My Life Coaching Pillars – Ruth L. Snyder

I’m in the middle of learning how to be a better coach. In September 2018 I took a leap of faith and signed up for the Beautiful You Coaching Academy’s Life Coaching Course. The course started at the beginning of February and will be done by July.

In this week’s lesson we discussed pillars that allow clients to achieve outstanding results.

I would like to share my pillars of life coaching:

  1. I believe that each person is unique, valuable, and worthy of my respect.
  2. I nurture and support my clients, building professional, but close connections with them.
  3. I encourage my clients to take action and reach their desired goals.
  4. I provide a safe place for my clients, with no topic being off-limits.
  5. I cheer my clients on, helping them believe that they can do anything they choose to do.
  6. I hold my clients accountable to reach their stated goals.
  7. I offer my clients extra support in a way that is meaningful to them.
  8. I cheer my clients on, giving them the freedom to explore and take risks.
  9. I listen to my clients and hold them to the highest standard of truth.
  10. I inspire my clients by setting a positive example for them to follow.
  11. I freely share resources, knowledge, and opinions with my clients.
  12. I help my clients connect emotionally to their goals, regularly asking how they feel about their goals.
  13. I support my clients as they overcome their fears and achieve success they never thought possible.

If you have feedback about my pillars, let me know. Are you interested in being coached? I look forward to hearing from you.

10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 10

For the past several days, I have been hosting a 10 Day Devotional Challenge. (To find all the posts, type “10 Day Devotional Challenge” into my website search bar.) You can read the posts here and comment below to discuss what you’ve read. You may also join the discussion in my Equipped Facebook Group. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Equipped, you can purchase it at mybook.to/Equipped or ask for it at your local bookstore. For a discount on quantity orders (10 copies or more), please contact me at RuthLSnyder at me dot com.

Giving Thanks

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

—1 Corinthians 15:57

One of the therapists who worked with our family gave us an interesting challenge: record the conversation around your breakfast table. After breakfast is over, listen to the conversation and track how many positive statements were made, and how many negative or critical statements were made. Then compare the numbers. He challenged us to aim for at least two positive statements for every negative one.

Or am I the only one? According to Romans 1:21, if I am not thankful, I am in bad company:

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (emphasis mine).

•Gratitude can increase your circle of friends.

•Gratitude helps you feel healthier, with fewer aches and pains.

•Gratitude flushes out “toxic emotions.”

•Gratitude increases sensitivity to others and reduces revengeful thoughts.

•Gratitude helps you sleep better.

•Gratitude increases your self-esteem.

•Gratitude decreases stress and helps you overcome trauma.

If you’re not familiar with Ann Voskamp’s book, 1,000 Gifts, I encourage you to obtain a copy and read how a challenge from Ann’s friend led her on a journey that totally changed the course of her life.

The Bible exhorts us thirty-three times to give thanks and seven times to be thankful. Here is a sample:

1 Chronicles 16:34 – Give thanks because God is good and his love is forever.

2 Chronicles 20:21 – Men were appointed to sing to the Lord and praise him as they went ahead of the army!

2 Chronicles 31:2 – Hezekiah assigned priests to give thanks and sing at the gates of the “LORD’s dwelling.”

Psalm 7:17 – Give thanks for God’s righteousness and sing.

Psalm 100:4 – Enter God’s courts with praise and give thanks to Him.

Colossians 2:7 – We are to overflow with thankfulness.

Hebrews 12:28 – Thankfulness is part of acceptable worship.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – It is God’s will for us to give thanks in all circumstances.

We can also choose to see the gifts God gives us every day. Along with physical and emotional benefits, gratitude has incredible spiritual benefits. Ephesians 4:26-27 remind us to deal with anger and not allow Satan to gain a foothold in our lives.

