Detecting & defeating Satan’s lies

Let’s not be ignorant.  Satan is dead-set on destroying your marriage and killing your joy.  Jesus explains in John 10:10 that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy.  Furthermore, Jesus reveals in John 8:44 that one of Satan’s favorite schemes to destroy you entails lying to you. 

He will try to plant lies in your mind such as this:  You deserve a different husband.  You are not loveable.  You will never be happy with your husband.  You better not challenge any sinful behavior by your husband because if you do, he will leave you and you won’t be able to take care of yourself.  Your marriage is hopeless.  You will never be able to get over what your husband did.  Do any of these lies sound familiar?

Thankfully, Jesus reveals the way to stand against the enemy’s plans to destroy us and our marriages.  When he left this earth, He sent His Holy Spirit to come be with us and to guide us into all truth! John 16:13  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

So ask God to reveal lies of the enemy that you’ve been buying!  When negative, critical, hopeless, or fearful thoughts enter my head, I try to remember to pause and ask myself, “Does this sound like something God would say, or is this a lie of the enemy?”

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3 things that lift depression

When life throws you an unexpected curveball, it’s pretty easy to sink into depression, bitterness, victimhood or gloom.  For some of you, that curveball is catching your husband connecting online with another woman…or your teen developing a drug addiction…or a cancer diagnosis for you or a loved one.  For me, my latest curveball was my husband succumbing to covid and passing away unexpectedly.  I became a widow, and suddenly by whole life changed.  My partner and companion in life was gone in an instant.

As I was taking a walk the other day and grieving with the Lord, I sensed him prompting me to do 3 things in order to move forward with joy and purpose in my life, despite the curveball that came my way.  He whispered to me, “Tackle what needs to be taken care of each day, dwell on what is actually good in your life and let yourself enjoy those things, and look for the opportunities I’m giving you each day to partner with me in expanding my kingdom and being a great reflection of Jesus.”

Wow!  As he spoke those 3 things to my heart, I could tell my mood started to shift.  Instead of focusing on the loss or the heartbreak, God was giving me the recipe to break free from gloom and embrace the purpose and joy he still has for me.  Let’s review those 3 things along with the Bible verses that correspond to each instruction:

  1. Tackle what needs to be taken care of today…just today.  Don’t focus on the “what ifs” of the future.  Matthew 6:33-34  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
  2. Focus on the blessings you DO have in your life and allow yourself to actually enjoy those things.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
  3. Ask God to show you the opportunities he has for you each day to partner with him in reflecting Jesus and expanding his kingdom.  This gives you joy and purpose!  Colossians 4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

6 Bible verses to handle anxiety

So many of us struggle with fear and anxiety, and sometimes that struggle escalates to a full-blown anxiety attack.  We know that God does not intend for us to live in debilitating fear, but how do we break free?

I’ve personally found much relief by applying these 6 Bible verses:

  1. 2 Corinthians 10:5 “we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ”.  This means when fear-based, hopeless, defeatist thoughts enter my mind, I need to examine them and ask whether this is something God would say!
  2. 1 Peter 5:8-9  “Be sober-minded and alert. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”  This means when I notice my thoughts are becoming hopeless or fearful, I need to recognize the devil is whispering those thoughts to me!  I must take a stand and refuse to align my thoughts with the devil!  Sometimes I even hold out my hand and shout “NO”.
  3. Isaiah 41:10  “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  This means I remind myself that I am not walking through my challenges and worries alone.  Jesus is right there beside me all the time and all the way.
  4. Romans 8:28  “And we know that God works all things together for good for those who love him”  This means that I remind myself that even if my worst fear comes to pass, God can still bring something good out of that situation.  That brings me comfort.
  5. Psalm 139:16  “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  This means that when fear-based thoughts enter my mind, I choose to remind myself that God already knows my future and my kid’s future.  Nothing that happens to me or my kids will take God by surprise!  He knows the future.  He’s already there.
  6. James 4:8   “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you”  This means I choose to pivot from the fear and turn toward God in a very deliberate way.  When I do that, He comforts me!  “Drawing near to God” could mean everything from turning on a worship song, to reading the Bible, to calling a faith-filled friend, to hugging my actual Bible as I lay down to go to sleep at night.

