Monday, June 28, 2010

Obstacles Along The Way

I have vivid dreams, but not everyone does. My husband is one of those who can't remember his dreams although I'm sure he probably has them. Over the weekend, I dreamed I was driving down the road with a friend as my passenger. All along the road, there were things set up to cause problems. Some were barricades, some were lunatics beating on my car window and trying to jump inside with us, some were huge potholes and cliffs. I grabbed my friend's hand and told her this was a spiritual battle and we were going to fight these obstacles in the spirit and with prayer. I told her we had to press on, keep driving and not get our eyes off where we were going. Then my dream was over. I have no idea why I had that dream, but I imagine I will soon find out. It seems most of my dreams are prophetic in nature so I will await that revealing.

Satan can't steal our salvation, but he has the power to do several other things. He can destroy the quality of our lives. He will send anything our way that can affect our physical, emotional, mental or financial health and in our relationships. Satan can attack our peace and our joy. He likes to stir up trouble and keep us in a state of unrest. Satan loves to use unbelievers or weak believers to harm us in the things they say and do that make people question our reputation. Satan brings confusion, frustration and anger into relationships and situations, for no apparent reason. He wrote the book on how to cause misunderstandings. And, Satan will decrease your witness for Christ here on earth in order to diminish your heavenly reward.

So how should we respond when Satan attacks in this way? The way we respond will determine whether our faith will be strengthened or weakened. Our response will determine whether God's power in our lives will be real and whether or not He receives the glory and praise for it. And, our response to Satan's attacks will determine whether our unsaved family members, co-workers and friends are more inclined to trust in Jesus.

No, we cannot defeat the devil in our own strength. That would not bring glory to God. Paul put it perfectly in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Great Fun & Great Lengths

I took a few days off last week to travel to Orange Beach, Alabama. Who knew getting sand in your swimsuit bottoms could be so much fun? Here is a snapshot of Will, Lilly Faith and Gracie getting MORE sand in their bottoms!

When I returned to work Monday, I mentioned I would make a "big" announcement on Tuesday. I was referring to WLBT's Great Lengths event. When Tuesday came and made the announcement, at least one viewer was happy I didn't announce something in particular:

"Enjoy watching you everyday and it is good to hear that you are NOT pregnant. I would say enough is enough. You were pregnant for years.---Harold"

As I shared with you a few weeks ago, I'm growing my hair in honor of my friend Stella McNeer. Stella has a heart for the Lord and is battling cancer. Here is the commercial now running on WLBT. She's in the hospital now receiving her third round of chemotherapy.

video

I would love to have you join me in growing, cutting and sharing our hair with Mississippi women who have lost their hair due to cancer. You can sign up at www.wlbt.com and click on the "Great Lengths" logo.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Barbie is away for a few days. She will return to the blog on Friday, June 25.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It Is The Devil

A good friend of mine walked in a half marathon Saturday morning in Ridgeland. Saturday afternoon, I made her a batch of double-dark chocolate brownies. I admit, when they cooled off, I gave them a taste test (who wouldn't?). When I walked them to her house and handed them off, I told her "These brownies are the devil!" That was my way of saying they were so delicious, they were utterly evil.

Satan doesn't look like some terrible monster. In fact, he does what he can to disguise himself and make himself invisible so he won't be blamed or fought as the enemy. He will manipulate circumstances and situations against you. He will use people to come against you--people who will abuse you, misuse you and confuse you! Ephesians 6:12 says we are battling against "principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:3, "I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." Did you see those three words that describe the devil? Deceived, craftiness and corrupted.

Satan deceives us by convincing us that right is wrong and wrong is right. When you are deceived, you believe a lie. His craftiness means he is a master of manipulation. He finds a back door, a missing link, or a point of weakness and capitalizes on it. He preys upon what you believe has already been dealt with.

For instance, last week I received an anonymous email from a viewer:

"Is that a baby bump you're sporting?"

I think the answer to that is obvious if you have seen me in person, but Satan knows how sensitive I've always been about weight issues. If you've read my book, then you know how far back that story goes! After reading the email, I immediately went to the girls dressing room at WLBT and began looking at myself in the mirror. Do I really look like I'm pregnant? Maybe I need to add another 30 minutes of cardio to my exercise regiment. Then, I realized from whom that email originated.

And, the devil is corrupted. He leads people to follow their passions and desires of their own self rather than the will of God.

When you see deceit, craftiness and corruption coming your way, look at who's behind it and there you'll find the culprit. Deal with HIM!

