(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 12 of Never Give Up! by Joyce Meyer. I've chosen to selectively address the points which impacted me the most. Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different. Therefore we ask, if you feel like it please share in the comments section what you got out of the reading as well. We're sure you'll lift some one's spirit.)
I've got to hand it to him, when it comes to deceiving people, that is one thing Satan is good at doing. He knows how to get into our heads and stop us from growing as Christians. He doesn't want us getting closer and closer to God. He wants us to be further and further away from God. The easiest way for Satan to do this is through guilt. He knows if he can put that one thought in our head that makes us feel guilty, it puts a hold on us that can stop us dead in our tracks.
In Chapter 12, Your Own Worst Enemy, Joyce Meyer teaches us how we can be our own worst enemies. As human beings, we all make mistakes. We are all guilty of doing something that we are not proud of. There are three main points that I got out of this chapter that I'd like to share with you.
"Many times, the guilt we feel over our mistakes is much worse than the mistakes themselves." page 168 Joyce Meyer
"No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to live without making mistakes." page 169 Joyce Meyer
"You can enjoy life and have the strength to keep going if you learn to repent quickly, receive forgiveness quickly and quickly get back to doing what you are supposed to do." page 173 Joyce Meyer
The main thing I learned from this chapter is that a guilty conscious has no place in my life nor any other Christians life. As Joyce said, we all make mistakes. We're human. What's important is that we learn from them, repent, receive forgiveness and move on. Sounds simple, right? I really wish it was that simple. However, there is someone else in this world who likes to torment us and keep us as far away as possible from God. His name is Satan and he's got a big bag full of tricks bigger to do this. He knows what each of us feel guilty about. Then he'll whisper it in our ear just at the right moment to try to trick us. He's really good at it. But what we have to remember is that God is even bigger, better and stronger than Satan. He will help us through Satan's games. We need to know scripture by heart so that when these guilty feelings overcome us, we can swoosh them away quickly. To me, it's like when Satan tempted Jesus for 40 days. (Matthew 4:1-11. See below.) Satan tempted and tried very hard to trick Jesus. However, Jesus answered and fought each of these temptation with scriptures. That is what we need to remember today. Satan is still among us today tempting us and trying to trick us. We need the Word of God to help us through these games. How many times do you think Satan has put the guilty thoughts in our heads to keep us from growing as Christians? Too many. It's time that we realize our past mistakes are just that, in the past. God forgives us. We need to forgive ourselves as well and move on quickly to what God has planned for us.
Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV)
The Temptation of Jesus 1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"
7Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"
11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Matthew 26:28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Acts 26:18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
I thank you for every life that was brought together through this blog. Thank you for the new friendships being formed and the ones yet to be formed. Lord, I lift up each and every one of us as we continue our journey through autism with our children. I pray that you show us through Your Word how to clear our minds of any guilt that can be hindering our growth to You. Thank you for giving us Your protection through all of this.
In Your name we pray,