Proverbs 4: 20 – 23, My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. NKJV
As believers in Christ, we have been redeemed from the curse of sin and death. Consequently, we must place our faith in this truth without wavering, lest we open the door of our hearts to the enemy. The Word of God not only tells us that our God is just in all His ways, and that He loves us; it also gives us countless examples, which prove He is faithful to His people. If you’re wondering why I mention the character of God while teaching on afflictions, allow me to explain. We must arm ourselves with the truth about God so that we will be able to stand when we find ourselves afflicted by Satan.
Paul teaches us how to be effective in spiritual warfare by putting on the whole armor of God. Therefore, it is crucial that we get into the Word of God and learn about Him and His divine nature. If we don’t know intimately the God that we say we believe in, then Satan can use pain and disappointment to find an opening in our armor. Not only do we need to know our God so that we can be strong in battle; we must know what He has said in His Word about us.
If we should go into a season of affliction and not have a good understanding of God’s ways and His nature, then we are susceptible to being hurt. This brings us to the reason for today’s word. Once our hearts are wounded by the enemy concerning our faith in God’s goodness, we can begin to see things in a different perspective. A perfect example of this is when Satan convinced Eve that God didn’t want her to eat of the tree of knowledge because she would be like God. She didn’t know God’s ways the way she should have. Therefore, she became hurt at God and began to see what was forbidden as something that was favorable for her future.
Eve took on a “wounded spirit” mentality. Consequently, she saw herself as a victim of God’s doing. Satan was successful in turning her heart against God without her realizing that Satan was the instigator. When a believer becomes wounded in their heart during a time of battle or affliction, it can cause them to become cynical (distrustful, pessimistic, sarcastic) about God and His Word.
I can tell when a Christian has been wounded in their heart and has allowed cynicism to replace faith. Instead of them walking in agreement with me as their pastor, or in agreement with the promises of God, or what God’s Word declares about them in Christ, they begin to “find fault” with authority and spiritual matters. It is because they have allowed a lying spirit of the enemy to convince them of something that isn’t true about God concerning their situation. When a person becomes cynical, they can be easily led down a dark and foreboding path of bitterness and of isolation away from God’s presence.
There is so much that can be taught on this subject. However, I pray that what I’ve written will help you to guard your heart. If you are hurt, or you experience hurt in the future, be careful that you don’t open yourself to believe a lie about God and what He has declared over you as one of His children. One of the signs of believing a lie is a change in your perception of God. God never changes. Therefore, it is us who has changed how we view God. If God be for you, then who can be against you?
Keeping Our Hearts Protected,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery