What Good Is Seminary?

What good is seminary?

As a devout Christian, after graduating with my Master’s Degree in Christian Studies from a theological seminary (and by the grace of God with a 4.0 GPA), I feel I am adequately equipped to answer this question.

Some believe that seminary is where to go if one wants to become a “professional Christian”. They believe that to go to the next level of belief and faith in God, that one should go to theological seminary or to bible college. They believe that one cannot know all there is to know about God, the church, and the Holy Bible without going to seminary.

The university from which I matriculated had four levels of seminary. There was an Associates, Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate program. Some might feel that until one attains the highest level of seminary that one is not a good enough, or well-equipped for ministry Christian. I will tell my opinion about that towards the end of this blog post after I tell a few benefits that come from attending seminary.

For starters, if you hope to be a bible teacher one day, it helps to be taught by others who have spent a lifetime of studying the Bible. Some people spend their entire adult life studying the Old Testament or the New Testament or even just one book of the Bible. Therefore, if you want to teach others about the Bible at your church, it would prove beneficial to be taught by this particular person.

Some people feel as if Bible study is unnecessary. They feel that the Holy Spirit Himself can teach them all they need to know about the Bible. That is true. The Holy Spirit can teach you whatever God wants you to know. But the reality is that because of our strong traditions that come from our church or denomination or family, we will always FILTER God’s truth through mankind’s teaching. And much of that teaching might be faulty. It is hard to drink purified water through a dirty glass. Sometimes, seminary can clean the glass so that you can rightfully receive what God is telling you about the Bible.

For example, many Christian partake of the Daniel Diet. This is the diet that we read about in the book of Daniel wherein Daniel only ate particular foods and did not eat the Babylonian food that was offered to him. Today, for ten days many Christians will refrain from eating meat and sweets as a way to get closer to God. BUT seminary can teach you that many of the foods we eat in America were not even around in Babylon, so if we were hoping to eat just like Daniel, then would not be doing exactly as he did. Also, Daniel’s purpose for eating those particular foods was not to get closer to God, but rather it was to avoid eating the unclean food being offered to him by the Babylonians. The Israelites only ate Kosher clean food, and because Daniel was a Hebrew, he could not in good conscience eat their food. And Daniel did not only eat the right food for 10 days as we do, but he ate that way his entire life. But because we are not Hebrews in Babylonian exile, we should not feel bad that we cannot do the Daniel Diet as Daniel did because we should only be trying to grasp the principle of the matter which is to hold fast to one’s convictions even under dire circumstances. These are things one might only learn in seminary. Do you see how your information determines your actions?

Another important function of seminary is when one is confronted with false doctrine. My seminary professor of Church History 1 taught us many of the false doctrines/heresies that were condemned in Councils by the Orthodox church in the first few centuries of church history. So when a friend invites me to their church or tries to convince me to believe in some false doctrine, I can automatically dismiss it because I know it as being closely related to a condemned teaching that has returned in the last one hundred years or so to deceive others. Theological seminary can be helpful in recognizing and rejecting false teaching.

I have also found theological seminary to be very helpful in me worshipping God in TRUTH. Believe it or not, but your theology will affect your praise and worship. For example, if you think of God as some cosmic Joe Jackson who is scrutinizing your performance waiting with a celestial whip with which to cast you into hell at the slightest mistake you make, it will greatly impact your relationship with Him. If you think of God as the deists who believe that God simply created all humanity and then left it alone to its own devices without any interference, then it will greatly impact your prayer life. But if you know God’s true character which is a Heavenly Father who loves you unconditionally and who chastises those whom He loves as sons, then you will have a better relationship with Him and therefore worship Him in truth. Seminary has theology classes that teach you accurately about God and His nature.

One last thing I’ll mention about the importance of seminary is that it tells you not simply WHAT the Bible says but HOW to read the Bible. We know that many a cult is begun by one charismatic leader telling an ignorant congregation EXACTLY what to think and believe. But this is uncommon in seminary. I attended a seminary that had students and teachers of different denominational backgrounds, and we were not always told WHAT to believe, but we were told HOW to read the Bible. The problem with the 33,000 – 38,000 Christian denominations is that most of them attempt to tell their members WHAT to believe. And doubtless they are being told what to believe by one imperfect human being. So whatever that one imperfect person teaches them is now believed by them and taught to their children. If the originator of the teaching was wrong, then everyone who believes everything he says is wrong too. And that is how cults get started. For example, one might teach their congregation that women must wear stockings and closed-toe shoes. Even though this is not in the Bible, it will be passed down to all generations as the truth. However, it is not true, but merely tradition and preference. Seminary will help one to see whether or not a tradition is actually and accurately based on a Bible verse or principle.

The Bible tells us to RIGHTLY divide the word of truth. It does not tell us to blindly swallow whatever we are told. And seminary has taught me that. I have learned to prayerfully read the Scriptures with illumination from the Holy Spirit; I have long ago ceased to accept everything I am told even though I know the Bible says the opposite or otherwise. Seminary has not made me a better Christian or a more godly person, but it has cleared my mind of the traditions of men that are not rooted in the Bible so that I might be more clearly influenced by the truth of God. If nothing else, seminary can serve as type of detox for tradition clutter.

Five More of Satan’s Devices of Which Not to Be Ignorant!

This is PART TWO of my blog note on “Satan’s Devices of Which Not to Be Ignorant”. I had the first six devices in that note, and here are FIVE more. Please refer to that note for the intro which is at this link: http://wp.me/p21nNI-9T. No need for me to retype it here!)

F O R G E T F U L N E S S

One of Satan’s devices that he uses most effectively against believers is “forgetfulness”. There are two things that Satan tries to get believers to forget. #1 – The battle is already won because you are on the winning team, God’s team. And #2 – He wants you to forget the many battles that God has already won on your behalf in many times past. If he can get you to forget those two things, he can cause you to either BE defeated or to FEEL defeated. And sometimes perceived defeat is almost as bad as actual defeat. For example, imagine that you are 20 years old when your doctor tells you that because of your current state of health, it’s only a matter of time before you die. And then you live to age 90 all the while thinking every day of those 70 years that you have just days left to live. Even though the doctor was not telling the truth, the fact that you lived 70 miserable years made you live a defeated life – even though it was a long-lived, DEFEATED life. Satan can have you thinking that you are doomed, damned, and defeated every day of your life when all the while you are winning and blessed from the very beginning!

You need to know that in this life – if you are a believer – you are a winner. You are a winner NOT because you are a great fighter, but because you are on the winning team! God’s team cannot lose! So if you are on a winning team, you will win because the team you are on is destined to win. And Satan’s team is destined to lose. That’s common sense. The game was fixed before the world began. God set it up so that He wins and Satan loses. And whoever is with God will win, and whoever is with Satan loses. One of Satan’s tactics is to get you to FORGET that. And when you forget that immutable fact, you begin to walk by SIGHT and not by FAITH. So when it looks like Satan is beating your butt, you forget that you’ve already won and then you concede that you’ve lost. And also, Satan wants you to FORGET that the same God who helped you through similar, previous battles will be the same VICTORIOUS God to help you through future battles. God can’t help but to be victorious. He was victorious in your struggles then, and He will still be victorious in your battles later. If He did it before, He can do it again. Please remember to never forget that Satan’s job is to have you to get amnesia about your predestined victory! The battle is already won. While Satan is over here trying to have you worried and stressed about trying to figure it all out, God has already worked it all out.

“F O O T-I N-T H E-D O O R”  T E C H N I Q U E

Another effective strategy that Satan enacts in the believer’s life is what is known in social psychology as the foot-in-the-door technique. For example, because Satan knows that he can’t directly, flat out ask a Holy Ghost-filled believer to do heroin or murder which will ruin his life, he may try to do this technique in order to increase the chances of you doing a “bigger” sin. For example, door-to-door salesmen may come to your door and ask you to accept a free offer for six months of a free weekly magazine subscription. If they come to your door and say, “Hey, ma’am. Please cancel your subscription of your favorite weekly magazine and buy a lifetime subscription of our similar magazine today instead,” of course, you would say something to the effect of, “No, thanks. I like my current subscription just fine.” But if they’re giving you FREE magazines for half a year, why not? But I hope you wouldn’t be foolish enough to think that the salesman is only knocking at your door to give you free magazines. Of course not! He’s ultimately after getting you to commit the rest of your life to BUYING his company’s magazine after those free six months run out. But he’s wise enough to know that it will take the foot-in-the-door technique to even have a fighting chance.