Kristen Leigh Evensen, a Christian blogger who founded “The Identity Project,” puts it this way:

“Any moment that we allow ingratitude and complaining from our minds and lips, a bitterness takes root in our hearts. The enemy simply adores implanting himself into those bitter roots, watering them with lies and accusations. He causes them to take root even more deeply, and bitterness will eventually bear the bad fruit of unbelief towards the Lord. Give him no opportunity; praise the Lord!” (“3 Reasons to Choose Gratitude,” www.secureandstrong.com)

We all know that character is built one thought and one choice at a time. Let’s choose to allow the Holy Spirit to grow his fruit and character in us by being intentional about giving thanks to God!

Think About It

Do you make it a practice to be thankful? Are there any roots of bitterness you need to allow the Holy Spirit to uproot from your life? Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for reminding me of the importance of gratitude. Show me if there are any roots of bitterness I need to ask you to uproot. Help me today to be aware of your presence in my life, and help me to be thankful. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 9

For the past several days, I have been hosting a 10 Day Devotional Challenge. (To find them all, type “10 Day Devotional Challenge” into my website search bar.) You can read the posts here and comment below to discuss what you’ve read. You may also join the discussion in my Equipped Facebook Group. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Equipped, you can purchase it at mybook.to/Equipped or ask for it at your local bookstore. For a discount on quantity orders (10 copies or more), please contact me at RuthLSnyder at me dot com.

The Belt of Truth

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

—John 8:32

“Hi! How are you?” This greeting habit we have in North America annoys me. Every day people use the greeting. Every day people lie when they answer. Usually the people asking the question don’t take the time to really listen to the person’s answer. The trite answer, “Fine,” conveys no useful information. That’s the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is that people are lying because either they don’t want anyone to know they are not fine, or they know that the person asking isn’t interested enough to want to know the truth. Perhaps my annoyance stems from being familiar with the African way of greeting people—where the greeting lasts for anywhere from five minutes to half an hour. Unless it has changed, people in the Africa I know genuinely care about the person they are talking with, and they ask not only about the person, but also about family members.

Just as we need to be careful about how we greet others, we also need to be diligent in telling the truth.

According to Dictionary.com, truth is:

•The true or actual state of a matter

•Conformity with fact or reality; verity

•A verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like

•The state or character of being true

•Actuality or actual existence

•An obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude

•Honesty; integrity; truthfulness

Some people claim that truth is relative, depending on people’s beliefs, character, and perspective. The Greek word aletheia is translated as “truth, truly, true, and verity” in the King James Version. It’s interesting that there is no single definition of “truth” in Greek. Instead, truth is defined by being the opposite of lies or deceit. According to Larry Pierce, who studies ancient history and publishes biblically related material, the Bible uses truth objectively regarding topics being considered, God’s character, morality, and Christianity. Truth in the Bible also describes the character of people who are “free from affection, pretense, simulation, falsehood, deceit” (Blue Letter Bible, Outline of Biblical Usage for Strong’s G225).

Jesus said we would know the truth and the truth would set us free. He also said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). We know from other passages in Scripture that God is holy, or without sin (Leviticus 11:44,45; 19:2; 20:7; 21:22; Joshua 24:19; 1 Samuel 2:2, etc. You can use a concordance to find other references.) God exemplifies truth. There is no sin in God. He is completely pure, like gold refined by fire and free of impurities. By extension, his word, the Bible, is truth: “Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

This is the firm foundation on which we can base our faith―one that will never shift or fall apart. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please God.” A couple of chapters later the author reminds us that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” We can trust in the character of God (Hebrews 13:8).

Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” Faith based on God’s word is secure. Unlike the relative truth that is espoused today, God’s truth and God’s character never change. The Bible is as true today as it ever was.

From what does truth set us free? The truth of God sets us free from many things including:

•Fear – Psalm 118:6; Hebrews 13:6

•Distrust – Isaiah 12:2

•Insecurity – Deuteronomy 33:12; 2 Samuel 22:33; Psalm 16:5; Proverbs 14:26; Hebrews 6:19

•Lying – Ephesians 4:25

Truth sets us free to love God and others, with total abandon.

