the tempter himself and feel compassion for the sinner.

Lets look at a list of reasons why people lie, and hopefully this will help us with compassion as well.

1.) They are afraid.

2.) They have anxiety about the truth.

3. They are desperate for attention.

4.) They are deceived that what they are saying is or could be true.

5.) They make up stories to cover up something else.

6.) They are desperate for affirmation or acceptance.

7.) They are trying to keep sin hidden.

8.) They don’t want to disappoint someone else with the truth.

9.) They are stuck in a habitual sin that is actually addictive in nature and may or may not realize it.

10.) They long for fantasy to actually be reality because it is better than what they have.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list. But a good start to help see why someone might be speaking sheer untruth.

Please don’t misunderstand that I am saying this behavior should be accepted, excused, or allowed.  Definitely not.

Lets look at some practical applications with this area.

~ If you are a person who is trapped by lies of the past or a current habitual lying problem, confess it aloud! It will be PAINFULLY hard, scary and probably come with a flood of tears, but the quicker you expose the darkness, the faster Satan has to flee from you and you can change, get help, find freedom, and walk away in victory.

~ If you’ve been lied to.  Sit down and look at the person and the spiritual battle and warfare going on in their sole for them to speak the Devil’s native tongue.  It isn’t a walk in the park to tell lies.  Pray for God to give you compassion and love.  And earnestly seek to understand and forgive.

~ If you have a loved one or friend with a habitual lying problem.  Pray over sharing some of this truth with them IN LOVE. IN PRIVATE, and WITH TOTAL ACCEPTANCE so you can help them find freedom from the bondage of lying.  Most likely they are suffocating and will struggle to ever breath again without the help of someone else telling them they love them anyway and they can find freedom.

My demon.

21 Sep

Let me tell you a story about Wednesday night.  I really debated writing about this, because my husband reads my blog, however, I’m going to ask him to skip this one because I think the women reading this blog, need to hear about Wednesday night.

I’ve already posted on this blog about discovering some major disrespect for my husband.  The kind that doesn’t even appear like disrespect in the world we live in today, that seems completely justified, and is so intertwined in my every day life that it’ll be like lifting boulders100 times my own weight to remove these nasty habits. Yeah, that kind of disrespect.

Wednesday was just an ordinary day until my husband got home from work.  We haven’t been sleeping very well, and he’s been tired.  So he sat down in the chair and turned on the TV while I started fixing supper.

((There is too much back story about the TV “issue” to tell you everything but I will say that I do not have a TV addiction. I actually almost hate the TV.  I never watch it unless he is watching it. Though I have learned to enjoy a couple of the shows. We went 1 1/2 years without any television at all, and recently fixed our antenna so we get all the local channels, which is quite a few more than our parents use to get, but we still don’t have satellite or cable. Even with the absence of TV, we did not take complete advantage according to *me* for what we could do with our time as a family, which tends to make me resentful toward my husband, and with it available in our home again, it is quickly escalating in more time being on and watched than I personally care for it to be on.))

One little thing like the TV being on, quickly invites my demon (yes, I believe everyone has a demon that studies them and tempts them constantly) into a conversation with me.  He says “you’re headed right back to the life where you only speak to your husband on commercials.  Even re-runs are more important than you and the kids.”

I know my Savior. And I can feel the Holy Spirit move.  However, I don’t hear from God like I hear from my demon.  I can pray and spend time in silence after begging God to speak, and feel like after a day of fasting, I still am clueless what God is saying to me, or if He is speaking at all.  But the very moment something pulls on my frustrations, fears, insecurities, or weaknesses, I can hear so vividly and clearly the voice of my demon and am able to carry on long detailed conversations in good or bad directions.

On Wednesday when my demon started talking to me, I spoke back.  But not in my normal fashion.  I said “Get behind me Satan.  I’m not going down this road anymore.”

My husband left to go play guitar.  He’s been doing this once a week after the kids go to bed and I LOVE it!  It gets him out of the house, the chance to play and grow in his talent, and me plenty of time to play around on the computer, crochet or do anything I want without the guilt of ignoring him or the kids.

When my husband left, my demon started talking to me again.  “He was tired tonight, but he has enough energy to go play guitar and stay out til midnight?”

For 11 years, I have taken the bait and spun totally out of control.  I’d spend HOURS at a time ripping my husband to shreds to myself because I let my demon control where the conversation went. But in the last month, God is teaching me things and exposing my sins in grave detail in a way I’ve been so blinded to in the past.

