The topic of discussion for this Freedom Friday is the fact that Satan is real and does all that he can to gain control over us and to keep us in his power. The scriptures tell us that he uses threads at first and gradually gains greater control until he has put chains around us. It is possible for us to have no idea that we are under his control until we are bound securely. Most of our battles take place in our own minds, and we can lessen Satan’s power over us by pushing out any negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.
I have a friend who has experienced great pain in her life. She grew up in an intact family – father, mother, and siblings – that was simply a group of people living in the same house. As I understand it, the mother was a very controlling person, and the father did not intervene in behalf of his children. My friend has been married twice. Her first marriage was to a very controlling man who went so far as to count the cookies in the cookie jar in order to know how many cookies she ate. Her second marriage was to an adulterer, liar, and cheat. She stayed in each marriage for fifteen years, doing her best to make a marriage.
In my friend’s desire to gain a family, she began attending a church and met a family. She thought that she had finally found a family; however, the mother decided that my friend needed to gain her own “spirituality” and stop leaning on others. The family dumped her.
I knew this woman in a business way many years ago and recently renewed our acquaintance. We became almost instant friends, and she began to open up to me about her past life. I gained great understanding about her hesitation to trust anyone. I am amazed that she is so “normal” after going through all that she has. She has a wonderful attitude toward her parents because she knows they did the best they could with what they had. She has forgiven the people who have hurt her in the past and continues in her attempt to understand why she allowed herself to be hurt.
I was listening to talk radio one day when someone spoke about forgiving ourselves of our past and moving forward in our lives. It immediately hit me that this was the message that my friend needed. I called her to share the thought, and she thanked me. She later told me that she was surprised by my statement and did not know what she needed to forgive herself for. She pondered the statement for a week or two and then suddenly understood: she needed to forgive herself for making bad choices in her past in order to free herself to make better choices in her future.
During this same period of time, I gained greater understanding into myself and how I allow Satan to influence me. One day someone close to me said something unkind. Under normal conditions, I would let this sort of thing fester until I was angry and the relationship strained. This particular day I told myself “Let it go.” I was immediately enveloped in the Holy Spirit, and I knew that I was on the right track.
I know beyond any doubt that Satan desires to have my soul – and your soul. I know that he will use anything possible to gain power over us – and then he laughs at our foolishness as he uses us. We must learn to forgive ourselves and to let things go before we enter the dark places in our lives. These are just two ways to escape the influence of Satan. I found the following story on the Facebook page of Cowboys-4-Christ and thought it illustrated my point well.
There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their ranch. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner.
As he was walking back he saw Grandma’s pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked and grieved. In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch the next day Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.” Then she whispered to him, “Remember the duck?” So Johnny did the dishes.
Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go horseback riding, and Grandma said, “I’m sorry but I need Sally to help make supper. Sally just smiled and said, “Well that’s all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help. She whispered again, “Remember the duck?” So Sally went horseback riding and Johnny stayed to help.
After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he finally couldn’t stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck.
Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, “Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing. But because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”
Author’s comment: Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done – and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, debt, fear, hatred, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, pornography, etc.) – whatever it is, you need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing. He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven. He’s just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you. The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness, He not only forgives you, but He forgets.