Stop Accusing Yourself

Your advancement in life largely depends on how you treat yourself. Often, we care more about how others treat us. We want their love, their respect, and their kindness. Yet, how you treat yourself is far more important than how others treat you.

If you treat yourself right, you’ll have enough self-esteem to stand up against bullies and those who cannot see the good in you.

Today, I want to talk to you about “Stop Accusing Yourself.” In the Bible, the devil is described as the accuser who, day and night, accuses people before God (Revelation 12:10). When they read this text, most people assume it’s referring to a creature somewhere called the devil who goes about accusing people.

But I’d like to point out that the only accuser there is, is you. People don’t need a separate devil to accuse them, because they already do a good enough job of accusing themselves. In a court case, if the defendant accuses himself of wrongdoing, the prosecutor’s job is made easy.

No accusation can affect you unless you endorse or affirm it. If an accusation works against you, it means you’ve agreed with it.

And remember, if you accuse yourself of anything, you must suffer the consequences thereof. This is a universal, spiritual law. Jesus stated the law thus, “by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). You cannot escape this law, so watch what you say about yourself.

There are two things you’ll do well to remember.

First, to accuse yourself is to accuse God. The reason is simple. You and God are inseparable. Therefore, always affirm yourself in the most positive terms. Speak only what’s true of your Higher-Self, because your Higher-Self is your truth.

Second, each time you accuse yourself, either by your words or thoughts, you’re acting as your own devil. Don’t go through life being your own enemy. There are enough people who already accuse you of this and that. The last thing you need is to side with the prosecutor in your own case.

No matter what you’ve done or failed to do, never accuse, or condemn yourself. The most potent form of accusation is self-accusation. It is the fastest route to self-sabotage. Self-accusation will fuel the very fire you’re hoping to quench. It will dampen your spirit, inflict guilt, and keep you from accessing higher levels of personal growth.

Moreover, it’s important that you don’t identify yourself with the wrong you’ve done. Identify yourself, instead, with the Creator’s image which you are. That’s the only way to start heading in the right direction.

If you realize you’ve acted in error, don’t focus on the error. What gets your attention, gets amplified. Take a moment and still yourself. Turn your attention to your Higher-Self.

Truly see this Perfect Self, created in God’s image and likeness. Just look. Don’t think. Don’t analyze, and don’t judge. Just observe and see the Pure, Beautiful, Spotless, Perfect Soul you are. Then, draw strength to do better next time.

Say no more, “I AM guilty,” “I feel so bad,” “I AM such a terrible person,” “I deserve to be punished,” “I AM not worthy,” “I hate myself,” “I AM so silly,” “I AM the worst,” “I AM so dumb.”   

No matter what you’ve done, you deserve unconditional love, not self-hate. Self-hate will rob you of the energy you need to be better. Love alone can expand and uplift you. Therefore, give yourself more love, more acceptance.

Love & Light

Stephen

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Why Satan Stalks People and How You Can Stay Safe (Pt 2)

Daily Devotion | Day 310

“And the LORD said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it’” (Job 1:7, NKJV).

Yesterday, we talked about satan’s stalking endeavors and why he does what he does. We will conclude the message today by looking at how you can stay safe and not become the devil’s prey. To do this, we will briefly examine examples from the lives of Job and Peter. Today’s opening Scripture confirms what we read yesterday from 1 Peter 5:8. Satan, by his own admission, goes to and fro on the earth, and walks back and forth on it. Interestingly, the author of the Book of Job did not tell us why satan roams the earth. But Peter did. Satan’s purpose for roaming the earth is to find someone to devour.

In the Book of Job we learn that satan attacked Job twice (Job 1:6-22; 2:1-10). The enemy had stalked and scouted him. As a result, he knew details about Job’s life (Job 1:8-10). Unfortunately for him, he could not enslave Job as he had other people. Desperate and frustrated, he sought God’s permission to launch an assault on Job in hopes of getting him to abandon his faith in God. But he failed. Job maintained his integrity and emerged victorious. He proved to be a man of faith, faithful to God in happy times and in difficult times. The lesson here is the following:

 You can’t stop satan from roaming around or from looking into your affairs. But you can stop him from defeating you. And you do this through a life of faith (faithfulness). Faith repels the devil. This is what Peter meant when he said, “Resist him [satan]steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9; see also James 4:7 and Ephesians 6:16). John confirms this when he writes, “And this is the victory which has overcome the world – our faith” (1 John 5:4). Victory over the world is tantamount to victory over satan. To overcome the devil, you need to adopt a posture of resistance. This posture is the posture of faith.

The next example is from the life of Peter. This man knows a thing or two about being targeted by satan. Satan knew how close Peter was to Jesus. More importantly, he knew that Jesus had chosen Peter for a position of influence in His Church (Matthew 16:16-19). Finding a vulnerability in Peter, he prompted him to dissuade Jesus from going to Calvary (Matthew 16:21-22). Jesus’ response was timely and revealing: “But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:23).

