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“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” Romans 11:3 (NLT)

Ever noticed how a campfire dies out more quickly if you spread the coals out? Once the coals are spread out the lack of heat generated drops the fire dies out much sooner than if you’d left the coals together.

The enemy knows that your spiritual, emotional and even physical well-being is much like the coals in a campfire. He knows that there is strength in numbers and that believers banded together in unity and love are disastrous to his cause. The best way for him to defeat you is for him to break down your endurance.

The lie he wants you to believe in the battle for your endurance is that you are all alone in your struggle. He wants you to believe no one else in your church struggles with pornography and if they knew about your struggle they’d surely ostracize you from the group and make you feel second rate.

He wants you to believe you are the only one that struggles with debt and he’ll remind you of the many sermons you’ve heard about tithing and not using credit cards and not borrowing from the future to acquire the toys of the present.

He’ll tell you that if you were responsible and gifted you’d be hosting the small group Bible Study at your home or at least going to one.

He’ll tell you the addictions, the thoughts and the feeling of being overwhelmed all the time is YOUR problem and if you were living by the Spirit you wouldn’t be going through this.

Once again, the problem with all of this is that in each statement he tells you there is a small element of truth. Remember, he is a master at telling you just enough to keep you down, distracted and discouraged.

His tactics aren’t new. He’s been discouraging God’s people since the beginning of time. The first murder was the result of Cain being discouraged because his offerings weren’t acceptable to God. He felt alone and left out. He became enraged and killed his brother. From that point on the story remains the same. Satan tells us we don’t measure up.

Even the great prophet Elijah experienced it and fell victim to the lie for a short time. He’d just seen God work mightily as a result of Elijah’s prayers. He’d just been empowered by God’s Spirit to kill over 400 false prophets. His prayers brought rain to a parched land. But when Jezebel threatened to kill him Satan whispered in his ear, “You are all alone. There is no one who will come by your side. You are doomed.”

Satan’s attacks seem to come at us at times when God’s been the most real to us. Pastors will tell you that the hours and days after a great outpouring of God’s Spirit, Satan will attack with a vengeance. We see it in our homes as well. When God works, Satan works overtime!

It’s what we do with his lie that makes all the difference in the world. If we believe we are all alone in our struggles we withdraw from others. We feel guilty when we can’t measure up to the standards Satan tells us we need to measure up to.   We compare ourselves to others and realize we can never be like them. The more negative the thoughts become the more we withdraw and the more we begin to believe we are total losers in the game of life.

The Truth Statement God wants you to remember is that “The struggles you endure today are not a sign you are alone but God’s call on your life to trust him more.” Just as Elijah discovered that there were many who were waiting to come alongside him, there are many who will come alongside you in your struggle.

Elijah’s ability to endure came after he took some time for physical rest and then found others who would support him. Our trust in God and ability to endure comes as we build around us people we can trust. Like-minded people who will pray with us, dig into God’s word with us and understand our short-comings without judgment. Endurance grows as trust in God increases.

PRAYER: Father during the storms of life I often feel very alone. What I see as my weakness keeps me from experiencing your strength. Empower me by your Spirit to keep from listening to Satan’s lies so I can hear your voice through those you bring into my life to encourage me. Amen.

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October 2011
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