Satan is wiser than your average door-to-door solicitor. He knows that he will not likely have you willingly and knowingly commit to living a lifetime of sin for him and for the destruction of your flesh and soul. So he will apply this foot-in-the-door technique. He will offer you some bait for free while he slowly pushes open the door later for more costly offers later on. The free stuff he offers you puts a crack in the door, and then later, because you’re already so well-acquainted with his mess, he knows that the next time he knocks, you’ll open the door a little wider. If you let the free magazines in your house for half a year, why wouldn’t you pay a low price for the same magazine you accepted already? Satan knows that Christians are too wise to pay for anything he’s offering, so he’ll make it  a more easily acceptable gift TEMPORARILY. But you better know that he will come back later to get his due. Don’t even open the door! Treat him like you’d treat your local Jehovah Witness or Mormon when they knock on your door early one Saturday morning! Act like nobody’s home!

“M A J O R I N G   I N   T H E   M I N O R S”

Sadly, this one brings down many a believer. You can know Satan is at work when you find yourself “majoring in the minors” (which by default will have you “minoring in the majors”). Do you ever find you or many in your church home or denomination doing this? An example would be this: Does your pastor spend inordinate amounts of time telling his congregation what clothing and accessories and hairstyles to wear? Does he rant and rave every Sunday about men wearing cornrows and dredlocks? About women wearing pants or shorts? About men wearing earrings? About women wearing their hair short? Well that is a perfect example of one who is majoring in minors. Minors in this instance are little, almost insignificant details that have no bearing on one’s salvation. Well, even though these minors don’t bother God much, Satan will have many Christians fixated on minutiae details. I understand why some pastors may TOUCH on this topic. The bible does say in the new testament section that it is shameful for men to have long hair. The bible does say that women should not cut their hair because their hair is their glory and their covering. The bible does say that a woman should not wear that which pertains to a man. (HOWEVER, THAT LAST ONE WAS WRITTEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT written for Jews under the MOSAIC LAW. This is not for the new testament believer, which is not to say that Christians should cross dress like transvestites!)

But I believe you get my point. God is not in heaven pulling his hair out because a Christian male has dredlocks. And to those of the Church of Christ denomination, Jesus is not dejected and losing His mind because a church used musical instruments in praise and worship on Sunday. And to those of the apostolic persuasion, angels are not mourning because a girl got her split ends clipped. So stop losing your mind over minors! And it doesn’t end there, guys. Satan’s mind is on bigger things because if Satan can cause you to major in a minor, he has likely effectively caused you to minor in a major. What I mean is that if you are spending 99% of your evangelism telling a woman that she needs to wear skirts and dresses to church, then that only leaves AT THE MOST 1% of the time for you to witness to her of God’s love and mercy, of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, and of the work of the Holy Ghost in their unregenerated soul. THOSE are the majors. Most of your speech in soulwinning and disciple-making should be about LOVE, GRACE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS, TRANSFORMATION, REGENERATION, etc. But you don’t have time for the MAJORS when you’re still spending 90% of your time on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Blogger accounts fixating on how Christians should be Calvinists, or on how Christians should renounce all secular music, or on how Christians should be paying their pastor a tenth of their paychecks. Satan is laughing while you are stuck in the minors. Don’t let him win in this regard!

