A Special Prayer Request

Dear friends,

 

In the two years I’ve had this blog, I have never done this before, but today I am asking for your prayer. With a subject like spiritual warfare being the topic of focus for me, it is no surprise that the year has been wrought with more obstacles than I care to recall. In spite of that, choosing God’s word—the truth—has allowed me to continue to experience a spiritual freedom amid the difficulties.

 

Over the past two months, though, my health has deteriorated significantly, to the point where even doing basic things like grocery shopping is an overwhelming task. It’s been frustrating, to say the least, because I pay careful attention to my diet and physical activity. In fact, despite feeling so ill, I have continued to work out nearly every day and stay disciplined with my diet.

 

I had not been to a doctor in over a year, but after the fatigue, sickness, and chest pains increased, I relented and made the trip to see my primary care physician. While I haven’t been given all the details yet (mainly the “why”), I found out that I have a major Vitamin D deficiency. I had no idea that something so “simple” could cause so many problems! But because I have a heart arrhythmia as well as arthritis, the lack of vitamin D was making those issues worse, causing the constant chest pain (and at the age of 30, feeling like you’re having a heart attack every day is pretty scary) and bone pain/muscle fatigue. Come to find out, a Vitamin D deficiency can exasperate pre-existing conditions, and even cause heart failure (eek!). Anyways, I am now on treatment for the next several months (massive doses of Vitamin D that has its own icky side effects) but the process is long. It could take two months to a year to get back to “normal”.

 

My request is simply this: please pray that God touch my mind with His healing hand, because throughout all of this my concentration and productivity have been completely sapped. As a freelance writer, I only make money when I am writing, and I haven’t been able to write anything for publication in over six weeks. I have barely managed to keep up with this blog, and the material that I need to prepare for my life groups. I know God’s approval of me doesn’t depend on my performance (thank GOD!) but it’s hard not to feel discouraged (I know, I’ve gone back to my Deadly D’s list many times over the past weeks!) because of the lack of progress I’ve made with the projects I’ve been working on. Normally, I don’t like to bring attention to my personal physical issues, but right now I need you and your prayers more than ever. I’ll be a guest on a radio show later this month, and I really need to be mentally alert and attentive to the questions, so I can wisely give an answer for the reason of the hope and new life I’ve been given through Christ.

 

“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, and persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”~2 Corinthians 12:10

 

Thank you so much for your faithful support of this blog and for being committed to the truth of God’s word.

 

In Christ,

Rebecca Aarup

 

PS-

A special thanks to my friends Cheryl Lutz, Nancy Falcheck, and Melissa Fastrup, who have faithfully lifted me up in prayer and encouraged me through all of this. Your support and friendship is priceless and I am especially grateful that you never passed off my problems as “no big deal” but recognized the difficulty and acknowledged the struggle I’ve faced. Few things are more discouraging than, in the face of your pain, being told “it could always be worse!” None of you have ever treated me that way, and I thank you for that!

 

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Rebuking the Devil’s Deadly D’s (Part 2)

Rebuking the Devil’s Deadly D’s (Part 2)

Rebuking the Devil

Continuing in our review of the sixteen deadly d’s of the Devil, today we’ll be looking at #4 and #5. (For a review of the first three, click HERE.)

 

4. Doubt

Like disappointment, doubt is another nagging negativity common to most Christians. From Adam and Eve to Moses, Gideon, King David, John the Baptist, and just about every other Bible “hero”, doubt has been a part of each of their stories, as well as yours and mine. To doubt is to question God’s word, “Did God really mean that?” It doesn’t take much research to discover how much doubt has crept into the church. Pastors and Ministers are reading God’s word and doubting what it says.

 

•“Did God really say homosexuality was a sin?”

•“Did God really say unbelievers will go to hell?”

•“Did God really say I need to be separated from the world?”

 

The Bride of Christ is being suffocated with compromise. Everywhere we turn there are more Christians living in the lukewarm middle, under the guise of, “Everyone has a right to choose, I don’t want to judge anyone.” Such compromise of God’s word is a direct lie from Satan—one many believers fall for.