Satan was not done with Peter, yet. He had a more sinister plan in store for him. But for the intervention of Jesus, he would have thoroughly shattered Peter’s faith. Unfortunately for Peter, he had no clue about what was happening behind the scenes. Thankfully, the Lord revealed it to him and cautioned him, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).

The lesson here is this:

Prayer destroys the devil’s plans against us. At the same time, it gives us strength to stand and endure. In this instance, it was Jesus’ prayer of intercession which saved Peter. This means your prayer can save someone from satan’s evil schemes. If this is true (and it is), then it is equally true that your prayer can save your own life, too. I pray that one of these days, God would open your eyes to see the positive influence your prayer has on others and on you.

To sum up: Combine faith and prayer to keep satan from messing up your life or the lives of those you love. You have the advantage. Use it, and stay safe.

For further studyEphesians 6:10-20 and Psalm 121:1-8

Why Satan Stalks People and How You Can Stay Safe (Pt 1)

Daily Devotion | Day 309

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith . . .” (1 Peter 5:8-9, NKJV).

Satan is a stalker. Remember that. When he takes interest in you, it’s not because he loves you, but because he wants your downfall.  He is obsessed with chaos, death and destruction. Indeed, he is evil personified. Our purpose in the following message is to discover why the devil stalks people and how we can stop him from launching a successful attack against us. The opening passage from 1 Peter gives us important clues. We will start from there and work our way into other related Scripture passages.

The current message is broken into two parts. In the first part, we will discuss satan’s stalking activities based on what Peter tells us in today’s opening passage. This will set the stage for us to discuss the second part (God willing, tomorrow) which will focus on specific instances in the Bible of people satan stalked and how they overcame.

Peter is writing to Christians. This fact is important, because it indicates that being a Christian doesn’t automatically make you immune to satan’s malicious activities. In the passage, Peter supplies four key facts about spiritual warfare. First, he tells us that we do have an enemy. Second, he tells us who the enemy is (the devil). Third, he tells us what the enemy does: He “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Fourth, he tells us how we can overcome: “Be sober, be vigilant;” “resist him.” Let’s keep these points in mind. Now let’s talk more about the third point: what satan does.

The devil is a restless creature. Evil creates a state of restlessness. As a result, those who entertain, plot or perpetrate evil are restless people. As the Book of Proverbs says, “For they [evil people] cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble” (4:16, ESV). The Bible rightly tells us that the devil walks around like a roaring lion. Notice that his stalking activity is ongoing, which means he never rests. Furthermore, notice that he doesn’t walk around aimlessly. He has a goal, which is to find someone to devour. The fact that Peter warned Christians about this, is evidence that it is possible for a Christian to be devoured by satan.

Note this too: Peter didn’t say the devil is looking to devour a Christian’s property. No, he said the enemy is looking to devour the Christian himself. This means satan is not interested in your physical property per se. He is not after your house, your boat, your bank account or your car. If he touches any of these things, it’s just a means to get to you. But his ultimate goal is to make you his prey, end your life and drag you to hell with him. The devil is anti-life to the core. He is not just a petty thief. Jesus calls him a murderer (John 8:44). As he walks around, his desire is to find people who are spiritually vulnerable. Like a lion in search of prey, he stalks before he strikes. Satan stalks people because he wants to murder them, both spiritually and physically.

Remember: Ignorance of your enemy is ignorance of your victoryKnowledge is security.

Our Father in heaven has gone great lengths to have these things recorded in the Bible for our benefit. His aim is to expose our enemy and to help us stay safe. Therefore, stay informed. Be vigilant in prayer. And above all, keep your fire burning. Amen.

Blessing: May Jesus expose your enemies and deliver you from every evil attack. Amen.

For further studyPsalm 124 and Psalm 91

Four Things You Will Not Fear

Daily Devotion | Day 285

“You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday” (Psalm 91:5-6, ESV).

Fear interferes with faith. Where there’s faith, there’s no fear. And where there’s fear, there’s no faith. It is faith that fills the heart with courage, confidence and trust. The root of fear is insecurity. What God is saying in today’s Scripture passage is, the safest place for you to be is under His shelter. Dwelling under the shelter of the Almighty is a choice you make. Blessed are you when the Lord spreads His feathers over you. Awareness of His divine protection precludes fear.

Let’s talk about some important details in Psalm 91:5-6. The Lord has many blessings for those who dwell in His presence. One such blessing is fearlessness in the face of danger and adversity. The Lord identifies four key things you will not fear. Let’s look at each of them:

1. You will not fear the terror of the night. This may be news for some of you, but night time is a favorite time for the enemy to strike terror. There are few reasons for this. One is that during night hours people tend to have their guard down. As Paul stated, “For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night” (1 Thessalonians 5:7). Of course, there are exceptions to this, but the norm is correctly stated by Paul. “Night,” as used in this context, is both metaphorical and literal. Because people generally are less aware of themselves at night, when terror strikes, they’re mostly unprepared. Therefore, they’re more prone to be taken unawares, resulting in panic and terror.

