“Don’t Be Blindsided by the Devil!”

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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I’m not going to write the expected blog post about new year resolutions and goals. You’ve heard that message over and over and probably know it by heart.

Instead, in this last post of 2018, I want to share how God periodically reminds us that we are but flesh and desperately in need of a Savior.

Over the Christmas season, I was blindsided by an attack of the enemy that sent me reeling. Now, for one of his attacks to send me reeling after 48 years of walking with the Lord is a major thing for me. But, as I look back, I can see that the very reason the attack surprised me is that I had been emotionally troubled over a situation, and I had tried to take matters into my own hands instead of giving it to the Lord.

Now, I should have known better, but I didn’t. This was God’s way of reminding me that I must always be on my guard because Satan will attack when I least expect him to attack. And he usually attacks when things are going great! 

It was also God’s way of reminding me that I am totally and absolutely dependent on Him for everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! 

Without getting into boring detail, the attack was a relationship attack involving several people I love, an attack that brought with it misunderstanding, faulty perception, unrealistic expectations, and hurt feelings.

So, where did I go wrong? I opened my mouth when I should not have. I offered advice when it was not mine to offer. Even though my heart motive was to love, I did not use wisdom in expressing that love to the persons involved. The situation called for silence on my part, and I did not keep silent. Instead, I tried to fix the problem when it was not mine to fix.

So, what did I do? I ran boldly to God’s throne of mercy and grace and told Him I blew it!  God and I have the kind of intimate relationship where I am not afraid to tell Him everything I do wrong.  After all, He already knows what I’ve done. He just wants me to acknowledge my sin and receive His forgiveness and cleansing.

What happened when I confessed my sin? God forgave me and cleansed me, just as He promises He will do in 1 John 1:9. And just as He will do for you, too, when you blow it and sin.

Thank God for His mercy, grace, and forgiveness! And thank God for those who are always ready and quick to forgive me when I mess up! 

I especially thank God for reminding me that I must always stay alert, for when I least expect it, Satan will strike (1 Peter 5: 8). I encourage you, too, to stay alert. Don’t be blindsided by the devil—now or ever!

Now, it’s YOUR turn: What about you? Have you ever been blindsided by the enemy? Please share your questions and insights in the Comments box below. Thank you!

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“How to Destroy Mental Strongholds”

“Convergence: Clear Sign of the End Times”

“The Rise of Wicca, Witches, and Warlocks” 

“How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit”

“Sex and Soul Ties”

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and my other resources, and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

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Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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WHEN THINGS ARE GOING WELL, BEWARE!

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

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I was a baby Christian and had just experienced an amazing encounter with God. I was “on top of the world,” as the old saying goes. Little did I realize that very soon, I would topple from that summit into a terribly challenging situation. 

I had just accepted Christ as my Savior and Lord. As the Lord often does with His new babies, He showered me with the “warm fuzzies” of amazing “coincidences,” quick answers to prayer, and a voracious desire to spread the Gospel. All seemed to be going smoothly. 

So, imagine my surprise when, after an exciting experience of bringing several new people into the Kingdom, my balloon was pierced with a major attack from Satan–an attack that sent me reeling and left me totally bewildered. 

What had happened? How had I suddenly plummeted from the heights of spiritual ecstasy to the depths of spiritual despair?  How had I, in the span of only a few minutes, gone from an exciting spiritual encounter with God to a potentially devastating situation which broadsided me unawares?

Today–from the perspective of many years of growing in Christ–I understand what happened. But back then, I was clueless.

Perhaps you, too, have experienced a spiritual high in Christ only to be followed by a brutal fall off the cliff into spiritual and emotional anguish. If so, you too, will want to know why this happened and what you can do to prevent a similar situation in the future.


THE WHY

First, let’s look at why we can fall from a spiritual high to a spiritual low in a matter of seconds:

1–Satan is always on the prowl to divide and destroy. He especially hates Christ-followers. Scripture tells us this in 1 Peter 5: 8: “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 

Lions stalk their prey quietly. So does Satan. Lions are very patient. So is Satan. Lions attack suddenly. So does Satan.

Remember this: We fall when we fail to stay alert to the enemy.

2–Satan deceives us best when life is best. When things are going well, we are in a more relaxed state. We are enjoying life and not paying attention to the danger that lurks just around the corner. We are deceived into thinking that the spiritual high will last forever. In short, we let our guard down.

A lion looks for the moment when its prey lets its guard down. At that moment, the lion attacks suddenly.

So, we must never let down our guard, especially when things are going well. 

3-Satan’s lie looks like the truth. Satan’s chief device is deception. If he can get us to think that the lie is the truth, he has us.

The only antidote to Satan’s device of deception is to keep ourselves grounded in the Word and to speak the Word whenever we hear Satan’s roar.

THE HOW

Now let’s look at how Satan attacks us:

1.  Where there is unity, he tries to divide. Be it in a marriage, a family, a church, a business–Satan will always try to cause division. Be on the alert for any signs of division. Be on the watch for any person or persons stirring up division. Deal with division quickly. Nip it in the bud before it bears its ugly fruit:  a divorce, a church split, a failed business.