How do we find truth? God does not leave us to muddle our way through life, trying to find it. John 16:3 says, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

In Ephesians 6:14, truth is described as the belt of the armour. The belt held the scabbard, which held the sword. According to Matthew Henry, an English Puritan minister who wrote Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, “The belt girds on [secures] all the other pieces of our armour.” Without truth, our armour or protection falls off, and our enemy is able to destroy us. With truth we are no longer vulnerable, but safe.

Think About It

How is truth protecting you? From what is truth setting you free?  Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you have provided your Holy Spirit and your word, the Bible, to guide us into truth. It is so easy to slip into half-truths and false inferences. Help me to diligently put on the belt of truth in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 8

For the next several days, I will be hosting a 10 Day Devotional Challenge. You can read the posts here and comment below to discuss what you’ve read. You may also join the discussion in my Equipped Facebook Group. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Equipped, you can purchase it at mybook.to/Equipped or ask for it at your local bookstore. For a discount on quantity orders (10 copies or more), please contact me at RuthLSnyder at me dot com.

Prayer

“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

—Matthew 18:18,19

I enjoy learning new things, and usually it’s easy for me to learn. However, learning to knit was a challenge. You see, I’m left-handed, and my mom could not figure out how to teach me in a way that made sense to me. I was only five at the time. We struggled along for a while. One day, an avid knitter friend visited. She taught me a ditty and then showed me how it related to knitting. “Little Johnny fell into the well (put your needle into a stitch). Wrap a rope around his neck (wrap the yarn around the needle), and pull him out (pull the yarn through the stitch to create the new stitch).”

The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1). Jesus responded with what we know as the Lord’s Prayer.  Here is the Lucan form:

“Father,

Hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come.

May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us each day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.”

This, (as is the form found in Matthew 6:9-13) is a model to help us with prayer. In each case, as his children, we have the privilege of calling God, Abba, a warm, familiar form of Father. We praise God. We seek the fulfillment of God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We ask for that which we need. We ask for our sins, our debts, to be forgiven as we forgive those who sin against us, those who are indebted to us. We pray to be protected from responding to temptation and to be saved from evil and evil personified. Some versions include a “Gloria”, acknowledging God’s eternal kingdom, power and glory.

There are hundreds of books that have been written about prayer, so we will just cover the basics. (You can find some suggested reading in Appendix 2.)

There are a few requirements for prayer. We need to humble ourselves before God, admitting our need of him (2 Chronicles 7:14). We also need to believe that God will give what we ask (Mark 11:24). When we ask, we need to ask with pure motives (James 4:2,3).

We can pray any time and anywhere. God is everywhere and is never too busy to listen. Whether your prayer is to repent of your sin and accept Jesus as your Saviour, or to express your joy and gratitude while watching a beautiful sunrise, or to emit a harried call for help, God is listening. I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray continually.” Prayer needs to be a habit.

There are many ways to pray. The Bible records people who pray standing (I Kings 8:22), prostrate before God (Matthew 26:39), bowing (Exodus 4:31), and on their knees (I Kings 8:54). I often pray as I am driving, washing dishes, and going about other work God has given me to do as a wife and mother.

Why should we pray? We should pray because God tells us to pray. By praying we are able to grow in our relationship with God, just as we grow closer to other people when we talk with them. We should also pray because it is a powerful weapon. The verses quoted from Matthew chapter eighteen at the beginning of this section tell us that praying with other believers is a powerful weapon we can use against the enemy. As Jesus’ followers, we are able to wage war by binding or loosing things.

God always answers our prayers. Sometimes God answers right away (Psalm 91:15). Other times we may have to wait days, weeks, or even years for a “yes” answer. (Remember Daniel?) Finally, there are times when God will answer our prayers with a “no.” This could be because we are not in a right relationship with God (Isaiah 59:1,2), we are not in a right relationship with others (1 Peter 3:7), or we are not praying according to God’s will (1 John 5:14).

Prayer is something you can continue to learn and practice throughout your life on earth.

