“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
Do you ever get discouraged? I think we can safely say that from time to time we all get discouraged. Whether it be in our spiritual walks, in our jobs, or in our families, we all face discouragement. It is important for us to understand where this comes from and what we can do about it.
The devil knows if He can discourage us, he can beat us. I have said before that the devil has no power in himself. He knows that his fate is already sealed, and he wants nothing more than to see us fail. The only way he can do that is to use our own weaknesses against us. If he can cause us to doubt, he will. If he can cause us to worry, he will. If he can cause us to get discouraged, then he will. Satan is no fool. He knows exactly where to attack you and me. He knows our weaknesses and he will try to use them to defeat us.
It is important for us to recognize when the devil is attacking us. If we can understand how the devil works, then we can be better equipped to fight him. From time to time my dad preaches about two things we as Christians can do to resist these lies of the devil. We can nail down stakes and set up altars.
My dad says that when mountain climbers are climbing they will place stakes along their path so they can see how far they have come. As Christians we must do the same thing. The reason for this is so that when the devil attacks, we can have something to hold onto, something to look back on to see how far God has brought us.
When we are first saved, we nail down our first stake, a moment that we can look back on and know in our hearts that Jesus touched us that day. If the devil comes to us and tries to cause us to doubt our salvation, we can go back to that day, and know that it is the devil trying to get us to doubt. As we grow as a Christian, we can nail down different stakes. When the devil tries to get us to doubt, we can go back to that stake and let it be a reminder of how far we have come.
As a blogger, I can remember the day that I felt God speak to my heart and tell me this is what He wanted me to do. Each time the devil tries to discourage me, each time he tells me I am not making a difference, each time He tells me that I am failing, I go back to that day. I remember that moment when I felt God speak to my heart, and I am able to resist that lie that the devil is trying to get me to believe.
Not only do we nail down stakes as reminders, but we also set up altars to thank God for what He has blessed us with and brought us through. Many times in the Bible people built up altars as a reminder of what God had done for them and also as a way to say thank you for God’s blessings. I am not saying that we have to set up physical altars. I mean we need to remember to be thankful to God for all that He has blessed us with and how far He has brought us.
One way the devil will try to discourage you is by reminding you of all your trouble. He will try to make you believe that your life is so hard and that you have no hope. I believe the fastest way to put the devil on the run is to begin to count your blessings.
You see, the devil wants to deceive us, he will paint a picture that is not real and try to sell it to us. We must recognize when the devil is at work and be equipped to resist him. I believe the best way to do that is to nail down your stakes and set up your altars. How can the devil stick around when we are remembering where God has brought us from and praising Him for it? I do not believe he can.
I do not know what the devil uses to try to defeat you. I do not know the lies he tries to tell you. I can tell you that God knows and He understands. God has equipped you with what you need to resist those lies. Nail down your stakes. Remember when God saved you from your sins. Remember each time God helped you to grow in your Christian walk. If God has called you to do a job, hang onto that moment when you knew it was a calling from God. Finally, remember to set up your altars. Remember to thank God for all the things which he has done in your life.
The devil can not fill your mind with all of his lies when you praising God in your heart and letting Him fill you will his presence. I pray today, if you have not done these two things, that you will take some time and nail down your stakes, and then set up your altars. God has been so good to us. Let us give Him all the honor and all the glory today. In doing so, the devil will flee.