Although I had four brothers, I was the only girl and growing up, my mother wouldn’t allow me to hang out with them using that phrase, “girls can’t do what boys do.” So, I lived a somewhat solitary existence …. when my brother’s friends came over I had to make like a ghost and either be so quiet that they didn’t notice me or retreat to my room so that I wouldn’t be visible. In my house, I was made to feel that I was either not wanted, not needed or that I just didn’t matter UNLESS it was to serve them in some manner. I was sandwiched between two brothers older than me and two younger …. so I was either vacillating between being abused in some manner by the oldest or being nurturing to the younger. But my older brother closest in age to me was the wild card in the family. Due to the abuse he endured, he learned to be a rebel, he pushed back against all authority and I began on some level to live through him. Inside I was screaming, inside I was arguing back, inside I was dying because I was not living out loud …. as a result of my abuse, my voice was being silenced. So while I was shrinking, my brother two years older was acting out what he was feeling. He acquired a reputation in the school and the neighborhood and I admired him. While I didn’t have the desire to act in the manner he did, his reputation gave him some “street credibility” as they would say and I was able, on a few occasions, to use that to my benefit. There were a few times in church I recall having to live up to being TP’s little sister and fight some battles. However, on the block we lived on, I never had to scrap with anyone because I was known as “TP’s sister”. So unknown to him, his actions, his reputation had benefits for me and I was able to make my way through, or in some instances avoid altogether, some tough situations.
I read a lot of posts on Face Book where those who profess to be believers in God, born again or Christian often speak of telling the devil that whatever tribulation or temptation he sent their way was nothing, encouraging him to come at them again or to try another way and in other instances talk often about how they are having to fight Satan. I’m often perplexed at these statements because I see no where in scripture are we ever told to fight our enemy. What example(s) do we see from Jesus … we never see Jesus fighting Satan. Jesus submitted to His father, prayed, and He resisted the enemy by walking in (SPEAKING) truth! James 4:7 instructs us to submit ourselves therefore to God; RESIST the devil, and he will flee from us. Resist him by not buying into his LIES. Ephesians 6:13 says to take unto ourselves the whole armor of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. We are doing none of this in our might or power and maybe that’s where we go wrong. Look at Colossians 2:15 … Jesus disarmed powers and authorities, made a public spectacle of them and TRIUMPHED over them by THE CROSS.
The Spirit Himself [Holy Spirit] testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:16, 17, NASB)
In John 15, Jesus spoke with his disciples making a distinction between them being no longer servants but friends: “no longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” But we have an advantage over the early disciples. In John 1:12, we’re told but as many as received him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. I’m more than a friend, I’m a son of God and joint heir with Christ. When I am afraid or when my enemy appears too strong for me, I can rest on Jesus’ reputation, His “street credibility; all I have to do is call on the name of my Big Brother!
We are OVERCOMERS by the Word; let’s enter into His rest …..
Belinda Powell, ©May 29, 2015
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