The devil cannot read your mind

It has always grated on me a bit over the years to hear Christians say things like, “Well, satan knew so-and-so was going to do great things for God and that’s why he tried to kill him.” (or did kill him) And they said it without providing any proof or a scripture that they based it on. In the bible, that is called a reasoning. Humans feel the need to be able to explain everything and answer every question, I suppose, especially in the face of tragedy.Now, after 30 plus years of knowing Jesus, I see  the Scripture that backs up my belief about this.

Let’s back up a bit. Growing up as a little Catholic girl, I learned three really big, long words about God. He was omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. These are three words not found as such in the bible. But these same attributes are there, just described in other words. Omnipotent is having all power and authority. Omnipresent is being everywhere at the same time. Omniscient is knowing everything.

The realization that the scriptures really do confirm that only God knows everything came to me one day when I was speaking 1 Corinthians Chapter 2 out loud. “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Cor. 2:11. Verse 12 goes on to say “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

The point I want to make is that the spirit of man alone (and God, because, remember, he is omniscient or all-knowing) knows his thoughts. The devil is not omniscient. And because we have the Spirit of God living in us now, we can know God’s thoughts. Unless we speak our thoughts out loud, the enemy cannot know our thoughts. And let’s face it, we do speak our thoughts out loud a lot!

In the garden of Eden, after the fall of man, God promised the serpent there was One coming who was going to bruise his head, so you know the enemy was looking for him. There were attempts on Jesus’ life, but think about all the supernatural things that attended His birth and afterwards. There were words and angels and things Mary pondered in her heart. Cousin Elizabeth prophesied to Mary. When Mary and Joseph went to the temple, there was Anna and Ananias prophesying. Prophetic people who saw the baby said things. If the evil one was even paying a half amount of attention, all of this supernatural stuff would have caught his eye, and so he paid attention to this One who would “bruise his heel.” That’s why there were attempts on His life. That’s why there were temptations to make Him sin. But the whole plan of God was not understood by the devil at all, I maintain. He could see bits and pieces of it in the scriptures, like a puzzle coming together, but he had no clue exactly how God was going to rescue His mankind creation. I can see him studying the blood sacrifice that was first used to declare a man righteous and free from sin for the moment, and perhaps starting to get the picture. I’m not sure how smart he is. Sometimes he does really dumb things.

So because the devil is NOT omniscient, he is unable to read our minds. He does put thoughts there and most likely, watches us to see if we go for it. But he can only know things that come out of our mouths. There are things we should never say out loud and thereby give him ammunition. But he is absolutely unable to know what thoughts we think towards God, or what questions we ask Him.

Remember, “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?”

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My “Other” Job

In addition to my recent publication of blog posts called “Dogtags and Pearls: Lessons from Heaven,” I also write children’s books.  I have not been a prolific writer of children’s books. I published one in 2013 called, ” A Tale of Two Lambs.” It is the story of the Resurrection told using farm animals and a farmer. My talented friend, Jamie Brannon Haney illustrated it for me.

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More recently, I have completed another children’s book. It is “The ABCs of Created Things.” This book came about because I took a class in Adobe Illustrator and a book came out of it! That’s the way I roll!

ABCs Cover

The ABCs book was entirely illustrated by me. It teaches your child the ABCs paired with things in creation, using rhyme. It has been a joy writing and illustrating it. I send it out to the world expecting it to teach and bless the coming generations of little babies. I love little babies. I love children!

In January, I will begin work on a third children’s book, “A Tale of Two Prophets.” Jamie Brannon Haney will again be working with me as the illustrator. The farm animals will be learning a different lesson from God’s word. Stay tuned. We will keep you posted.

If you are interested in any of my books, you can contact me personally through this blog or go to Amazon.com and look them up. They are all there!

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New Book By Me

I’ve been a bit busy lately and haven’t been posting. I have been compiling a lot of these blog posts into a book called “Dogtags and Pearls, Lessons from Heaven.” I’m pretty proud of it. I even designed the cover myself because the company had no standard cover that I felt was a fit for it.

Soooooo…here it is! Available on Amazon.com or through me. I’m baring my soul to the world.

