Sunday, July 22, 2012

Perspectives - The Hidden Reality of Satan's Influence


This post is not about writing – essentially – but it is about something that may influence your work as a writer. It’s about Satan’s war against God from both a global and a personal perspective. Have you ever read a book and thought, “Every Christian should read this!”? 
I have, but only a few.  

Renald Showers’ What on Earth is God Doing: Satan’s Conflict with God is one of those few. It’s a quick trip through history as recorded in the Bible – from Adam and Eve to the end of this world. "Nothing new in that," you may say. True. But the perspective is surprisingly new and invigorating: it uncovers the active, ongoing, spiritual war behind the scenes of human history. For those of you who are interested in spiritual warfare, and especially its influence on church history, this book is one you would not want to miss.

It’s a fascinating read because it reveals the moves of God, the counter-moves of Satan, and the subsequent conquering moves of God. We all know who the winner in this war will be, and we also know many historical facts, but ahhh… the impact of a new perspective!

Reading this book has re-awakened my awareness of Satan’s hidden influence on world affairs and – in our personal realm - the lives of those who are dear to us.

I recently had the opportunity to witness Satan’s hold on a person that is very dear to me: my father.  I took a couple of months out of my busy schedule to fly overseas and spend time with my dad who is nearing the end of his life. Trying one more time to lead him to Christ had priority over everything else.

My father is not an atheist, but he isn’t a Christian either – despite being christened and confirmed in a traditional church. He bases his hope of acceptance by God on his baptism and on leading a ‘good’ life because that is what he had been taught.  If you were to ask him if he’s a Christian, he would certainly say, “Yes.” But in reality, he has no awareness of his own sin and need of salvation. And despite an occasional church attendance and reciting the creed of faith with everyone else in the pews, he neither understands who God really is, nor does he know Jesus as his Saviour. And therefore he has no pardon for sin – another victory won by Satan through planting strategic lies. What better way of leading many people to hell than by propagating false teachings among the leaders of organised religion?

Can you understand how angry I feel towards churches that make false promises? Being baptised as a baby and leading a ‘good’ life means nothing without personal faith. Every Sunday people’s consciences are soothed when they make a routine confession of sin and think they are forgiven by this ritual prayer. They even confess a faith that they don’t possess. It’s a kind of universal salvation thing. And sadly, most of their teachers never tell them that they will spend eternity in hell if they don’t personally turn to Christ in repentance and faith. Heartrendingly, my father is one of the many who are blinded by Satan in this way. 


So far my trip has not (yet) yielded its desired fruit. But it has made me acutely aware once again of Satan’s moves to hinder God’s plan of salvation and has inspired me to speak out wherever I can. So here I am, speaking out... Read Renald Shower’s book – it may change your perspective on spiritual warfare, and in so doing it may influence your writing.

For those who are interested, this book is available freight-free from
http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/search?searchTerm=what+on+earth+is+god+doing&search=search









And if you are interested in how Satan works in the life of believers, watch "The Wiles of the Devil" video on Vimeo   http://vimeo.com/26658500


With love from one of God’s soldiers,
Margaret

Margaret is a Christian Counsellor, Educator, Author and Speaker. 
Visit her website for free resources and an evangelistic 'Truth Matters' page.
http://drlepke.com.au


12 comments:

  1. Hi Margaret,
    Thanks for sharing on this important topic. Yes, Satan is unfortunately very active in our world - more than we often guess. I studied the book of Revelations in my QT recently and chapter 12 really spoke to me. I realised afresh the enormity of Satan's work in the world. And what we are up against, as he tries to thwart God's plans for us.

    I am very sorry about your Dad. I think you can rest assured that as you cry out to God on his behalf - God will hear your prayer. Perhaps in his last days - he will turn to Him - it is encouraging that he has experienced something of God during his life and I pray he will come into a relationship with Him before long. May your hearts desire be answered.
    Blessings,
    Anusha

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  2. Thank you so much for your concern, Anusha. I really appreciate it!

