Last week, we talked about the place emotions have in the lives of believers.
We were made in God’s image as emotional beings.
Emotions were to enhance and deepen our relationships.
Yet, Christians who happen to be single, we are also called to walk by faith and obedience, not emotions.
Today, let’s review some of the ways the enemy of our souls uses emotions against us.
- Decisions: The devil likes to make us think that we must decide something right now. That we must keep this person in our lives at all costs even if they are toxic to our souls. Or that we must worry and fuss about our children or if we’re ever getting married. Our emotions feel so real that they warp our view of reality and pressure us to make poor decisions.
- Energize: Demons feed off your negative emotions. They also energize your emotions to get them out of control. Pride oozes into mocking, powermongering, and abuse. Sadness melts into depression. Anger explodes into rage. Demons love your swear words and get empowered from them.
- Anything outside your control, eg. medical conditions, others’ actions and reactions, or neighborhood environment, can be used by these nefarious entities to redirect you to emotional instability.
- Distractions: Anything can distract you from facing the real issues in your heart. Be warned that any distraction can also become an idol as you increase your focus on them. The enemy will make it convenient for your distractions to wrap their emotional little hooks around your heart and keep you down.
- Lies: One of their most effective tools. Remember, the devil only comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) and that he can only lie (John 8:44).
- Imprints: Demons can imprint negative emotions over lies to seal them into your soul and exponentially empower their disastrous effect. Those demons will get you worked up, lie to you, and bam! You’re suckered in and stuck with a lie you can’t shake.
- Demons can also imprint negative emotions over memories. They’ll get you to remember bad things (or “good times” with “bad people”) that have happened to you and get your emotions going. Each time you do that, you will further ingrain the ruts in your brain’s memory banks and make them harder to erase.
- Impatience: when you start believing you are entitled to have or be something right now, the enemy starts planting thoughts in your head. They can make you forget about God and start you fixating on the object of your desires instead.
- Weariness: The enemy loves to wear us down when we are tired, hungry, hangry, sleepy, whatever. Poor decisions often result from convenience.
- Technology: All our little electronic devices are handy weapons the enemy uses to distract and destroy us as any and every possible question in the universe that we could ever want to know about is available at our finger tips. We are also emotionally dependent on our devices now for entertainment differently than when we were using normal outlets like radio, television, and movies. Our devices privatize our research and make us vulnerable to insidious traps of the soul like pornography and old romantic flames. The enemy will make sure of that if we let him.
- Boredom: There is no truer statement than, “idleness is the devil’s workshop.” When your emotions aren’t attached to anything at the moment, demons will work to press you the wrong direction.
- Ignorance: One of the devil’s biggest lies is to make you believe that he doesn’t exist. If you know better, he’ll try to make you believe that he is more powerful than God. Or to make your eyes skip over any scripture exposing what he is like.
The antidote to most of these emotional time bombs include the following steps:
- Step back and take a time out. You most likely don’t need to decide right this second.
- Think through the decisions and steps that got you to this point.
- Think through the consequences of making this decision.
- Remember that Jesus came to utterly obliterate the works of the devil down to the finest particle (1 John 3:8).
- Pray honestly and earnestly, in real time, with your eyes open and your lips shut.
- Consult with godly and wise friends, family members, and other Christians you respect about how to deal with your situation(s). Ask them to pray for you and check in with you from time to time about how you are handling your challenges.
- Read up what God’s Word and godly, balanced books have to say about our enemy. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, so read up!
- Pray for strength, wisdom, and courage to make a godly decision and stick with it.
Please come back next Sunday for a practical but encouraging word from Christian single Dr. Jeff Hagan, Founder & President of True Grace Ministries & Theological Institute.
RECOMMENDED READING (Books I actually own and have read that I feel safe recommending):
Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices.
The Pilgrim’s Progress. (A fictional allegory but vividly illustrative of the Christian’s walk in this world.)
The Way of the Warrior series.
Taking Back Our Cities. (Became a standard for facing spiritual warfare in both local and overseas missionary work when it was written.)
The Christian in Complete Armour.
Lewis, C. S.
The Screwtape Letters. (Fictional, but highly entertaining and insightful about the strategies of the enemy.)
This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness (Both are fictional but were ground-breaking introductions to the world of spiritual warfare when they were written.)
The Strategy of Satan and How to Defeat Him.
Though I have not read the books on spiritual warfare by these authors, I think I could recommend their works on this subject: Kay Arthur, Dr. Tony Evans, Charles Finney, Chip Ingram, Watchman Nee, F. B. Meyer, Ray C. Stedman, John Wesley, George Whitefield, and any missionary’s autobiography.