It's "the most wonderful time of the year"...or so the song says? But even through the pageantry, lights, gift giving and Christmas carols, the devil's devices are alive and well. In many cases, they are multiplied. The more time people spend together, the more words can be spoken and more hearts can be broken. The devils of discouragement are at work even at the most glorious time.
Being in the public eye I'm always receiving emails, voice mails and anonymous letters from viewers who have an opinion about me they need to share. Over the last few weeks, viewers have told me I'm "fat", criticized my growing out my hair to donate it, and have even accused me of "tempting godly men who are trying to stay pure" (whatever that means).
What good is a spirit-filled Christian if they aren't going through adversity?
Before the devil can quiet your voice for God, he will try to stop you through other people. Most often times, the devil uses professing Christians to do his dirty work. When the opposition comes, you often feel like you're running through quick sand---you are having such adversarial conditions that your forward movement is slowing down. The winds of opposition blow and you gradually shut down and stop. The devil doesn't necessarily want you to go backward in your Christian growth, but he does want to stop you from going forward. God is about progress. Satan is about sitting still, caving into the pressures and doing nothing.
The Galatians were a people who used to be on fire for the Lord. But the devices of Satan came in and began to infiltrate their minds and their emotions and eventually slowed them down in their spiritual growth and influence. Paul told them in Galatians 1:6, "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion..." The devil will have other people to misuse you, confuse you, and abuse you.
When the comments, critiques, trials, and accusations increase, don't stop moving forward. Just pause. Ask the Holy Spirit to touch you with a fresh word. Psalm 46:10 gives great advice: "Be still and know that I am God."
Occupying the blessings of God isn't going to come in a day. It's a process. Spiritual warfare is necessary.
(Barbie is the guest speaker tonight at Oakland Baptist Church's ladies night out in Corinth. She will be speaking and signing her books this coming Tuesday, December 11 at the Walthall County Library in Tylertown at 11am.)