Just yesterday a “Christian” friend posted on her Facebook page a message of tolerance and acceptance for alternative lifestyles because in her words, “Everyone has a right to love and be loved, even if I don’t agree with their choice of a mate.” Do you see how easy that doubt creeps in? This is only one example of many I see on a daily basis, and I’m sure you have your own. Friends, don’t fall for it! Recognize where doubt in God’s word got its origin: “Hath God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Genesis 3:1, KJV)” Doubt is one of Satan’s oldest and most used tricks. Don’t let it get a foothold in your life.

 

“To doubt is to forget 1 Timothy 2:8, ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’”¹

 

The only way to prevent such doubt is to take God at His word—to believe that He meant what He said instead of trying to find loopholes around His commands. He didn’t give us “rules” to stifle our creative process as human beings; instead, in His loving care, He laid down “the law” to protect us from harm. If we notice a spirit of doubt we must renounce it at once—out loud! “Lord, I confess I have doubted your word in order to sooth my conscience. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of doubt as a lie from Satan. I now choose to read your word and take it at face value. I will no longer compromise with your commands in order to gratify my longing to be liked and accepted by others.”

 

5. Disbelief

Though we’re usually quick to say how much we trust God and believe His word, our actions always give us away. When we worry about our circumstances, fear, or get anxious, we demonstrate with those attitudes a spirit of unbelief in God’s character and promises. In the same way that disappointment gives way to discouragement and despair, when doubt is left to fester, it gives way to disbelief.

“To disbelieve is to forget Hebrews 3:12, ‘Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.’”¹

If we notice a spirit contrary to God’s word and will reigning in our hearts (fear, anxiety, worry…etc.) we need to recognize the root source of such attitudes as disbelief. Though it’s not easy to admit we don’t believe God’s word, the only way to rest in His perfect peace is to confess when we have failed to trust Him. In order to eradicate a stronghold of unbelief, we need to pray out loud: “Lord, I confess the unbelief that has been displayed through my attitudes of ______________ (worry, fretting, anxiety…etc.). In the name of Jesus I renounce the spirit of disbelief and choose to replace it with the truth of your word. I choose to believe what you have said about me and my circumstances and act accordingly. Thank you for freeing my heart and giving me peace.”

 

How about you? Have you seen any of these deadly d’s take root in your life or the life of another believer? What was the end result?

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1- Dr. H.L. Willmington, Willmington’s Guide to the Bible, ©1981, 1984 by H.L. Willmington–all rights reserved.

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profilepic3Rebecca Aarup is a redeemed prodigal, set free from over a decade of mental illness, eating disorders, addiction, and more. She now enjoys sharing her story of freedom and transformation with a lost and hurting world, as well as teaching about spiritual warfare and the importance of understanding our identity in Christ.

Rebecca is also an author and freelance writer, having written devotionals and teaching articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and daughter, Samantha.  You can read more from Rebecca by following her on twitter and facebook.

Rebuking the Devil’s Deadly D’s (Part 1)

Rebuking the Devil’s Deadly D’s

Rebuking the Devil

 

In order to defeat the enemy we must first know our enemy. In our last post we studied the character of Satan. Knowing his character will help us understand what kind of thoughts originate from him (or his demons) compared with our own fleshly thoughts and desires.

Today we will talk about the various weapons of warfare Satan uses to attack believers. I’ll be using some references from the course I just finished at Liberty: The Doctrine of Satan. In it, my instructor lists the sixteen deadly “D’s” and I’ll be sharing his insights with you over the next several posts. I have no doubt you’ll recognize some of them in your life.

The Deadly D’s of the Devil

 

1.      Disappointment

 

What Christian (or human being) hasn’t experienced disappointment? Let’s face it; we all have expectations that are not met. We all have wants and desires that never come to fruition in our lives. Satan loves to capitalize on the demoralizing feelings of disappointment in the believer’s life. If we’re not standing guard with our weapons of war (the Armor of God—see Ephesians 6:10-18) we will be ill equipped to fight through disappointment successfully.