Friday, June 11, 2010

What's Your Plan?

A couple of weeks ago, I shared what the Lord is teaching me in regards to spiritual warfare.

If you don't believe in the existence of spiritual warfare, you are in denial. It doesn't matter whether or not you want to be in a spiritual battle--you are in one. This battle is between good and evil and you are the prize. God wants to have a personal, intimate, transparent relationship with you and me, to bless us and to live with us forever. Satan wants to keep us from all that God wants for us. Satan is the enemy of all of us, whether we are Christ followers or not. Ephesians 6:12 says, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood.."

As a Christian, I know my spirit already belongs to God and the devil cannot keep me from my eternal home in heaven. But, he can have a field day in other areas of my life. He can drag me down into the depths of depression and a kind of bondage that will take away my joy for living. If the devil can get me in some sort of bondage, whether it be depression, oppression or addiction, then I won't have peace. He will do anything he can to destroy anything essential to having a God-filled life.

When I was growing up and living at home, my daddy would talk about the importance of getting an education. He would say, "People can take away your car, your house, your clothes. But they can't take away what you've learned and the education you have." So true.

Satan will do what he can to work against you and me, to keep us from having a positive witness for Christ. He'll do what he can to steal resources we might use to further the gospel in this world, destroy your reputation so that others question your faith walk, and kill relationships with people so that you and I believe we cannot have influence on others for Christ.

Jesus said it best in John 8:44, "He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." Jesus went on to say in John 10:10, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy."

Satan is real. He never gives up his pursuit of destroying us and his demonic forces have a plan of attack. What is yours?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Preparing Your Nets

In studying more of Isaiah 54:2, it says, “Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense!" In Friday's blog, I shared the points given in verse 1 of that same chapter. God is telling us to rejoice in our barren times (when nothing is happening in our life and we are desperate for answers). When God hears our joyful praise, He will give us so much increase in the areas we need that we will actually produce more fruit than those who had been fruitful all along!

Now in verse 2, He tells us to get ready for the harvest by "enlarging" and "spare no expense". When God says He is going to bring spiritual increase into your life, you've got to make room for it. So many times, we don't take Him at His Word so we give Him a few feet and then act amazed when He starts providing! We are almost shocked that He answered our prayers! I think about the story of Simon Peter and his fishing excursion in the Bible.

Simon Peter told Jesus he had been fishing all night and didn't catch a thing in Luke 5:1-6. Jesus told Simon Peter to let down his nets (with an "s", plural form). Jesus was about to send increase Simon Peter's way and he would need to fish with nets. The increase in fish was so much, they had to have their partners from the other boats come help them pull the nets in. Sometimes I wonder if God is saying to Himself: Is that all you can do? I'm about to increase your life and that's all you can believe me for?

Keep praying, keep praising, and keep preparing for the spiritual increase God is going to send your way. When God tells you to "spare no expense" and "enlarge your house", He's not kidding. You're gonna need it!

Friday, June 4, 2010

What Do You Do During The Dry Spells?

I have been intrigued by the book of Isaiah lately so I've been studying it a bit further. Some people don't like to read Isaiah because they believe it is full of imagery and prophecies, which it is. In trying to dig deeper into it, the Holy Spirit opened up this passage for me so I could see it a little differently.

Isaiah 54:1-2 says, "Sing, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem, you who have never been in labor. For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband, says the Lord. Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense!"

Being barren in Biblical times was a disgrace. If you couldn't have children, you were thought to have had a curse on you and you were ostracized. The people took God's command in Genesis literally to "Be fruitful and multiply". If they couldn't do that, they lived with a sigma.

When you rejoice in the hard times when you don’t understand what God is doing, or why it seems like He isn’t answering (when your life seems 'barren'), more will come to you. It takes faith to rejoice beyond our own fruitfulness. In other words, it takes faith to believe God is going to act on your behalf.

Verse 3 says, "For you will soon be bursting at the seams. Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities." When you rejoice during the dry spells in your life, when you have faith past the point of your own understanding, you better expand your pegs because God is getting ready to bring something into your life that you have NOT known before! These verses are more than a contract or a promise from God—it is a call from God for personal intimacy because He called you out before you were born. He knew you before you came to be and He has put His mighty hand on your life.

Satan may say your life is barren, but you tell him that your tree has just sprouted some new buds. Your life is about to burst through with a new fruitfulness! Now if that doesn’t get you going today, nothing will!

Barbie will be signing books at the Jackson Books-A-Million store Saturday, June 5 from 12:30pm-2:30pm.