“T H E   S M A L L E R   P I C T U R E”

This here’s a good one that gets a lot of Christians upset with God! How many of you have lost the faith or gotten angry with God because of a bad diagnosis from your doctor, the loss of a loved one, or serious, long-term financial woes? Well, you can know that Satan has unleashed a tactic on you that I will refer to as “The Smaller Picture”. This is the opposite of the common phrase, “The Bigger Picture”. When something catastrophic happens to us, most people IMMEDIATELY take on the smaller picture. We think of only ourselves. We get into a pity party – which is totally understandable. We get disappointed, sad, and wonder why God has allowed such tragedy to hit us or our family. Especially if we know that we’ve been doing all we know to do to please the Lord in our lifestyles. We would understand getting a liver failure diagnosis if we were hard drinking every night at clubs. We would graciously accept lung cancer if we smoked tobacco, weed, crack, and meth on a regular basis. We would cope with losing a husband to another woman if we cheated on him every night. But what to do when you’ve been living holy when disaster strikes?

We have to keep sight of the bigger picture when disaster strikes. We have to remember that God lets nothing occur without purpose. I’ve heard of SO many examples of how God has lead people to change laws or begin support groups or sponsor scholarships after a tragedy has hit them or their family. And these people are your average good citizens who suffer in these ways. And instead of wallowing in their pain as they are expected to do, they turn their suffering into a support group and they turn their misery into ministries. This is because they saw the bigger picture. When they lose a daughter to that daughter’s abusive boyfriend, they find a way to change legislation that enforces stricter laws against domestic violence. When they have a son who is shot to death in the streets, they create a neighborhood watch group to meet weekly to protect the streets. When they lose a mother to cancer, they begin to save money for a yearly scholarship for a child who has lost a parent to cancer. Susan B. Komen did not die in vain, her sister Nancy G. Brinker promised her that she would do everything in her might to end breast cancer forever. Komen’s family has raised so much money for breast cancer research and awareness because of their family tragedy.

Now some people will internalize their pain and just feel sorry for themselves until they die. They will refuse to convert their pain into productivity to help save and extend the lives of others. Don’t let Satan do this to you. Don’t let Satan let you trade in the bigger picture for the smaller picture. The bigger picture makes sense of your pain. The smaller picture makes God look cruel. The bigger picture makes you help hundreds or thousands of others who will go through your current situation. The smaller picture makes you suffer in vain. You pain is not without purpose. God trusted YOU and your family with that tragedy. Don’t let Satan make you undependable to God. God really is relying on you to minister to others who have gone through, are going through, and who will go through your pain.

“E X T R E M I S M”/”R A D I C A L I S M”  D E C I S I O N-M A K I N G

I’m using these two words differently than the political definition you might be used to. When I say extremism or radicalism, I am referring to someone going too far in the opposite direction because of one painful fact that they have difficulty coping with. For example, if a man marries a man because two women he dated broke his heart. Or if a man refuses to ever work another job because he had a bad experience with a boss/coworker/client. Just because of one, three, or even ten bad experiences, some people will go to the EXTREME and make very dumb decision. This is a strategy that Satan uses on believers and unbelievers alike. I know of two unbelievers who were raised in the church but who – because of this satanic strategy and others – have left the faith. Satan had them going to the EXTREME about things. For example, if they know of ONE pastor who was exposed for raping a child, they would make that one offense apply across the board to all other Christian pastors. They would see a news report on the one pastor and would conclude that EVERY Christian pastor must be secretly molesting children. They might have personally known a pastor who misappropriated church funds to buy a Bentley for his own personal greed, and then they would concur that EVERY SINGLE PASTOR in the world is using the tithes and offerings to buy personal objects. And because of ONE PASTOR, they are willing to go to hell.

Satan will have you living a life to the extreme. He’ll let you have one bad experience and will then whisper in your ear some mess that will have you running off the deep end. If you experience a church hurt, don’t get DRASTIC with your decision-making because of it. For some people who’ve been hurt by a Christian pastor, instead of them logically saying, “Man, that pastor was a bad man. He raped someone./He embezzled church funds. I’m glad all pastors aren’t like that. I will try to find a pastor who lives a life of integrity,” they say, “See, that’s why I don’t go to church. ALL them pastors want is to use their members for sex./ALL them pastors do is spend the members money on their greedy lusts. I’ll never set foot in another church again,” It is basically insane to assume that every pastor rapes women or steals money just because one, ten, or even a hundred pastors raped someone or embezzled money. That is how you can know Satan is at the root of it. God nor logic would ever say that because ONE human did something, every human of a similar occupation will do it. Just because ONE Caucasian police officer is racist against blacks and does racial profiling does not mean that EVERY Caucasian cop is racist. Even if you can name 100 racist White cops does not mean that every single White cop that has existed, that does exist, or that will exist will be a racist cop that racial profiles against blacks. If you believe that, Satan is at work in your mind and it is only a matter of time before he brings you down. Don’t allow him to set up shop in your mind with this foolishness. ONE does not translate into ALL. One hundred of a thousand does not translate into ALL. Let’s be rational and shut the devil up. Just because you know of ONE church/pastor that did wrong does not mean that ALL churches/pastors do wrong.