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Things I’ve wondered about…

The new testament calls Noah a “preacher of righteousness.” Who did he get saved? Ever heard a sermon on Noah as an evangelist? Why is that?

Noah lived at a time of great darkness on the earth. There were plenty of mission fields. We don’t see him really getting anyone saved while he spends 100 years building a huge boat… Hollywood’s version of the story depicts people laughing at him while he is building it, which I’m sure is what really happened, because people in darkness always mock the righteous, especially when they speak of impending doom, which is what the ark represented.

So only 8 people got on the ark, when it became time. Wow.

Out of all the population of the earth at the time, only 8 people got on the ark. Only 8 people believed God and were saved from the destruction that came. This might be a picture of how few will respond in the coming end of days when there is deep darkness again on the earth. When the church is gone, the violence and wars that we see now will be intensified because there will be nothing to restrain them. No church, no light.

I am thankful that Noah saved the human race. Even though he might not be a very good evangelist, he still saved the human race. He listened to God and he built the boat. He also gave people a way out. It’s not his fault they didn’t take it.

Dear Jesus, Through Noah’s life, we can see how important it is to listen to You, even when it might not make sense. You don’t live in our time, you live in eternity. So do we in the big scheme of things. Open our eyes and ears to see and hear Heaven’s plans for the future, so that we can cooperate with You.

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Joseph, Part 2

I talked a little bit about the hardships of Joseph’s life in another post, but really didn’t go into detail. I would like to share some things I believe I have seen by revelation of the Holy Spirit about Joseph.

Joseph was the firstborn son of the wife whom Jacob favored. If you remember the story, he was tricked into marrying the elder sister first. She was not the one he was after, but he bore six children with her. That was Leah. Jacob was after Rachel, the younger sister. He worked 7 more years to get her.

Joseph was Rachel’s firstborn and Jacob’s favorite child. How do we know this? The bible tells us and that Jacob made a special coat for Joseph, the coat of many colors. Because he was Jacob’s favorite, we can safely assume he was at least a bit spoiled. This favoritism on the part of his father put him at odds with his brothers. Now remember, this is what we call today a “blended” family. Two wives with children and two concubines with children, all by the one father. Two wives alone sets up a rivalry and think of all the rivalry going on between 12 kids.

So it’s safe to say that Joseph was a spoiled kid, but God had a unique calling on his life. When he had his dreams, he couldn’t help but boast about them TO HIS BROTHERS and his parents. This made the brothers hate him even more. If he could just have kept his mouth shut and been a little more humble, maybe some things wouldn’t have happened to him.

I believe that God could see that Joseph would never develop the character he needed to rule Egypt (which was his destiny) in a trusted position, as long as he stayed in his father’s house. He had to be taken somewhere else. He had go through trials to make him fit for the task.

First came the great betrayal. Joseph was probably 17 or 18. The brothers threw him in a pit and sold him in slavery. He went to Egypt. His leadership skills evidently were in evidence and he was chosen to manage Potiphar’s house. Potiphar was second only to Pharaoh, so this was an important responsibility in his training. And he was highly regarded and good at it. Then one day, another test came…Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him. Joseph had a healthy fear of God by this time and did not succumb to her charms, but he was falsely accused and placed in prison unjustly. This happens to people all the time in our day too. I don’t say that lightly. It is a serious thing, especially when the death penalty is at stake. But that was not the case here. Here’s the thing though, it’s our attitudes towards the things that happen to us that is key. Are we bitter or do we get better?

I have it figured that Joseph was in prison several years, perhaps even until he was 30. Even in prison, his leadership skills were clearly seen, God’s favor was on him and he was put in charge of the prison! At one point, a baker and a butler are put in there with him, charged with offending the king in some manner.  Both of them have dreams they can’t interpret. They are dreams of their futures. Joseph interprets their dreams, which both come true. In return, Joseph asks the butler to remember him when he is released and to put in a good word for him.

Now, Joseph, are we getting impatient? Yes, when one can see no end in sight in a situation, impatience is bound to set in. Joseph has been in prison for years. But no deliverance comes. Sigh. How long, Lord, will it be? More patience is being developed, more trust in God. Forgiveness for the men who forgot him grows too. Forgiveness for those brothers of his, who started this whole thing, deepens.

