Are You An Easy Target?

1 Peter‬ ‭5:8-9‬ ‭NET “Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering.”

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If someone asked you, “Are you an easy target?” nearly all of us would say, “No I’m not an easy target.” Who wants to be viewed as weak? Sadly guys some of us are easy targets and the enemy knows it. It is my prayer that this article will encourage us to accept the truth that sets us free, and make us hard targets to the wicked one.

Let’s discuss some things that make us easy targets and please keep this passage in mind:

Proverbs‬ ‭27:6‬ ‭AMP‬‬ “Faithful are the wounds of a friend [who corrects out of love and concern], But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [because they serve his hidden agenda].”
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If what we hear next hurts a bit remember the purpose is to help us repent. Are you watching pornography? I once did. Are you engaged in any sexual sins? I‘ve done those too. This make us easy targets. Are you harboring resentment in your heart? Are you unforgiving, unmerciful, or hard on other people? This makes us easy targets. Are you a gossiper? A slanderer? Do you complain to others about how a fellow Christian annoys you? You’re an easy target. Do you say, “I’m a Christian,” but you don’t study the Bible, REGULARLY? Easy target. And if you are a Bible reader do you let God’s word have the final say in your life? Even when it’s hard? If the answer is, “No,” easy target. Do you pray only SOMETIMES? Or just when you’re in trouble? Easy target. Are you discontent and even have anger in your heart against God because of something you don’t have you really desire? Like a husband? A wife? A house? A car? That job? Money? That position in life? Etcetera? Yep, if you’re mad at God because of what you don’t have you’re an easy target. If you and I are compromised in our faith in any way shape or form we are in more danger than we may know:

Romans 8:1 KJV “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, but after the Spirit.”

Here’s a quote from a very good book I’ve been enjoying titled, THE WIDE PATH – THE REALITIES OF END TIMES CHURCHES written by Zama-Zoe Grace, available on Amazon:

“When the enemy steals your identity, his strategy is to make you compromise and when you are in a compromised state, you are more likely to give up your authority, dominion, and power that God has given you. Once you lose authority, dominion, and power, you cease to be fruitful; you stop growing and you stop being effective in the kingdom of God. You will take the nature of the enemy and become rebellious in your behavior (stubborn), and you will work against the order of God on earth.”
Excerpt from ebook, THE WIDE PATH – THE REALITIES OF END TIMES CHURCHES (ebook location 415) Prologue “Spiritual Identity Theft” Author: Zama-Zoe Grace, available on Amazon

STEAL KILL AND DESTROY

John‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭NKJV “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”‬

Do we really understand how Satan steals, kills, and destroys people? Let’s talk about how he steals. We’ve been talking a little about what makes us easy targets, “Easy targets for what?” one might ask. Easy targets for Identity Theft. No, not being robbed of your credit card numbers, personal documents, computer passwords or other sensitive data. We’re talking about being robbed of yourself.🤔

To illustrate let’s look at the prodigal son Jesus talks about. Here’s a guy who demands his portion of the inheritance from his rich father. The father grants his son’s request. He then goes on a journey and in a short amount of time squanders his entire fortune on loose living. The man is now dirt poor and desperate. Times get so hard for the man that he desires to eat the same food that pigs eat.😳 Then something great happened Jesus says:

Luke 15:17-20 KJV “And when HE CAME TO HIMSELF, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! [18] I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, [19] And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. [20] And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”😊

Jesus said the man CAME TO HIMSELF. Yes, he was gone; lost, robbed of his own self.😳 This is not a metaphor. Jesus is shedding light on what happens to people. The man was stolen or robbed of his identity, and no longer knew who he was. This is what Satan seeks to do to all of God’s elect. Only when the lost man repented was he restored to himself.

The rich father was so happy to see his son again (all in one piece) and especially glad to see his son had come back to his senses that he ordered his servants to throw a big party and said:

Luke 15:24 KJV “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

Jesus says the same thing happens in heaven every time one sinner repents:

Luke‬ ‭15:3-7‬ ‭NET “So Jesus told them this parable: “Which one of you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go look for the one that is lost until he finds it? Then when he has found it, he places it on his shoulders, rejoicing. Returning home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.’ I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.”

IDENTITY THEFT

To be identified with the King Of Kings and Lord Of Lords Jesus Christ is no light thing. It is the highest honor any human being can be given. (Luke 12:8-9) The privileges we enjoy now and for all eternity are mind blowing. To have our identities in Christ stolen from us is no small thing either. As Zama-Zoe Grace says in her book, THE WIDE PATH – THE REALITIES OF END TIMES CHURCHES the results are staggering:


“When the enemy steals your identity, his strategy is to make you compromise and when you are in a compromised state, you are more likely to give up your authority, dominion, and power that God has given you. Once you lose authority, dominion, and power, you cease to be fruitful; you stop growing and you stop being effective in the kingdom of God. You will take the nature of the enemy and become rebellious in your behavior (stubborn), and you will work against the order of God on earth.”

Sadly this is happening to many people. (Matthew 24:10-13) Some are making it easy for the Devil to steal their identity in Jesus Christ. May we repent like the prodigal son if this has happened to us. And if it hasn’t happened to us please stay in a constant state of repentance before God. This will prevent us from ever becoming easy targets and having our identities in Christ stolen. Remember, the Devil comes to STEAL, kill, and destroy. Guard your identity in Jesus Christ.

2 Peter‬ ‭1:5-11‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.”

Please share this with a friend😊

Are You Alone?

Are You Alone?