These are just FIVE of MANY of Satan’s devices mind you. Satan has SO many tricks up his sleeve for us! He’s no one-trick pony! He gets creative with his devices. Again, please read the first note for the first six devices that I believe God has been gracious enough to expose to me. And Lord willing, there will be at least two more notes on this topic in the near future. Be blessed, and do not forget these devices!

Six of Satan’s Devices of Which Not To Be Ignorant

Be Not Ignorant of Satan’s Devices…

Satan would love for the world. and these deluded people to think.    that these people represent Christ

For so long, Satan has gotten the upper hand of me. He’s defeated me in so many ways in which I was not even aware that there was a battle. The bible tells us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. So that tells us TWO things: 1. Satan has scheme/plots/plans/devices/strategies under his belt. 2. These devices can be unknown/secretive/clandestine/covert.

Just think in the natural world. When a team is playing basketball or football, they have a play book. This book is to be 100% confidential as far as the other team is concerned. The other team should not know the plans of the opposing team. The plans are supposed to be kept secret so that the team can ultimately DEFEAT the competitor. The other team is to be IGNORANT of the schemes in the other team’s playbook. They can know that the play book exists because I believe every professional team has a playbook, but it is the job of the coach to make sure that the play book does not fall into the wrong hands.

The same goes with covert operations in a war. The enemy is not to know what the other country has under its sleeve as far as attacks are concerned. That is a rule in war.

Well that’s how it goes with Satan, but let’s give him more credit than that. His tricks are FAR superior than the schemes and plays of sports teams and armies. Remember, Satan has been studying human nature since the very beginning. I’m talking about the FIRST TWO HUMANS WHO EVER WALKED THE FACE OF THE EARTH were deceived by Satan in his FIRST attempt! He was good at what he did then, and who are kidding, Satan can only have gotten better at it with time. Some speculate that it’s about 7,000 years later since Adam and Eve were around. Seven millennia and billions of people later will give you a lot of time to practice!

I thank God for the bible. The bible records many of Satan’s devices. If you look through the Old and New Testaments, you can see records of how Satan brought people down. Be not ignorant of His devices. KNOW the enemy. Learn his ways. You should be able to see him coming from a mile away. The older I get in the faith, the more I spot him further away. It used to be that I couldn’t see Satan at work until the damage was already done. But God and the Holy Spirit are making it so that I am PREVENTATIVE against his attacks by knowing which situations Satan works best in and by knowing how he operates. We already know that Satan works through our fleshly lusts and desires, but let’s look at some more unforeseen ways that you would not likely suspect. Satan already knows that seasoned Saints already know to avoid alcohol, drugs, parties, secular music, sex without one’s husband and wife, sexual images, profanity, etc. He knows most Christians can’t be outsmarted by those obvious temptations. So he works in other ways to bring down those in the church. I pray that you all are blessed by this note.

D I V I S I O N

Reading the bible has shown me that God loves the number ONE. He likes when we work as one even though we have many “body parts” and many gifts and ministries. Romans 12:4-5 talks of there being ONE body of Christ. Romans 15:6 talks of Christians glorifying God with ONE mind and ONE mouth. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 and 1 Corinthians 3:3 talk of how there should be no division and that we should be of ONE and the same baptism, “thing”, mind, and judgment. 1 Corinthians 10:17 talks of us being ONE body and ONE bread. 1 Corinthians 12’s chapter talks of how we are ONE body. 2 Corinthians 13:11 talks of us being of ONE mind. Galatians 3:28 say that we are ONE. Ephesians 4:4 talks of ONE faith and ONE baptism. Philippians 1:27 speaks of us having ONE spirit and ONE mind. Philippians 2:2 talks of us being of ONE accord and ONE mind. Colossians 3:15 talks of being of ONE body. I Peter 3:8 tells us to be of ONE mind. God clearly LOVES when we operate as ONE!