But it’s another two whole years (!) before Pharaoh has a dream and the butler remembered Joseph.

In the school of training, called Trusting God, one must eventually arrive at this place: no matter how much you may think you are ready for something, there is One with far greater knowledge, who also has plans for every single person in the universe. Two things we must learn: we are not as ready to assume rulership as much as we think; and two, God really does know better, and He is working a plan with timing. He knows the end from the beginning.

The end of the story is this: Pharaoh has two dreams about the same event, but cannot interpret them and none of his prognosticators can either. The baker has an Aha! moment and remembers Joseph who interpreted his dream. Joseph is brought from prison, given a shower and a shave (my version), interprets Pharaoh’s dream and becomes Prime Minister of Egypt. After that, he saves Israel from starvation and saves the nation. His brothers are properly chastised (not by Joseph).

It was a stunning change of events for Joseph. Oh happy day!

Posted in God's Lessons, Position of Man in the Plan of God, Trusting God

Adversity and Suddenly: Joseph

I once heard a teacher say…Joseph, in prison one day, a shower and a shave, and he’s on the throne the next day. Wow, what an amazing turn of events. Joseph must have thought he was dreaming. He probably had to pinch himself.

Was anyone more badly treated than Joseph? As I think upon the various heroes of faith in the Bible, I’m not sure anyone endured more. Jeremiah the prophet was treated very badly. I think his countrymen tried to kill him because they didn’t like his prophecies. Jeremiah didn’t have much good to say from God because the people were in disobedience and He (both of them!) was trying to warn them of what was coming because they wouldn’t turn back to God. Some sections of the church might call that  “being negative,” but there is a time for correction.

I thank God every time He corrects me about something. I thank Him because #1, I’m grateful that I can hear Him correct me, and #2, by receiving His correction, I can make a change and avoid terrible consequences, and #3, the bible says if we endure correction  or chastening, then we are truly His children. That’s good news!

Hebrews 12:5-8 “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives…If you are without chastening…then you are illegitimate and not sons.”

Being corrected and chastened by the Lord is good! It may not feel good, but it is for our good and you can trust God’s intentions!

I will stop here for now with that thought, but I do have more to say about Joseph which I will save for a later time.

Lord, help us to more fully see Your great love for us when You correct and chasten us. Help us to embrace it fully and not run from it nor be embittered, but greet it with gratitude and thanks, knowing the truth of Hebrews 5-8. We love You.

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Forever O Lord, Your Word is settled in Heaven

Can we experience heaven here on earth? I think most of us say there are times we experience joy from heaven…perhaps when your first child is born or when they marry well.

The bible says God’s Word is forever settled in heaven. That means it’s truth. Why would we pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” as Jesus instructed us, if it were not possible to experience heaven on earth?

So then why aren’t more Christians experiencing this heaven on earth? Because we have to receive it by faith. Salvation is by faith, but confessing Jesus as your Lord and Savior and receiving forgiveness of sins is just the starting line. There is so much more!

Rom. 8:23  “And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering.” The Holy Spirit is a “down payment” if you will, of what is to come, the future glory. But, as believers, the bible also says of our life here on earth that “as we behold Him, we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory…

1 Cor. 2:11-   For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

We cannot understand what God has given to us without the Spirit. The Spirit of God knows the thoughts of God. And if we have the Spirit, we can know the thoughts of God.

The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. When we are experiencing these things, we are experiencing Heaven!

Pray with me: First for those you not saved, you must receive salvation and the cleansing of your sins first. None of us can experience heaven when we have a load of sin.

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of forgiveness today and every day. I cannot live a righteous life with out Your help. Please forgive me of all my past, present and future sins. I receive your sacrifice that paid for all of those sins, and I thank You Jesus for Your great love for me. Holy Spirit, come and fill me with your Presence. Be my Comforter, my Helper. Help me to live in Heaven here on earth, filled with the fruits of righteousness, peace and joy as I follow You. Teach me how to live right. I need Your help.

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