Matthew 18:19-20 KJV “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. [20] For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

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When Jesus sent the disciples out to preach He sent them in teams of twos. (Luke 10:1) The Bible says that two can defend themselves and 3 is even better:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 KJV “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. [10] For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. [11] Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone ? [12] And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

The passage above shows the value of having others in our lives we are united with. But let us not get it twisted: there are times in life even seasons when being alone is necessary. The scriptures do not say that if one has to be alone for a time it means they are doomed. Only that it’s more beneficial as a rule to have others in our lives we can trust. It is my hope and prayer that this article encourages you especially if the Lord has taken you to a lonely place for a time or a season.

The great prophet Elijah at times was alone. So was the prophet Jeremiah, Isaiah, and other men and women of God. The apostle John was exiled on an island called Patmos for preaching the gospel. He was cut off from society. What a lonely experience. Though he was by himself from a human standpoint John had some of the greatest moments of his life in the Lord as he was taken up in the spirit and shown awesome visions form the Lord. John recorded these visions in the Bible book of Revelation. What comfort this must have given John. Our Father knows how to comfort the lonely.😊

God is the same yesterday today and forever. He doesn’t show favoritism. He will comfort us in our loneliness too like He did Elijah, Jeremiah, and John. The key is we must continue to seek Him as they did. And when we get discouraged we must continue to fight. We mustn’t let discouragement defeat us.

A BALANCED VIEW

Yes, a person can still serve God while they are alone. But when it comes to fellowship with other believers we have a command from our Father:

Hebrews 10:24-25 NET “And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near.”

Some of us have heard that command many times, haven’t we? Some have used it in an attempt to get us to join their false churches. The Holly Spirit let us know these churches were false; they were not teaching the truth from God’s word, so we did not join them. Bravo for not letting someone hoodwink you. Yet at the same time we must be careful not to let those false prophets cause us to believe there are no true church fellowships out there worth looking for. There are some though few. Which is why they can be so hard to find. We are truly living in the days of apostasy foretold by Jesus Christ and the apostles:

1 Timothy‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭NET‬‬ “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times SOME WILL DESERT THE FAITH and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.”

Matthew 24:10-13 NIV “At that time MANY WILL TURN AWAY FROM THE FAITH and will betray and hate each other, and MANY FALSE PROPHETS WILL APPEAR and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
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2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [the Lord’s return] shall not come, except THERE COME A FALLING AWAY FIRST, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

According to the scriptures what we see happening with churches and church folks is as foretold. Some of us once belonged to one or more false churches that left a sour taste in our mouths and rightfully so. Who would want to go through that horrible experience again?😳 I, your brother know the feeling and want you to be encouraged and know God loves you and is near to you. (Psalm 34:18) God has seen your hurt and pain. Better things are on the way.😊

IMITATE JESUS

When we look at the life of Jesus on earth He was usually in group settings. (Luke 14:25-27 Luke 5:1-3 Mark 3:32-35) We also read that it was His practice to get alone to pray. (Matthew 14:23 Mark 6:46 Luke 6:12) As Jesus’ disciples it is our privilege to imitate Him. Hence it is perfectly spiritual to be in fellowship with others even worldly folks if it’s our aim to share the gospel with them. But if you are presently alone I encourage you to constantly pray the Lord allows you to meet real brethren in the faith. Remember Jesus said just 2 or 3 can be so beneficial.

I would also like to encourage us to be careful not to have a judgmental spirit when seeking out brothers and sisters because of our past experiences. How often do we hear of folks going into new relationships carrying old baggage from past affairs.🤔 This is not good, it’s not fair to the new people we meet. Let us forgive as the Lord forgave us. (Matthew 6:14-15) Following this one command: FORGIVENESSES, makes a huge difference in our lives.😊 It allows us to move on and keep living.

In Hebrews 10:24-25 we are also commanded to do something I think we often miss; we are told to think of ways we can spur one another on towards love and good deeds. God is telling us to GET CREATIVE when it comes to encouraging one another.😊

GET CREATIVE

Notice also Hebrews 10:24-25 never said our purpose for meeting as a church is just to get fed. But again we are told to think of ways to encourage and feed each other. In other words don’t come to the party empty-handed, bring something.😃 🎊 Going to church or meeting together as believers is about pouring into the lives of others. The focus is on giving not getting. If you go to church just to get fed (spiritually or physically) you are going for the wrong reason. Repent. Change your motivation and think of how you can edify someone else. Just a kind word of encouragement can do much if that’s all you have to give.😊 Jesus was always feeding others spiritually and physically. Let us imitate Him, He is our example.

Proverbs‬ ‭11:24-25‬ ‭NET‬‬ “One person is generous and yet grows more wealthy, but another withholds more than he should and comes to poverty. A generous person will be enriched, and the one who provides water for others will himself be satisfied.”

Acts‬ ‭2:42-47‬ ‭NET‬‬ “They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles. All who believed were together and held everything in common, and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, praising God and having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved.”

No wonder God was adding to their number every day those who were being saved. They were living as He had commanded them too.😊

WE ARE NOT ALONE

As long as we are in the Lord we are never alone. God is with us. A key to fighting loneliness is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord. (Matthew 6:33 1 Corinthians 15:58) That will always involve sharing with other people. It’s harder to be lonely when you’re constantly pouring into the lives of other people. God is encouraging us to get creative and think of ways we can help others. We can do this now no matter what our circumstances are. If all we can do is pray for someone else this too is God’s will.😊 (Ephesians 6:18)

Social media affords us opportunities unlike before to reach out and get involved in others lives positively. This is another platform where we can unleash our unique, spiritual gifts and talents given us by God for His glory. (Ephesians 2:10) May we focus more on the well being of others whatever state we are in. And if we are alone temporarily know that we can always have communion with our heavenly Father Almighty God through meditation, study of His word, visions and dreams if He chooses, and prayer.😊 (Psalm 1:1-3 Acts 2:17-18)

Please share this with a friend😊