All the aforementioned bible verses prove that God wants us thinking and operating as ONE. But for some reason there are at least 33,000 Christian denominations. How does ONE spirit, ONE mind, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE mouth, ONE accord, and ONE body end up in at LEAST 33,000 denominations? Do you think that GOD has anything to do with that high number of division? Absolutely not. Where division is, you can know that Satan is at work. All the talk God gives us of ONE in the New Testaments helps us to know that all these divisions are one of Satan’s devices. When unbelievers hear that Christians disagree in at least 33,000 ways with regards to Christian doctrine, worship, theology, soteriology, and methodology, it makes them mock us. They can’t figure how we all read the same bible that has the same truths and yet can’t agree on the ONE thing God meant in the bible. One of Satan’s devices is division. I’m sure you’ve heard of “divide and conquer”. Well that’s one way in which Satan works. He knows he is POWERLESS against Christ’s ONE huge Christian body. But when it comes to many (33,000?) smaller bodies, he can work well in that. And he has.

W R O N G   A G R E E M E N T S

Satan isn’t as powerful as we think. He can’t really do anything to us unless we ALLOW him too. He has to first get us to AGREE with him before he can wreak havoc in our lives. And do we not agree with him every chance he gives us to? He can have an evil spirit whisper in your ear that you’re gay, and without even thinking, you’ll agree with the evil spirit thinking that it’s your own mind telling you something that it’s true. And guess what? You won’t act on something that you don’t agree with. For example, I won’t murder someone unless I first reach an agreement in my mind that it would be a good idea to do so.

Remember in the wilderness after Jesus had a 40 day fast in Luke 4:3-13? Satan tried to give Jesus an idea. And if Jesus was like us and agreed with Satan, he would have acted on the temptation. But because Jesus has nothing in common with evil, he of course disagreed with Satan. Jesus was not ignorant of Satan’s devices. So what happened? Jesus rejected Satan’s suggestions and the bible says that Satan departed for a SEASON! Imagine that! Imagine a season in which Satan does not try to tempt you to sin! If you learn his devices well enough, you can possibly be free of Satan for a season! Many of us agree with doctors’ bad reports and say that because our parents and grandparents had a certain disease that we too must eventually get this or that disease. We agree with our haters’ opinions of us and say that we will not succeed in life. We agree with the 50% divorce statistic and say it’s only a matter of time before our marriages fail. And in many cases, it’s only after we AGREE with the enemy that chaos ensues. Stop making wrong agreements with Satan. It’s one of his devices! Look at what happened when Adam and Eve made a wrong agreement with Satan instead of with God about a particular tree:

WHAT GOD SAID: Genesis 2:17 – But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

WHAT SATAN SAID: Genesis 3:4 – And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall N O T surely die:

O F F E N S E

My pastor and first lady blessed me SO with this topic! I thank God for it even today. They taught and preached on it for several weeks. Offense is one of Satan’s most successful devices. Satan can work most effectively in an offended heart. If you are easily offended, I can accurately assume that you have much mess going on in your life between you and your family, friends, coworkers, church members, and spouse. I bet Satan used offense to ruin your relationships. Maybe your husband said that your chicken needed a little more seasoning. Maybe your coworker made you look bad in front of a boss by telling her a mistake you made. Maybe your mother showed favoritism to your brother over you. Maybe your best friend chose someone else as her maid-of-honor.