2. Where there is purity, he tries to corrupt. This happens most often in relationships. An engaged couple who have remained virgins are tempted to have sex before marriage. A person listens to gossip about a lifelong friend and believes it. An unhappy wife who has been faithful to her husband yields to the adulterous advances of a co-worker.

3. Where there is truth, he introduces the lie.  Satan does this by whispering a doubt-inducing question into our minds: Did God really say? It is the same question he used to tempt Eve, and the same question he has been using ever since. If Satan’s question causes us to question God, then we have stepped fully into Satan’s trap.

Since that day many years ago when I unwittingly fell into Satan’s trap, I have learned to be more alert to his evil devices. I have learned that whenever God is at work, Satan is also at work. I have also learned that it is when I think things are going well that I must be the most careful.

As God’s Holy Word warns us in 1 Corinthians 10: 12, “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.”

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  Have you ever been broadsided by Satan?  Please leave a comment in the box below.

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NEW YOU-TUBE SERIES:  Check out my new You-Tube series, YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS!, based on my popular book by the same title.  
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 Book 1: The Madonna of Pisano    Book 2: A Sicilian Farewell    Book 3: Return to Bella Terra

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

Horoscopes? Ouija Boards? Séances? Are They Really Harmless?

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or if you prefer to subscribe via another venue, you may do so by using any one of the other subscription options listed under the Networked Blog section in the sidebar on my website: www.maryanndiorio.com/blog. Thank you!

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and my other resources, and please pass this post on to them. Thank you! 

___________________________________________

Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

 

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

How Free Do You Want to Be? – Week 3

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach™

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Matters of the Heart” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

And now, on to this week’s post! 🙂

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Welcome to Week 3 in our discussion on freedom!

Last week we learned that all of us who are born again have been given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. We learned that the keys represent authority and power. This week we will explore how to use our keys to enforce God’s rule in the earth.

The Kingdom of God has a King. His name is Jesus Christ.  As King, Jesus rules over the entire universe and everything in it. Psalm 103: 19 says this: The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.  Moreover, God’s Kingdom is eternal, which means it will last forever. Daniel 4: 3 says this: His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.

Many of us live in countries that are ruled by forms of government that do not have a king. Consequently, the concept of “kingdom” may be difficult for us to grasp, especially for those of us who live in a republic or a democracy, where the people have a large say in their governance. Not so in the Kingdom of God.

In the Kingdom of God, Jesus is the King, and those who are part of His Kingdom willingly and gladly obey Him. From this perspective, we see that the Kingdom of God has not only an external aspect (the entire universe), but also an internal one (the hearts of those who are born again). The Kingdom of God reigns in the hearts of those who love and follow Jesus. Jesus told us in John 18: 36 that His Kingdom is not of this world. By this He meant that His Kingdom is a spiritual kingdom that rules in the hearts of those who choose to be its citizens. We saw that one enters the Kingdom of God by being born again–that is, by repenting of one’s sins and accepting Christ as one’s Savior and Lord.

Because we are citizens of the Kingdom of God, we have been given an assignment to bring others into the Kingdom. Why? Because God loves everyone and does not want a single person to perish. This assignment is called the Great Commission and is described in Mark 16: 15-18:  “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

ornate vintage metal key on a white backgroundSince this assignment requires supernatural authority and power to over-rule the natural realm, Jesus gave us this supernatural authority and power so we could complete our assignments. This supernatural authority and supernatural power reside in the keys of the Kingdom.

So, how do we use those keys? To use the keys of the Kingdom effectively as born-again Christ-followers, we must first remember the following:

1-We do not fight FOR victory; we fight FROM victory. By His death and resurrection, Jesus earned the victory over Satan once and for all. The Word tells us in Ephesians 2: 6 that we are seated with Christ in heavenly realms and, therefore, share with Him His victory over Satan.

2-Satan is a DEFEATED foe. He has no power over us unless we give him power by believing his lies.

3-The keys of the Kingdom are designed to establish on earth what is ALREADY established in Heaven. This is the meaning of the words in the Lord’s Prayer: Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. By using the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, we bring this Kingdom and God’s will into the earth.

Once we understand the above truths, we will use the keys of the Kingdom with confidence. How? We will boldly do what Jesus commanded us to do in the Great Commission.

  • We will preach the Gospel.
  • We will cast out demons.
  • We will be baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues.
  • We will not be harmed if we are attacked by a snake. (See Acts 28: 3-5 where Paul escaped harm after being bitten by a snake.)
  • We will not be hurt if we accidentally drink something poisonous.
  • We will lay hands on the sick, and they will be healed.

As we obey these commands of Christ, we will be enforcing His Kingdom in our sphere of influence; in other words, we will rule with Christ in our domain.