 But God says, no matter the terror that strikes by night, you will not fear. He didn’t say there will be no terror. He says you will not fear. This is an important clarification. Our real problem is not that we have a problem. The real problem we have is our fear of the problem. If you’re afraid of something, you’re unconsciously acknowledging that the thing you fear has power over you. The reverse is equally true. When you refuse to be frightened, you’re stating that you have superior advantage over the thing in question. And, this is what God says will happen because you dwell under His shelter.

If you have a pattern of being afraid, you need to examine the nature of your relationship with God.

2. You will not fear the arrow that flies by day. Spiritual warfare is a 24/7 operation. The adversary is defeated, but he wants to take down with him as many as he can. The “arrow” the Bible is talking about is a spiritual weapon of the enemy. An arrow needs a target. The enemy doesn’t discriminate. Whoever is vulnerable and is in range, he will fire. God is revealing to us that there is an arrow of the enemy which flies by day. This means you need to be aware of yourself even during the day, because powers of darkness don’t limit their activity to the night.

Arrows are flying all the time in the spiritual realm. Only God knows the evil those arrows can inflict. You need to stay safe. God’s promise is, because you abide in His presence, you will not fear the arrow that flies. The arrow cannot breach the wall of protection God has set around you. Take a deep breath. You’re safe in the Father’s presence.

3. You will not fear the pestilence that stalks in darkness. Satan is a stalker. To strike, he first must follow the target and gather as much information as possible. Here again, God is revealing to us that there is a pestilence that walks in darkness. It doesn’t walk aimlessly. It is a malevolent force walking with a purpose, seeking to inflict maximum harm on as many victims as possible. But, you will not fear the pestilence, for you dwell in the secret place of the Almighty. When pestilence strikes, many people become frightened. You will not be one of them. What frightens others will not frighten you.                                                                                                                  

4. You will not fear the destruction that wastes at noonday. By now you have noticed that there seems to be a set time of the day when nefarious attacks are launched. God is revealing to us that powers of darkness pick certain times of the day for their activity. We will do well to keep this in mind. At noon, there is a plan to lay waste human life and cause widespread destruction. When you hear things happening don’t be quick to assume they’re ‘normal.’ Everything that happens, someone or something is behind it. Things don’t just happen. The Lord says, you will not fear the noonday destruction.

Seek shelter under the shadow of the Most High. And remain there. You are secure when you are where God wants you to be and doing what God wants you to do. Be not afraid.

BlessingMay the Lord open your eyes to see that He is an encircling wall of fire around you, for your protection. Amen.

For further studyPsalm 121 

You Make A Difference When Your Light Shines

Daily Devotion | Day 279

“He answered and said to them, ‘He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one” (Matthew 13:37-38, NKJV).

Jesus is a sower of good seed. He hasn’t stopped sowing good seed. Today’s passage is taken from one of Jesus’ famous parables. The world is the field within which He sows, because the world is His. From the beginning of time, Jesus’ plan has been to fill this world with His goodness and light. He does that by planting good people in the world.

The good people are righteous people. Jesus calls them the “sons of the kingdom.” That is, they are born of God and made light of the world. They live by the norms of the kingdom of God. They are led by the Spirit of God (see Romans 8:14). As they increase on the earth, they fill it with the light and glory of God.

At your new birth, God gave you fellowship in the inheritance of the saints in light, delivered you from the power of darkness and transferred you into the kingdom of His Son, Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:12-13). At that time, you became a child of the kingdom. And, you will remain a child of the kingdom as long as you walk in the light of God, i.e. as long as you walk righteously with God. The Bible says, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness [i.e. walk in sin], we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:5-6).

 How do you know the children of the kingdom? They practice the truth. What does it mean to practice the truth? It means to live a righteous life. When you do that, the Bible says you’re walking in the light, as you should.

While Jesus plants good/righteous people in the world, the devil opposes Him by planting evil people among the good. Jesus calls these people the “sons of the wicked one.” The word of God says, “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother” (1 John 2:10).

Jesus says the children of the wicked one will be around until harvest time, i.e. until the end of the world. Then judgment will come upon them. But “the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43).

As a Christian, you have the honor of being a child of light. You may not realize this, but as you walk in holiness and practice righteousness, you’re contributing to the light in this world. Each time you sin, you’re contributing to darkness. You are a child of light. Choose light. Live in the light, and make a difference in this world.

BlessingMay your light shine brightly and attract more people to the Lord. Amen.

For further studyMatthew 13:1-52 and 1 John 3:1-24