And maybe this all happened 20 years ago and you STILL are harboring resentment and bitterness about it. Satan likes people like you. If you can hold a grudge, Satan can use you. And he WILL use you. And I can bet your bottom dollar that he IS using you. Satan always works in an atmosphere of unforgiveness. Forgiveness is what God majors on, and so you know that what God loves is what Satan hates. Forgive quickly and thoroughly and watch Satan flee from all of your relationships. He can’t work well in a relationship that is flourishing with forgiveness! The thing about unforgiveness is that you can’t pray for someone you hate, you can’t love someone you hate, you can’t evangelize or preach to someone you hate. So when you are offended by and unforgiving of someone, it’s one of the ways Satan prevents you from being used of God to lead someone to Christ. If Satan can convince you to be offended, he has convinced you not to minister to someone. And so that enacts part TWO of his device. You may be the ONE person God was going to use to lead this person to Christ; but since you now are not speaking to the person and blocked them from your Facebook and Twitter, they may never hear or experience the love of God. You may be the only “bible this person will ever read”.

 Proverbs 17:9 – Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Proverbs 19:11 – Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

I G N O R A N C E/P A R A N O I A/I N S E C U R I T Y/S U S P I C I O N

The reason I put these four words together because they are related because of the fact that all four lack or may lack one thing: TRUTH/REALITY. If you are ignorant of something, it means that you are unaware of the truth of its existence – unaware that it is REAL. To be paranoid is to believe that things that are not real are real. To believe that lies are truth. Paranoid people for example may think that the CIA is out to kill them or that some woman at her job is hating on her and trying to get her fired when that is so far from the truth; suspicion is related because it can make you paranoid. And insecurity is when someone believes that aspects of themselves are causing them to be inferior to others or disliked by others when that is not true. An insecure person may think that she must look bad if she walks in a room and a group of people start laughing. Or an insecure girlfriend may think that everytime her boyfriend’s phone rings that it’s his ex-girlfriend. Or an insecure boyfriend may think that everytime his girlfriend doesn’t answer the phone that she’s with another man. Insecurity has to do with imagining lies as being the truth.

Satan can destroy the trust in a Christian marriage by convincing one spouse that the other is being unfaithful. He can ruin the trusting relationship between a pastor and his congregation by making the pastor believe that some of his members are thinking of leaving his church because they dislike his preaching all of sudden. Satan can cause trouble between a coworker and a manager because at the next meeting, the boss may say there is a new policy on absentees a week after you called in sick on Monday and Friday. And so you get paranoid that the boss is talking about you. Assumptions come from paranoia, ignorance, and insecurity. And these assumptions are not based on truth and so they can cause a lot of trouble in relationships.

Satan is the father of all lies. Wherever a lie is, please and just know that it has started with Papa Satan. He knows that truth sets free. He knows that lies bound and cause grief. So he tells lies. He starts lies. He suggests things that lead to lies. Don’t operate off of lies. Operate based off of truth. And truth is not one and the same with facts. A doctor’s fact that people with your form of cancer are doomed within 6 months. But God’s truth about that same kind of cancer can be that you can be healed in a day with a full recovery. So Satan can sometimes defeat you with FACTS that are not God’s truths. Where lies are being spread, know that Satan is at work with a demonic scheme to destroy. He knows that if the truth got out about everything, then he would be powerless. He gets his powers from YOUR belief in HIS lies.  When you stop believing his false reality/lies/attempts to make you paranoid and insecure, he has lost in his tactic against you in this regard.

Romans 10:3 – For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 2:11 – Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

1 Samuel 18:6-9 – And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

P R I D E

Last but not least, Satan defeats those who love God by using one of his most effective tools/weapons of PRIDE. I cannot stress the importance of humility in the life of the believer. Remember how that even the “best” Jews of Jesus’ time were defeated and damned because they had too much pride to admit their inefficiencies and weaknesses when it came to pleasing God according to His holy standard. They did not receive Jesus because He required that they humble themselves and admit that they were sinners who needed a Savior. Satan can work more easily in a prideful heart than even an offended heart.

