Conversation with a Satanist

Over the years I have encountered many different people. Including those who are seeking God but have yet to accept Him. Typically these people have the most questions. Knowing this I have taken many classes on a variety of subjects to be able to present the gospel. Paul said, “To the weak he was weak, to the strong he was strong, to the Jew he was a Jew, to the Gentile a Gentile.” In the same matter to the homeless I must be lowly in heart, to the non-Christian Jehovah Witness or Muslim I must have basic knowledge of their faith and fallacies. Through all this preparation I found myself lacking in the area of the Satanist, or Luciferin as I later found out.

The person had many questions and would quote “scriptures” only instantly I recognized the “scriptures” were not from the Holy Bible. The quotes were from “Satan’s bible.” Within a few minutes my volume and sternness of my voice increased. This actually surprised me as I like to approach strangers in a calm and friendly voice when sharing the gospel. However I feel in this case the Holy Spirit was giving me the words to say and was taking authority over the situation. I was happy to have many more opportunities to speak to this person. I soon discovered they were ready to denounce Satan and accept Jesus but something was holding them back. Finally I discovered what it was and in that moment I had wished I had been better prepared, because the earthly fleshy Mary did not know what to say. Thankfully the Holy Spirit within me did.

“Mary, you don’t understand God can never forgive me.”

“Yes, He can.” I replied.

“Mary, I have sold my soul to the devil, and I can’t ever get it back. How can God ever forgive me?”

A long pause at this point….. I had anticipated some awful admission, animal sacrifice, cursing a priest or a church, but this….. what would I say. Lord please give me the words…..

“Well you can’t sell something that was never yours to begin with. God created your soul. It’s His and He will get it back in the end and will decide what to do with it.”  Wow, that good I thought and so very true……. I wish I would have thought of that, thank you Holy Spirit!

I went on to explain, “If you get a loan for a car, it seems like the car is yours right? You drive it, take care of it, maintain it….. but technically it’s not yours to sell, it’s the banks.”

The person begins to nod with understanding, a light and excitement begins to fill the eyes.

“Satan is a liar,” I say, “He wants you to believe God won’t forgive you, but God will. God loves you and knows you were lost.”

After some more discussion this person prays with me to ask God to heal and restore their soul, accept Jesus, and denounces Satan.  It was an awesome experience, I was able to encourage this person again about a year later and hear how they were doing.

I know in my heart God gave me the right words to say in that situation, but it was just recently that the actual realization came to me on how true the statement is….. Our soul is God’s, not our own.

As I was singing the song, “He is jealous of me…”  (Exodus 34: 14 Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.) It hit me….. God is jealous, He is not envious!!!

To understand why this is so important you must understand the difference in definition of these two words.

When I want what you have, I am envious. “The neighbor gets a new convertible and I wish I had it-Envy.”

envy2      ENVY-I want her plant!

However when I am worried you may take something I have I am jealous. ” The neighbor takes my spouse for a spin in their new car, and I worry they may take my spouse-JEALOUSY.”

If-you-have-Jealousy

JEALOUSY-No one can have my spouse!!

 

You see God is jealous for us, we are His and He doesn’t want anyone or thing to take us away from Him. Whereas the devil is envious of us. He wants what God has. He will lie and trick those he does persuade to keep them from ever going back.

The issue of sin comes up a lot with talking to people about Jesus. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, shame and guilt stops many from turning back to God. Yet Jesus did not come to condemn us but rather to save us. (John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.) It was the shame of the sin they committed that initially separated Adam and Eve from God’s presence, God showed up that night, they ran and hid. In that moment God prophesied, for the first time, He would send Jesus. God knew mankind would continue to sin and the only answer to allowing us back in His presence was an ultimate sacrifice. Now when I stand before Him, it’s Jesus’ righteousness that makes me worthy. I don’t have to feel shame about my unrighteousness, because I have Jesus’. So while you may not have sold your soul to the devil, you may still be allowing the shame of your sin to separate you from the presence of God. I am telling you, He is jealous for you. He wants you back in His presence fellowshipping with Him. Don’t let shame keep you from Him. Do not stay a slave to sin anymore. Repent, God is faithful to forgive you. You will sin, but when you stand in the light letting it be exposed to God you are no longer condemned. Come to the light so your humanity will be seen clearly, you can’t clean yourself up but He can.  Put on Jesus’ righteousness!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Traveling Supermom Comes Clean….