Think About It

What do you appreciate about prayer? What would you like to learn about prayer? What do you need to change about your prayer life? Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you delight in communicating with me through prayer. Help me to be diligent in praying, and in using this weapon you have provided to fight Satan and his demons. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 7

For the next several days, I will be hosting a 10 Day Devotional Challenge. You can read the posts here and comment below to discuss what you’ve read. You may also join the discussion in my Equipped Facebook Group. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Equipped, you can purchase it at mybook.to/Equipped or ask for it at your local bookstore. For a discount on quantity orders (10 copies or more), please contact me at RuthLSnyder at me dot com.

Wrestle

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

—James 4:7

Our oldest daughter left home when she was only eighteen. She was tired of our rules, and didn’t want to go to church. She’s a follower, and she chose to follow a tough crowd. For two years, we had a very tenuous relationship with her. The only contact we had was through sporadic text messages. We didn’t know where she was sleeping, or if she had food to eat. We worried for her safety. She admitted to using drugs. Through this difficult time, the only thing we could do was pray and let her know that we still loved her. Praise God, she is now married with a family of her own, and we talk often.

Perhaps you struggle with how to manage your time, or how to relate to your teenager, or how to deal with those thorny issues in your marriage. God knows all about your struggles. He knows Satan is out to destroy you.  God doesn’t want that. God wants to help you defeat Satan in your daily living so that you can live the abundant life he planned for you.

One of the hardest battles we fight as Christians is against our sinful nature. Paul calls us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, “holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1, 2). D.L. Moody is credited with saying, “The problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar.” May God grant that we quit crawling away!

Paul describes the battle very well in Romans 7. He explains that the law reveals sin. When we know it is sinful to covet, we suddenly want everything we are not supposed to have. We crave the junk food with empty calories.  We want clothes like our friend has, though we can’t afford them.  We go into debt to purchase a sports car so that people will think well of us. The list goes on.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15).

According to Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, a ministry for university students), a new Christian described this conflict as a dog fight between a black dog (sin) and a white dog (obeying God). When asked which dog wins, he answered, “The dog that wins is the one I feed and the dog that loses is the one I starve.”

Romans 13:14 challenges us, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” The only way to resist our sinful flesh is to say no (die to it, or starve it) and choose to follow Jesus instead. Colossians 3 says, “put to death … whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (verse 5), and then goes on to tell us to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (verse 12).

If you have ever tried to NOT think about something, you know it’s just about impossible. Just as you can fill a glass with water to get rid of the air, so you have to allow the Holy Spirit to fill you to eliminate your sinful nature.

Satan knows our weaknesses and will attack in those areas. Say “no” to temptations and then choose to fill that void with godly characteristics and choices that are pleasing to God. If you fall, remember, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). So, get up and keep on wrestling.

Think About It

With what areas are you wrestling today? What godly characteristic or choices can you choose to work on instead? Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you know the areas that I struggle with in my life. Help me today to say “no” to temptation.  Help me to work on filling that void with godly characteristics and choices, instead. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 6

For the next several days, I will be hosting a 10 Day Devotional Challenge. You can read the posts here and comment below to discuss what you’ve read. You may also join the discussion in my Equipped Facebook Group. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Equipped, you can purchase it at mybook.to/Equipped or ask for it at your local bookstore. For a discount on quantity orders (10 copies or more), please contact me at RuthLSnyder at me dot com.

Be Strong in the LORD

“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

—Psalm 37:3-6

I started my morning with prayer and Scripture reading. My heart was especially burdened for our family. I prayed for God’s protection and was quiet before God. My heart was filled with peace when my devotional time was finished. Less than an hour later, my husband and I were embroiled in a heated disagreement regarding our children. The longer we talked, the more we disagreed. I retreated to my piano to play hymns and reflect. Why couldn’t we resolve this situation? Kendall and I both want the best for our children, but sometimes we disagree about what this looks like. We are learning to use tools like John Gottman’s Sound Relationship House                                      .

We need to choose to be strong in HIM. He will give us the victory, if we trust him and not ourselves.