An example in how Satan works in this way is when he convinces you to apply pride to your repentance. You can have done a sin and yet be too prideful to repent of it. I knew a guy who was very lustful in his heart and deeds. And when I told him about it, he denied ever being lustful towards his girlfriend even though he and his girlfriend were close to having sex on several occasions. He had a title in the church, and so I suppose he felt that being a minister was incompatible with being horny. So instead of humbling himself and admitting that fault, he instead denied ever wanting to have premarital sex. And because he never humbled himself enough to repent of this sin, he of course never repented on this sin. Therefore, he never received forgiveness for this sin if he has not repented of it.

Pride will cause you to deny any wrongdoing, faults, or weaknesses. And when you don’t admit to having a problem, you never confess the problem. And you never receive forgiveness for something you can’t agree to have done. Satan used pride to keep that young man from receiving God’s forgiveness. I don’t know if he ever repented of it, but if he did not, Satan did a work in his life. God does not allow for any pride in the lives of Saints. He wants total humility from us. Humility is not just a cute word to refer to yourself as. Having humility means that you ask for forgiveness everytime you sin. Having humility means that you never think that you are too holy to make a mistake. Having humility shows me that you ALWAYS run to God for much-needed forgiveness. So conversely, to lack humility means that you rarely if ever ask for forgiveness because you can’t agree that you make mistakes.

It’s so sad to see preachers who are so tough on their congregation be exposed for the wildest sins. I’m talking about being caught having 15 year affairs with a prophetess in the church. I’m talking about molesting five BOYS in his congregation. I’m talking about pastors who kill their wives, chop them up, store them in the freezer for years all so that they can have an incestuous relationship with their daughter. I’m talking about embezzling THOUSANDS of dollars from members “tithes & offerings”. I’ve heard all these TRUE stories and more! It’s crazy how the most prideful, self-righteous people have the most unbelievably secret sins. That’s because pride is one of the best ways to cover one’s sin. If you allow pride in your life, already know that Satan has some BIG, disastrous plans for you and those closely associated with you. Pride destroys. The bible says that by pride, people bring about their own downfall.

 1 Timothy 3:6 – Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

 Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

I Peter 5:5 – …be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

 D I S T R A C T I O N S

Remember the story about the Mary and Martha sisters? One sister was so busy cleaning and being a good hostess that she was missing out on a spiritual blessing from the Messiah. She even tried to get the Messiah to cause her sister to miss out on her blessing! She confused busyness for Jesus for being doing the work of the Lord. Satan can have people so busy singing in a choir, ushering the congregation to their seats, vacuuming after church services, and playing the drums that they forget to minister to others spiritually. This is not to make light of ushers and choir members, but sometimes, God just wants you to evangelize to your family member. But you’re so busy at church that the people who are “sick” are not getting a “physician”, but the people who are “well” are.

I encountered this in my blogging frenzy and my church attendance craving. I would spend countless hours writing spiritual notes for my blog. And so I was ministering in that regard because many people were blessed by the notes. But if someone wrote me  a private message asking for prayer, I thought I was too busy with ministry to minister! I would get annoyed and say to myself, “Why don’t she just pray for herself?! I can’t be her relationship with God!” And I would be so busy at times going to church that I wouldn’t even stop to be a loving Christian witness to those in my every day life like friends, family members, and coworkers. I was so busy LOOKING churchy that I had no time to BE the Christian I should have been for God. Satan will have you so busy that you will think that you do not have time to do the things God wants you to do.

There are such thing as church distractions because many of the things we do in church today have nothing to do with the church we read about in the New Testament. The New Testament church and Jesus were out and about ministering to the hurting and lost. Church today seems very into ministering to only those who are saved IN the church’s four walls. Many church folk would rather hold up a hurtful pro-life sign outside of an abortion clinic instead of kindly approaching the expectant mother, praying for her, asking her why she feels the need to do this, and offering her options other than abortion. Many Christians will hold up hateful signs at gay rallies and parades instead of pulling a homosexual to the side, praying for them, and doing spiritual deliverance from the spirit of perversion. Be not ignorant of even this most surprising device.

These are just six of MANY of his devices. I chose these six because they are the six in which Satan won many battles against me. I thank God for informing me of this in order that I might gain the victory over Satan in my life through Christ Jesus! Please read my newer note which lists five MORE of Satan’s devices that he uses quite effectively in the believer’s life.