“To be disappointed is to forget Romans 8:28, ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’

Disappointment is God’s appointment.”¹ <<<<(Click to Tweet!)

When the fiery arrow of disappointment is aimed at our heart, we need to take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and deflect the attack with the truth. We need to pray out loud (this is VERY important because the devil cannot read our minds, he can only place thoughts there), “Lord, I am disappointed, but I know that this disappointment is merely Your divine appointment in my life, and You are working these circumstances out for my greatest good. I choose to reject the lie that I can only be happy when I am getting my way and believe Your word that you care for me and have provided all I need to be complete.”

2.      Discouragement

 

When disappointment is left unchecked, it deteriorates into discouragement. It’s important to note that any form of discouragement has its origins in the devil. Discouragement cannot come from God. When we walk around with a sore countenance, griping and moaning about our circumstances, we give over a place of our hearts to discouragement (a spiritual stronghold for Satan to gain ground in our lives), which completely contradicts our New Life in Christ. Not only are we opening the door for Satan, but we fail to display the joy and peace of Christ to a world that needs His hope.

“To be discouraged is to forget 1 Samuel 30:6, ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’”¹

If we’ve allowed discouragement to take root in our lives, we must pray out loud, “Lord, I confess my attitude of discouragement to you. I now choose to repent of this sinful spirit and renounce the lie that my joy and peace depend on favorable circumstances in my life. I choose to believe that my joy, security, and peace can only be found in You, Lord. From this moment on I am choosing to focus on the comforting truth available to me through Your Word.”

3.      Despair

 

Despair is the final result of disappointment and discouragement left to fester in one’s spirit. The despairing believer has no joy, purpose, or peace. I know a lot about despair because I lived a decade of my life in that place. I tried to commit suicide and suffered with addiction, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. It is impossible to effectively serve God  or experience the fullness of His presence in such a state of mind. The despairing believer has willfully traded the truth of Jesus for the lies of the devil.

“To despair is to forget 2 Corinthians 4:8,‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.’”¹

If we’ve found ourselves in this destructive place, we need to pray out loud, “Lord, I confess that I have believed the devil’s lie that I am __________ (worthless, purposeless, unusable, etc.) and I now renounce that lie and replace it with Your truth. I know You love me, have created me for a specific purpose, and have assigned good works for me to do while I am here on this earth. You have a plan for my life, and I now embrace that plan and choose to trust Your Sovereign control over my life and circumstances.”

The best way to keep these first three deadly d’s from gaining ground in our lives is to recognize where they are coming from (Satan) and fight against it with the Word of God and prayer. It all starts with a little disappointment, so remember—Disappointment is God’s appointment. Give it to Him the moment it occurs and choose His truth over Satan’s lies.

How about you? Have you ever seen these deadly d’s take root in your life? What was the end result?

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1-      Dr. H.L. Willmington, Willmington’s Guide to the Bible, ©1981, 1984 by H.L. Willmington–all rights reserved.

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Check out these posts for more:

Is Spiritual Warfare real?

What’s the difference between the flesh and Satan?

Can Satan’s influence affect children?

**If you enjoyed this post and others, please take a second to enter your email address into the space provided on the right hand side of the computer screen (or scroll to the bottom of your screen if using a smartphone) and you will receive new posts in your email inbox. This is absolutely free and your information is never shared!**

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profilepic3Rebecca Aarup has written devotionals and Bible teaching articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. She just released a new Bible Study The Word: Six Lessons from Psalm 119 which is available as a free download on her website or in print form from Amazon. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and 5 year old, Samantha.  You can read more from Rebecca by subscribing to her blog (it’s free) and following her on twitter and facebook.

Dealing With Discouragement

**Published with Encourage 365, September 2012**

Have you ever been discouraged? For some of us we find ourselves so saturated in helping and serving others that our own encouragement tank needs refueling. But who is there to encourage us when our tank is empty?

Discouragement usually comes in two forms: circumstantial discouragement and spiritual discouragement…

Click HERE to read the rest of this article on Enocurage 365.