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  3. Hi margaret,
    thanks for your post, will be praying for your father.

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  4. This was a thought provoking post, Margaret. Thanks for that. The book you read sounded really interesting too. So often we only guess what is going on unseen around us. The evil one uses many and various tricks to keep us from intimacy with Christ.
    May your father see through the lies to the truth of God's love even as you are with him at this time.

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  5. Hi Margaret,
    I'll definitely make a note of that book and look it up. I can currently relate to your concern about your dad too, as mine has recently turned 80, is getting very frail, was hurt badly years before I was born in a particular denomination and now shares similar thoughts to your father.

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  6. Jennifer & Penny,
    Thank you for your comments and concern for my dad. Extra prayer is so welcome. In the past I have often felt like giving up praying for him, but then that would be giving the devil an advantage, so I'll keep pressing on.

    Paula,
    My heart goes out to you! During my years of counseling I have come across other people in your dad's situation - far too many. We will just have to keep petitioning our wonderful God for whom nothing is impossible.

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  7. How sad about those poor folk who have been really set back and have turned from the Lord, or else think they are "good enough". This post is also very writing-related Margaret, as I'm always aware I must not give my writing pride of place in my life which is a big temptation. I watched the vimeo you produced and it reminded me that between God and Satan there's a constant battle that we sometimes are not even aware of. Thank the Lord we are on the winning side!

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  8. Hi Margaret. Great challenging post. In many ways my book is about spiritual warfare. I also wrote a blog on the topic last week, so maybe God is trying to wake us up. As I said in my blog, some people tell me they don't like fighting, so they don't fight the enemy. That leaves them defeated because whether we like it or not, we are in a war. But the Good news is that we have victory - but we have to grasp it. I claim revelation for your Dad, and yours too Paula. I stand against the enemies lies and deception that is masking their minds and hearts. Blessings. Jo

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  9. This is one of those big questions in life. My family also had church background as a community, social activity. Now I look at them in their 70's and wonder if any of the teaching has stayed with them.

    That generation are not as open about discussing spirituality.

    As to whether the devil is causing them to view themselves as 'good' and not needing to 'step over the line of salvation'-that is a huge theological question. There is a spiritual battle and all we can do is pray that God's Holy Spirit will speak to the person. I pray for my family in this way and ask God to send people their way or to speak to them in dreams or however He chooses so that they may be soft towards Him.

    The battle is won in Christ. He reigns and rules, despite apparent evidence to the contrary. Greater is He that is in you.. Therefore, I keep praying and believing that any forces fighting against me and my family are weaker than those outside of Christ. Those that call upon the Lord will be saved, even if it is in their last breath. You never know what happens and will not know until heaven. That is how I deal with this issue.

    Thank you for bringing the topic up and for sharing the book too. It's an interesting question in theory but vital when considering your family and friends. God's blessings over your family.

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  10. Rita,
    I know, pride is like a big ogre. It stands in the way of salvation, and even afterwards it keeps rearing its ugly head. Thanks for being a constant encourager!

    Jo,
    I wish I had the time to read everything everyone else is writing. How good would that be! I am glad about the thrust of your book; it has intrigued me enough to be on my (unfortunately long) shortlist:)

    Elaine,
    I am sad to hear about your parents being in a similar situation.
    I know what you mean about theological issue. While the Bible does say that Satan blinds the minds of many people, other passages put the responsibility fairly and squarely on each individual person. As Paul said to the Athenians in Acts 17:30, "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but NOW HE COMMANDS ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE to repent." No excuses.
    I know it was pride that kept me from submitting to God for a very long time, and I know it is pride in my dad as well.
    What I had meant to convey in my post was the larger picture. Satan tends to work from the top down. If he can get to the leaders, the falsehoods will filter down because most people in the pews believe what they are told (and so they should in a perfect church:)
    Looks like this post has stirred some emotions. Thanks for your comments!

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  11. Thanks for the heads up about that book, Margaret. Very sad when family and loved ones cannot see the truth or have been blinded to it by wrong ideas. Prayers for your father.

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