A Good Scam Begins with Communication

“My sheep respond to My voice; and I know who they are. They follow Me.”             John 10:27 

Grandma gets a dreaded phone call from her grandson. He’s been in an auto accident, he tells her. He’s in jail, he tells her. He needs money, he tells her. Keep this to yourself, he tells her: he promises to settle the matter.  Sadly, because Grandma doesn’t know the voice of her grandson, she is scammed out of $12,000! (Fox6)

This stranger claimed to be her grandson, and called himself by name. If only she had known the voice of her grandson! Instead, a lying, mimicking, deceptive stranger was able to rob a well-intended grandmother.

Don’t think for a minute that Satan isn’t trying this with us!! He is the father of lies, and actually hates the truth (John 8:44). And just like every scammer, he must first establish communication with his intended target: you and me. That’s right, the father of lies speaks to us. Just like the fake grandson, he will impersonate a familiar voice, and make false claims.

Do you remember “Stranger Danger” campaigns from the 80’s? This was an age riddled with public service announcements, warning families about the perils of abductors lurking near their children. The danger wasn’t in the appearance of the abductor, it was in their communication. If evil was in appearance only, we would all steer clear.  But well-timed conversational lies about lost puppies lures them right into the enemy’s deception.  So it is when Satan converses with us: if he sounded menacing and intimidating we wouldn’t listen. But with his subtle strategies, we can easily be ensnared.

Satan’s ultimate goal is to steal from us, to kill us and to destroy us (John 10:10). It’s a harsh ugly truth, but if we aren’t aware of his devices we are susceptible and easily deceived (2Corinthians 2:11). I’m so thankful that we are not defenseless, nor or we ignorant. We have a powerful weapon to use against our enemy: God’s Word!

Did you know that our voice print is as unique to us as our DNA and fingerprints? It can be used to identify us from all others. No one else has the voice print of our Savior either, and we can easily distinguish His from that of a stranger.

Our Heavenly Father never lies to us. He never motivates us with pressure or threats. He doesn’t fill us with fear, dread or alarm. He doesn’t criticize, belittle or condemn us. He doesn’t tell us to give up or quit. He doesn’t move us to anger or bitterness. He doesn’t prattle on about empty promises. He’s never vague, and doesn’t avoid our questions.

Bottom line: if what you “hear” does not line up with God’s Word…… reject it because it is not the voice of your Savior.


Wildfire Part III: The Countermeasure

CLICK HERE FOR Wildfires Part I: The Condition

CLICK HERE FOR Wildfire Part II: The Cause

Please enjoy the final devotion in this series below…….Wildfire Part III: The Countermeasure.

Wildfire defined: an unplanned fire (unexpected and unforeseen).

But WE as Christians know that trials and tribulations will come. We don’t have to be caught unprepared. NO, we shouldn’t walk around fearful and full of forebodings, but we should not be ignorant either.  John 10:10 tells us the exact purpose of our enemy: to steal and to kill. Peter plainly tells us, “do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12).

So now that we know, how should we should prepare?

  1. Avoid spiritual drought conditions which puts us at a much higher risk.
  2. Avoid spiritual carelessness. Live carefully. Keep your guard up because, “Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack” (1Peter 5:8).
  3. Make a pre-emptive strike: Fight fire with fire!!!

Firefighters often employ a countermeasure called a Controlled Burn or a Prescribed Burn: it’s more of an offensive move than a defensive one. This tactical approach doesn’t wait for a fire storm to spread out of control.

This countermeasure is also referred to as a fire of restoration (repair, rebuilding, and renewal). When we get saved, our hearts and minds are renewed in Christ. But there’s more: the baptism of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist said that when Jesus comes, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16).

The Holy Spirit in us gives us fire power!

If you want to know what the power of the Holy Spirit looks like, take a look at the disciples. Firstly, Jesus taught and trained them. Then, the Holy Spirit empowered them (Acts 2). Through them, the power of God healed people, raised the dead, and cast out demons. Jesus said that every believer would be able to do what He did and even more because He was sending us the Holy Spirit (John 14:12). Wow! Remember Luke 3:16: that Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire! We can fight fire with fire!!

Not only do we have offensive power, but we have defensive power when we put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:16 tells us that the shield of faith will quench the destructive fire of our enemy.

Thank God that He loves us enough to give us the power to overcome. Yes fire storms will come, but we can rest assured that God is on our side, working all things for our good. He even said that trials will perfect us, make us whole and we will lack nothing (James 1:2-4) much the way a Controlled Burn brings restoration and renewal.

Fight fire with fire! We are not powerless!

Preparing For a Spiritual Snowmageddon

I know most all of you battled the grocery stores to stock cabinets before snowmageddon makes her grand entrance. Why? Because your preparedness enables you to make it through this snow storm. We have grocery shopped, filled out deck bin with fire wood, stacked my indoor wood basket, gathered my candles and laugh if you will, but I have filled our bath tub with water for flushing should we lose power. Ya never know, right? Better safe than sorry.

We prepare for things all the time:  study for tests, practice for a concert, save money for a rainy day, make a nursery for the new baby or formulate a retirement plan. There are just some things you can’t wait until the last minute to prepare for or we will be caught ill-equipped to handle what comes our way.  But do we “prepare” for a spiritual snowmageddon?

I’m not talking about having a doomsday prepper mentality. And I do NOT believe we should go around with forebodings; always expecting bad things to happen. But you can’t wait until you’re snowed in, and lose power to decide you need flashlight batteries and candles.

Yet, many times this is precisely what we do as Christians, and I’ll be the first to admit that I have done this.  But God wants us spiritually prepared so we can face any situation with power and victory. He has given us a survivor’s manual (The Bible), and our own personal guide (The Holy Spirit). Yes, it’s that simple!

You may say that you don’t understand the Bible when you read it, OR you may say that you don’t know how to pray. No worries, the Holy Spirit will teach you HOW!

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26 (rsv)

“…and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”  1 John 2:27 (niv)