How to decrease anxiety in your home

Who would have thunk it?  (Yes, I know thunk is not a word).  Anyway, I discovered something absolutely fascinating several years ago, and it was confirmed by a young wife at Squadron of Sisters during a subsequent meeting.  Husbands can become very stressed, anxious and uneasy when their home is a mess!  I had read surveys about this before, but it was really underscored by what a wife shared with our group.

She said her husband started to have pretty severe anxiety problems.  She didn’t understand why. He had a good job. She had a good job.  Their relationship was going well.  So what could be the problem?  Well, she attended an SOS meeting where we shared that men really desire a tidy household.  So, she went home and created a chore chart with stickers (yes, like parents use with their kids!).  She didn’t do all the chores herself.  She simply took charge of creating a plan to make sure the house could become tidy and clean.

The result?  Within a very short time, her husband’s anxiety completely disappeared!  Wow!  I guess that Proverbs 31 wife really has it figured out.  In verse 27, the Bible describes her as a woman who “looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”  Coming up with a plan to keep your house tidy and clean can really boost your man’s sanity!  P.S. You might find that your anxiety drops a notch or two as well!

Don’t fall for these marriage lies!

I am on the war path…against the devil!  I will not stand idly by while he tries to destroy the marriages of beautiful Christian wives who fall for his diabolical schemes.  I should know all about his schemes because I fell into them in my first marriage.  So heed my warning.  I know from first-hand experience that Satan wants to lure your thinking down the wrong path.

You’ve probably heard the verse in John 10:10 where Jesus reveals Satan’s mission to “steal, kill and destroy”.  Well, a primary tool of Satan is big, fat, rotten lies!  Jesus reveals this in John 8:44 where, referring to the devil, he says, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Be on high alert for the devil to whisper lies that might sound something like this:  “Your husband is a total jerk”, “Your marriage is hopeless”, “You deserve a different husband”, “You should file for divorce”, “Your kids would be better off if you divorce”, “You don’t need to listen to advice from your church friends who think you should work on your marriage.”, etc.  These are big, fat, rotten lies from the pit of hell.  Don’t be impulsive.  Don’t rush into a divorce.  Give God time to work on your husband…and on you!

How to overcome insecurity

I’m a fairly confident, secure woman….most of the time.  But there are still moments where that awful insecurity shows up.  How about you?  For me, it often relates to the way I look.  I compare myself to other women and fall way short.  Sometimes, I’m insecure in terms of whether friends or even relatives really like me.  Other times, I get down on myself about whether anything I do really matters.  Ugh.  I hate feeling so insecure!

So, how do we become more secure?  Well, for me, it means turning to God for my “value”.  I need to remember the only audience that really matters is an audience of one.  God is the one with whom I will spend eternity.  He is the one who created me to be in relationship with Him.  He is really the only one I need to please, and what he says about me is really all that matters.

Meditate on these Scriptures and if you’re anything like me, you will feel a warm blanket of security envelop you.

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with his love; He will rejoice over you with singing.

Hebrews 13:5

Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you

Secret struggle for many women

We’re fearless at Squadron of Sisters!  We don’t shy away from tackling the big, hairy, sensitive challenges that impact marriages!! (Get your seatbelt fastened for yet another sensitive topic today!)  A few days ago, I wrote about common signs that a husband might have a serious problem with pornography, but the truth is many women also struggle with porn.  This is not just an issue for men.  If you are one of the many Christian women caught up in viewing pornography, there is hope for you to break free of the hold it has on you.