According to Strong’s Concordance, the phrase, “be strong,” comes from a root word that means to enable, empower, strengthen, or be made strong. Remember the apostle, Paul? We may see him as a spiritual giant, but he claims that God’s strength is best displayed in our areas of weakness.

When we feel strong, we don’t rely on God the way we should. In fact, when we have the ability to do things well, we often boast and become proud.

(1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 2 Corinthians 12:9). Here are some examples from Scripture:

• God enabled Samson to defeat Israel’s enemies, but when Samson chose to disobey God, he was captured (Judges 14-16).

• God chose Saul to be King. When Samuel took a while to show up, Saul took things into his own hands. Then he disobeyed by not destroying all of the enemy, and God took the kingdom from his son and gave it to a lowly shepherd boy, David (I Samuel 9, 13, 15).

Think About It

Have you experienced God’s power in your daily living? What difference is it making in your life? Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you are all-powerful. Help me to remember that without you I am vulnerable and weak.  As I walk through this day, lead me. Help me to be sensitive to your voice and obedient to your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 5

For the next several days, I will be hosting a 10 Day Devotional Challenge. You can read the posts here and comment below to discuss what you’ve read. You may also join the discussion in my Equipped Facebook Group. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Equipped, you can purchase it at mybook.to/Equipped or ask for it at your local bookstore. For a discount on quantity orders (10 copies or more), please contact me at RuthLSnyder at me dot com.

The Evil Day

“Therefore, put on the full amour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

—Ephesians 6:13

Sometimes I struggle with the fact that God called me to be a writer. Our family life is busy, and I must intentionally make time to get my thoughts from my head onto my computer. My husband, who is a hands-on kind of guy, has a hard time understanding my need for time and space to think and create. When I do carve out time to write, it’s easy for me to get distracted by phone calls, social media, and myriads of other things. (Apparently this is a common malady among writers.) Sometimes, when I work on projects like this book, our family experiences spiritual attacks—unusual stresses and events that are suspicious in their timing and severity. However, if I don’t write, I’m miserable and out of sorts. When I’m tempted to give up, I remind myself that I need to be faithful to God’s calling on my life (and sometimes I re-read an encouraging note or review from one of my readers).

In Ephesians 6, the apostle Paul urges Christians to be prepared for “the day of evil.” The Bible uses the Greek word, poneros, which is translated into our English word, “evil.” According to Strong’s Concordance, this word refers to something that is “evil or hurtful in influence or effect.” The Greek word, hemera, is a general word, which can refer to the daylight hours, a whole twenty-four hours, or can also be used figuratively about a general period of time, ranging from days to years. From the context, it appears this is a general reference to times when Satan is active and attacking individual Christians or groups of Christians. In other words, be ready for battle at all times, wherever it takes place.

One of my favourite Bible stories concerning preparing for war is about when God called Gideon. You can find the details in Judges 6-8. Gideon lived in desperate times. The Israelites were inhabiting shelters they’d carved out of the mountain. When they did manage to plant crops, their enemies invaded and ruined them. Foes had also destroyed all the animals. Somehow, Gideon had managed to harvest some grain and he was threshing it in a winepress to hide from the Midianites. While he was in the winepress, an angel appeared and addressed him as “mighty warrior.”

God takes Gideon through several steps of personal preparation. Then Gideon prepares an army. He starts out with thirty-two thousand men, but God tells him that’s too many. God directs Gideon to send home anyone who is afraid. That reduced the army to ten thousand. Then God told Gideon to take his men for a drink of water. Those who cupped their hands and brought the water to their mouths without kneeling were allowed to stay. Gideon only had three hundred men left in his army! God used those three hundred men to destroy the enemy.

Think About It

Is God calling you to do something? Are you willing to obey? Do you have a team of prayer warriors who will stand with you? If you want more ideas on how to put together, and work with, a prayer team, please look at Appendix 5.

Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you provide all the information, weapons, and support we need for spiritual warfare. Help me to be prepared for evil days in my life. I know that without you, I am powerless. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and guide me in the path you have for me today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 4

For the next several days, I will be hosting a 10 Day Devotional Challenge. You can read the posts here and comment below to discuss what you’ve read. You may also join the discussion in my Equipped Facebook Group. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Equipped, you can purchase it at mybook.to/Equipped or ask for it at your local bookstore. For a discount on quantity orders (10 copies or more), please contact me at RuthLSnyder at me dot com.

Schemes of the Devil

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…”

—I Peter 5:8-9a

“Go home and rest. You are definitely pregnant. Quite possibly, this bleeding will stop and everything will be okay.”

Kendall and I had been married for five years. We were ready to be parents. The doctor at a fertility clinic had told us we would never be able to have our own biological children, but less than six months later, I was pregnant. I thought God was giving us a miracle. However, the pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I was devastated.

My desire to live vanished. Kendall didn’t want me to tell anyone outside our immediate family. I felt abandoned, worthless. For weeks, when no one was watching, I sobbed.  For a while, I believed Satan’s lies, but then Scripture reminded me of God’s unfailing love. The grief subsided to a dull ache, and I moved on. About a year later, through adoption, God filled our empty arms with our eldest child.

Are you acquainted with The Screwtape Letters, written by C.S. Lewis in 1941? Each chapter of the book is a letter written by a demon named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood, a novice demon, instructing him on ways to lead a certain man away from God. Obviously, the book is a satirical novel, but it gives the reader a lot to think about concerning how the devil and his demons function.

Satan is the Archenemy of God. He was created as one of God’s chief angels, along with Gabriel and Michael. In Ezekiel 28, we read that Lucifer was beautiful and wise. However, we also find out that Lucifer was not content with his position—he wanted to be number one, above God. When Lucifer rebelled against God, he and his followers (other angels) were thrown out of heaven. Today, the fallen Lucifer is known as Satan (the devil), and his followers are demons.

When we are focused on meeting our own needs, making more money to buy what we want, or making our plans without consulting God, we actually miss out. We need to surrender our will to God and follow his leading instead.

Satan is a Deceiver. Although the devil is often portrayed as an easily identifiable evil character with a long tail, the Bible gives us a very different picture. In 2 Corinthians 11:14, we are warned that he masquerades as an angel of light. This is how he deceives so many people.

Have you noticed how easy it is to speak half-truths? We share part of the information, but, by doing that, mislead people.  Or, we fail to correct facts when people are talking to us, thus implying that we agree with them. Satan is the Father of Lies. We need to ask God to show us our deceitful ways and put them away, refusing to have any part in them.

Satan Perverts what God Created. Sexual relations are beautiful―created by God for husbands and wives to enjoy in the context of marriage, but Satan has perverted sex through distortions like adultery and pornography. Satan has also corrupted the spiritual gift of prophecy, a gift of the Holy Spirit, tricking people into believing fortune tellers, psychics, and false prophets.

Satan is a Destroyer. John 8:44 tells us that Satan has always been a murderer. Jesus said he came to give us abundant life (John 10:10);

Satan continues to attack families, churches, and marriages, trying to destroy them.

Satan is an Accuser. Although God has supreme sovereignty, he has permitted Satan to be the ruler of this world until the end times. Revelation 12:10 tells us that although Satan now accuses believers “day and night” before God’s throne, it is he who will be thrown down and placed in the lake of fire.

Satan knows that Jesus Christ defeated him on the cross, when Jesus paid the death penalty for humankind’s sin. However, Satan still freely roams the earth, trying to deceive as many people as possible before his time is up. He knows the war is lost, but he is trying to win as many skirmishes as possible before he has to acknowledge his defeat.

Think About It

What are some ways Satan tricks people? How has he deceived you? What are some ways you can arm yourself against Satan’s attacks? Is there anything you need to do differently today? Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you know my strengths and my weaknesses. Thank you, also, that you know about the devil and his schemes. Help me to be aware and to defend others and myself against his attacks. Keep me strong in my faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.