I smiled at the lady behind the check-in desk. I had been driving for over 6 hours with three of my children across Canada. Two days earlier we had driven over ten hours from Michigan to Quebec. I was tired of hotels, tired of the car and getting sick of granola bars! Despite how I felt about the travel, I put a big smile on my face when the motel co-owner asked, “Did you travel so far by yourself with all those children?” A smile and nod were my response to her, yet my thoughts went wild as I laid in bed that night. My thoughts went to the many times I have traveled “by myself” with my children. Two day drives to Texas or to Florida, long drives to North Carolina, Chicago, flights to various beach vacations, including notorious Miami. What I find interesting is that when I have traveled alone to Europe, Texas, Washington DC and various places those trips do not bring about the concern that I have received from the trips I have taken with my children. Many times concerned women have commented on the fact that I am traveling alone with my children. It makes me wonder, is something wrong with my judgement? If these women think traveling with your children alone is inappropriate, should I as well?

IMG_5949

I laid in bed and began running these familiar thoughts through my head…. Half way through it dawned on me that the belief held by these skeptics of my parenting skills were a reflection of their beliefs, their fear -not mine.  They believe a woman is unable to protect, care for, drive and maintain a vehicle all at the same time. Now my thoughts switched to the many crises’ I have encountered while traveling. Flat tires, radiator issues, vomiting children and potty issues, yikes let’s not even think about those! Smugly I laid in bed and thought only a woman could handle the unique situations traveling with children can present. My proudest moment was when I had my tire replaced and had two children get haircuts all at the same time. A huge revelation now came to me. “Wonder Woman that is what I am, who needs a man….. Well I do, since it’s my loving husband back at home working right now, paying for this trip. But still- while traveling I am doing it all. Supermom has got it!”

Still the worried look I saw on her face that evening I have seen before.  It’s more than vehicle worry, it’s a safety issue. Women feel safer when their prince charming is with them. I understand the feeling. I love it when my husband is with me. Despite all the wonder woman abilities and supermom savvy I have, when my Superman is beside me I feel content and safe. I would be lying to say there have not been moments while traveling alone with the children when I have wanted my husband and in some cases a loaded gun, with me.  Safety, in this day and age with reports of terrorism and child trafficking, is one of the most important issues for parents. So why do I continue to travel despite the uncomfortable situations that I have encountered and the continued reports I read. I laid in bed and continued this thought journey. At this point I found myself asking God, “Why  I am able to travel with confidence…” and then the pride fell away.

I am not Wonder Woman, my bracelets do nothing but jangle as I wear them. I am definitely not Supermom, rather Monster Mommy if you wake me too early in the morning. No, I as began seeking my Father to answer my pondering, I realized I am nothing without Him. I am simply a child of God. Just as my children look to their father and I to protect them, I look to my Father to answer all of my late night questions. I expect Him to surround us with angels. To have the Holy Spirit whisper in my ear, urging me when to pull off for a caffeinated drink or snack when my eye lids get tired. And to give us favor with the check-in clerk as I request a roll away when the oldest child decides, at the last minute, he will come along for the ride.

You see when I travel with my children I am not “by myself” rather I am surrounded by His presence. God gave a message to Joshua in Deut 31:6, 8 He said, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you… The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” We think because we are not tasked with leading all of Israel that this message is not for us, but we are wrong. As parents we are tasked with leading God’s children just as Joshua was. While I may not be leading thousands, the four I do have are just as precious to God as those Joshua led. Repeatedly in God’s Word we read, “Do not be afraid.” One of my favorite passages is in Matthew 28 where twice the women are told by the angel who rolled away the stone and Jesus Himself, “Do not be afraid.”  You see by the time I drifted off to sleep I was no longer thinking of the fear others feel, or the confidence I walk in, instead I was rejoicing in the power and ability my Father has in keeping me and my children safe as we travel. The next day as I thought about the question that has been posed to me so many times before, I was so very thankful for the true answer to it. No I am not traveling with my children “by myself” rather I am traveling with my Father, the Holy Spirit and the many angels assigned to each one of us. The car seemed a bit more crowed as we headed home, and that thought made me smile once again.