North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

If you’ve sensed unrest in your spirit about how you’re spending your time, perhaps you’re living subject to the prince of this world (the devil). Maybe you don’t intend on it, but it’s happening any way. Life lived casually for yourself will often lead to missteps. You’ll have particular troubles and you’ll wonder why. Troubles without obvious solutions will plague you because this is one of the devils tools. When no thought is given to Christ, you’re living in captivity. Jesus teaches what it means to be free in John 8:33: “They said to Jesus, we are children of Abraham. We have never been servants to anyone. What do you mean when you say, you will be free?”
Jesus taught that those who continue in His Word will know the truth and find freedom. Many of us today let pride and spiritual blindness influence our decisions. Though our prideful spirit thinks we are subject to no one, how clearly we are mistaken. We serve one of two masters—Jesus or Satan. Satan works to keep us under the bondage of sin and Jesus came to give us freedom from the bondage. But so often we deceive ourselves into thinking we’re in control of ourselves and those things that surround us.
The danger of self-deception is that we think we’re in control. More powerful than us, is the power of the dark world. There is a thought that the devil would have you believe—the lie that you’re “not” in bondage. Believe, if there’s any kind of recurring sin in your life, an area where you’ve stumbled on several occasions, then think again before you accept Satan’s lie. He (the devil) will tell you freedom isn’t worth all the trouble of making necessary adjustments or changes in your life. We truly are creatures of habit and change isn’t always met with a welcoming attitude. Especially when it involves modifying your routine with friends, social habits, finances, or other influences
The world and its ways will fool you. The Bible says, “Keep awake! Watch at all times. The devil is working against you. He is walking around like a roaring lion with his mouth open. He is looking for someone to eat” (1 Peter 5:8). It’s also highly important to understand Satan and the tactics he uses to defeat us.
Tactic #1: He Amuses. It says in Revelation 12:9, “The dragon was thrown down to earth from heaven. This animal is the old snake. He’s also called the devil or Satan. He is the one who has fooled the world.” We live in a society where the culture seeks out entertainment to the point of avoiding God. The devil takes advantage of a person’s desire for amusement and he sometimes blurs a person’s perception of what is right and wrong. This is a critical reason to be spiritually sensitive at all times. We must try the spirits. We are told, “Friends, do not believe every spirit. But test the spirits to see if they are from God for there are many false preachers in the world” (1 John 4:1).
Tactic #2: He Excuses. It’s always easy to find excuses or to use an alibi for neglecting God’s work. People easily excuse themselves from those things they should be doing and Satan is always ready to excuse every evil word, thought, deed, or action. A heightened spiritual awareness will help you be mindful of this tactic and allow you to prepare yourself. Decide before it happens and refuse to succumb to the temptation which he presents.
Tactic #3: He Confuses. One of the tools of Satan is doubt. He will confuse you by causing you to question God’s Word, God’s Will, and God’s Ways. You need to be grounded in the faith and in the Bible. This helps you know how to claim God’s promises to “establish, strengthen, and settle you”. 1 Peter 5:10 says, “After you have suffered awhile, God Himself will make you perfect. He will keep you in the right way. He will give you strength. He is the God of all loving-favor and has called you through Christ Jesus to share His shining greatness forever.”
Tactic #4: He Accuses. Revelation 12 calls the devil the “accuser of the brethren”. If you care about justice and fairness, you must know after Satan has amused, excused, and confused the Christian, he then accuses them of wrong doing. But here’s the hope you can live in: Revelation 12:10-11 says, “Then I heard a loud voice in Heaven saying, Now God has saved from the punishment of sin! God’s power as King has come! God’s Holy nation has come! God’s Christ is here with power! The one who spoke against our Christian brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth. He stood before God speaking against them day and night. They had power over him and won because of the blood of the lamb and by telling what He (Jesus) had done for them.”
Spiritual captivity no longer has to be your lot. We may think we’re not slaves to anything, yet we tend to repeat our mistakes. Give your will over to Christ and ask God for clarity and power. Ask Him to empower you with a healthy dose of positive thoughts and attitudes. Ask God to remove any spiritual blindness so you may know the truth of where you are and where He wants you to be.
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He’s the author of the “Living With Purpose” book series, “TBH The Truth Will Set You Free”, and “Running With Purpose”. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Feb 15 2015. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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