Next week, we will conclude our study on the Keys of the Kingdom by exploring some reasons that we Christ-Followers are not seeing more of Heaven’s blessings manifested in our lives but are still experiencing many of Satan’s curses, such as sickness, lack, and strife.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Are you using the keys of the Kingdom that Jesus has given you? Are you enforcing the laws of the Kingdom in your assigned domain? If not, what is keeping you from doing so?

TWEETABLE:
 How Free Do You Want to Be? – Week 3 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

Please tell your family and friends about this blog series and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

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Remember this: You will be as free as you choose to be!

 

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts are:

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Contolling Spirit

Embrace Your Race

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog if you are on Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or if you prefer to subscribe via another venue, you may do so by using any one of the other subscription options listed under the Networked Blog section in the sidebar on my website: www.maryanndiorio.com/blog. Thank you!

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How to Deal with Regret

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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NOTE: My latest book, THE DAYSTAR DEVOTIONAL, has just been released. Please see details at the end of this post. Thanks!

Many, if not all, of us have at one time in our lives made a decision we now regret. For me, it was a job decision. For you, it might have been a marriage decision or a location decision or a decision that led you into sin. For the Apostle Paul, regret was rooted in his persecution and murder of Christians before he himself had an encounter with Christ. But, whatever the situation, God provides a sound way to deal with regret.

beauty girl cry

  1. Make a decision to put the regret behind you. While a decision may not immediately remove the emotion of regret, it will set you on the right path to eliminating your regret. Philippians 3: 13 says this: “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
  2. Recognize that regret is a weapon Satan uses to rob you of hope. If Satan can get you into depression and despair, he has you. Why? Because without hope, you cannot have faith in the future (Hebrews 11: 1). The Word of God says this in 1 Peter 5: 8: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Don’t let Satan devour you with regret. Stay alert to his devices.
  3. Give your regret to the Lord. If your regret was caused by sin, then simply repent and move on. If your regret was caused by a poor decision, then trust that God will work that poor decision for your good. Romans 8: 28 says this: ” . . . all things work together for good to them that love God . . . .”

The best way to avoid regret is to remain closely connected with Holy Spirit and to seek His counsel and direction for every decision you make. As you follow Holy Spirit’s leading, you will make right decisions that will bring you the peace and joy He wants you to experience for the rest of your life.

TWEETABLE: How to Deal with Regret by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

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The Daystar Devotional is a compilation of weekly devotionals I wrote for almost six years. At popular reader request, I have compiled these devotionals into a single volume for your convenience. I trust this book will encourage you in your walk with Jesus.

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How to Recognize and Survive Satanic Attacks

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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If you haven’t figured it out yet, Satan is out to get you. But, as a born-again follower of Jesus Christ, you have absolutely nothing to fear.

When dealing with the devil, we need to recognize his modus operandi (his M.O.) and his tactics. Here are some ways to do that:

Knight. Photo in vintage style

Take seriously the truth that Satan is out to destroy you. Taking this truth seriously means recognizing that Satan is your enemy, although a defeated one. So, while he has no power over us except what we give him, he is subtle and crafty and sly. Scripture says this in 1 Peter 5: 8: Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  So, stay alert!

—Pray for wisdom and discernment. Satan’s chief weapon against us is deception. Our world today is full of deception. Jesus prophesied this would happen in the end times. The Bible says this in 1 Timothy 4: 1: Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.

In order to avoid deception–aka the counterfeit–we must know the Bible. A bank teller-in-training never touches counterfeit money. He handles only real money and gets to know the feel of it so well that he will instantly recognize a counterfeit bill.  So it is with us as Christ-Followers. We must get to know the Word so well that we will instantly recognize the lies of the enemy.

—Saturate yourself with the Word of God. Don’t just read the Bible; study it. Dig deep into its wisdom for living. Learn from its pages how Satan operates and how to be alert to his traps. Psalm 119: 105 says this: Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Be sure to keep your lamp lit!

—Memorize Scripture. There is no better weapon against the attacks of Satan than the Word of God. When you memorize the Word, you are putting it deep into your spirit. When you face an attack from Satan, Holy Spirit will bring the Word to your remembrance so that you can use it to defuse Satan’s attack. In Psalm 119: 11 we read this: I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Keeping God’s Word in our hearts will protect us in the time of temptation.

—Fellowship with Other Believers. This is a critical aspect of dealing with Satanic attacks. Being in the company of other believers will strengthen you and provide you with wise counsel in the face of your attacks. Scripture says this in Hebrews 10: 25: And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

The poet John Donne said that no man is an island. No Christ-Follower can be an island either. We believers all need one another.

Review these points regularly so as to keep them fresh in your mind.  Most of all, practice them. God has provided all the weaponry we need to face and resist Satan. Put on your armor every day (Ephesians 6:11-18), and watch Satan flee in terror as you speak God’s Word against him.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: How do you handle Satanic attacks?  Please share your thoughts. We value them!

TWEETABLE:
“How to Recognize and Survive Satanic Attacks” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

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