First, you need to know how important it is to break free from porn.  You probably already know that God tells us to flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18), but did you know there is a very practical side to this as well?  Just like men unintentionally condition themselves to only respond to masturbation as they view porn, women can have the same problem.  If you use your hand (or other sex toys) to stimulate yourself while viewing porn, you may start conditioning yourself to only respond to masturbation.  In other words, your husband may no longer be able to bring you to orgasm.

Fortunately, there are some great resources to help women who are struggling with a porn habit.  Here are some websites that may help you:

http://www.dirtygirlsministries.com

http://www.walkinginfreedom.net

http://www.porntopurity.com

Seeing yourself as God sees you

For you and I to become confident, dignified women who refuse to put up with disrespect or abuse in marriage or any relationship, we must begin to see ourselves the way God sees us.   Emotionally-bruising words may have been spoken to you as a child and those hurtful words can easily become your identity.  Perhaps you made some major mistakes as a teen or young woman, and you started calling yourself a loser or hopeless or unlovable.

God wants you to listen for His voice above all the other voices we hear both externally and internally.  In John 10:27, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”  Jesus wants to speak to you!  He wants to let you know how He sees you and how much he delights in you.  Here are 2 things that can help you truly comprehend how God sees you:

1) Meditate on Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you.  He will quiet you with his love.  He will rejoice over you with singing.”

2) Be still and ask God to whisper a word to your spirit about how he sees you.  Have faith that He WILL speak to you.  Be receptive, and listen.  He loves you!

2 decisions to combat worry

I don’t know about you, but I can sometimes get consumed with the “what if” questions.  What if a loved one passes away?  What if I don’t have enough money to be secure in old age?  What if my kids make a really bad life-altering decision?  When I start thinking this way, my serenity level plunges, and my anxiety level shoots through the roof!

Well, here are two decisions that both you and I can make in order to regain peace of mind:

1) We must decide to follow the instructions given in Philippians 4:6-7, which says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  In other words, we need to tell God all our concerns, ask Him to be in control, and then LEAVE the concerns in His hands!

2)  We must remind ourselves every morning that Jesus is FOR us and that we can trust Him to bring something good out of even the most daunting or difficult situation.  I mean, seriously, do we believe God loves us and that He is perfect in all His ways?  If we REALLY do, then we can relax and realize that, even in difficult circumstances, He has a plan to bring about good thing in the lives of those who love Him.  This is the essence of Romans 8:28… “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

Getting unstuck

Most every person I know struggles with something, and often in the midst of that struggle, we get stuck in a rut.  Even though we don’t like where we are, we often do the very things that keep us mired down in that area.

Some people get stuck in a rut regarding a dysfunctional coping mechanism such as drinking too much alcohol, or overeating, or over-shopping!   Other people get stuck in a rut in terms of unhealthy and unhelpful communication with their family members.  They might get stuck in the habit of yelling and criticizing or complaining.  And still other people get stuck in a rut regarding depression and despair.  Obviously, no one wants to stay in this rut, but we can’t seem to get ourselves unstuck!

Please allow me to share a few Bible insights that have really helped me get unstuck so I can move forward with joy, peace, and hope.

  1. I’ve learned to do what Paul teaches in Philippians 3:13-14….  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.   Let me make this personal.  I lost my husband about 10 months ago.  It was shocking.  It was devastating.  My world tipped upside down.  And I could have easily got stuck in depression and even resentment toward God.  However, I distinctly remember the moment I decided to pivot from the pain and turn forward, asking God to open up new adventures and new joys in my life.  That was a choice.  It was a really good one.  I was able to heal and start grabbing hold of joy again.
  2. I’ve learned to pause and consult God when I notice dysfunctional habits in my life.  I ask Him to change my heart so that I desire good things, healthy things, and behavior that please Him.  On my own, I don’t really have the strength to make these changes, but when God comes in and changes my heart in response to prayer, then I have the strength and strong desire necessary to make those changes!  Listen to what God says in Ezekiel 36:26-27  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.   Ask God to change your heart. That’s the first step in getting unstuck from bad habits and unhealthy behavior.

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