I took those temptations to rip my husband apart and I purposely did the opposite.  I sent him a text thanking him for folding the clothes.  How could I almost have missed that he did that for me?  Remember, it’s because I was being coached to be mad about the TV being on?

I spent time praying for him and thinking about how much we’ve grown in our marriage.

When he got home, I had just headed to bed,  which I don’t normally do.  I am always up waiting for him to get home.  But like I said, we haven’t been sleeping well and I was really tired.  (Which also could have been from such spiritual warfare going on in my heart.)

When he came to bed, he turned on the TV.  I know I know, the stinking TV is like the center of my Wednesday!!  See, we’ve fought quite a few times, jokingly and in some very heated and hurtful conversations about the TV at night.  I like total darkness and complete silence.  He likes the TV being on.

I bet you know what happened.  My demon whispered so tenderly to my ears it practically gave me chills down my neck.  “How come for 11 years he is the one who always gets to go to bed the way he prefers?  Why did he automatically decide *you* have to learn to go to sleep with the TV on?  Why can’t he learn to go to sleep with it off?”

I was so afraid of what I was about to do next that I kissed my husband on the cheek, said “I love you” and then told him I was going to go ahead and sleep on the couch.  When he asked why, I just said as respectfully as I could, “I can’t sleep in here tonight.”

I had to remove myself.  Do you have any idea how many times we’ve fought while trying to go to bed because I’ve had hours of husband bashing sessions with my demon and then I take the opportunity to slay him apart to his face for how awful he is, how bad he messes up, how much he hurts me and every other thing I’m TOTALLY justified and entitled to say?

I laid down on the couch and quickly heard “Why isn’t he out here?  He knows the TV is bugging you, why isn’t he saying you should jump back in bed and he’ll sleep on the couch? Oh yeah, and don’t forget about this…. even though you told him you really need it, he still isn’t praying with you.”  Ouch.  The most tender point of devastation and he HAD to go there.  I tell you what, my demon knows me SO well.  The TV has NOTHING to do with praying together, and he brought it up as a last resort to get me to walk back in that room and destroy our intimacy, respect, trust and unity in our marriage.

I prayed and I told my demon that I have so much sin of my own and I am called to respect my husband no matter what I *think or feel* in any given moment.  I purposefully for the VERY FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE took my thoughts captive, stopped the demon from talking to me, and went to sleep.

I woke up so relieved!!  I didn’t say a bunch of really mean or hurtful things I couldn’t take back.  I kept the TV in perspective and didn’t allow that to be the standard by which I measure him as a husband and father.  I took my thoughts captive and spoke truth over the lies.

I can do this with the help the Holy Spirit is providing.  These boulders can be moved and these habits can be changed.

There are two main reasons why I am finally finding freedom and success.  And they have NOTHING to do with who my husband is, how he acts, or how he treats me. (Because ladies, I got a REALLY good one.  Bragging for another post : )

The first thing I’m really understanding for the first time in my life is that I have thought for 11 years that I’m better than my husband.  It comes out in a few different ways but mostly in the attitude that he sins more than me, and worse than me.  I’ve undoubtedly entertained this lie intimately with thoughts, actions and words that say “I would never have a TV addiction.”  “I’m so much better than him because I’d never do _______.”  “If he was really walking with the Lord he would do xyz.”

Hello pride.  No, I don’t have a TV addiction.  But I have an internet addiction.  No, I wouldn’t ever do _____ but I have spent multiple conversations “gossiping” to my friends.  No, he isn’t doing xyz right now, but I don’t do ALL KINDS of commands in scripture.   It’s disgusting how blind I’ve been to my own sin and how much pride has taken residence in my marriage.

And secondly, I will answer for my actions as a wife.  And God is not going to accept from me “Well, he did this or that.”  My sins will have no justification. And if I really love the Lord and want to serve Him in obedience, I can’t keep looking at someone elses actions and let that decide how I react to the commands my Savior has given me.  I have resolved in my heart that I want to live by the authority of God’s Word, not because of what I have or don’t have but because I have the opportunity to be obedient and give my life in service to become as christ-like as I can this side of eternity.

The Holy Spirit will empower me to live my life with purpose IF I choose to participate.  My only other option is to live my life in reaction to the way other people act by default. That really leaves me trapped and defensive. Feelings I’m definitely no stranger to, but have never been happy to claim as my identity.

Practical Application:

Stop having conversations with my demon.

Take my thoughts captive.

Meditate on the two truths I’m learning from above.

Own freedom.

Live with purpose.

Bring God glory by being obedient to the call on my life no matter if others are doing the same or not.

Respect my husband. Always. In ALL ways.