Be Set Apart: Resist Enemy Thoughts

Read Judges 13:6-24

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

God’s covenant keeping heart doesn’t stop Him from loving or pursuing the children who have deserted Him. While the Israelites accepted enemy ways and their dominance, God refused to give them up. God sent an angel of the Lord to share with a barren woman that He would give her a child that He would strengthen and empower to begin Israel’s deliverance. This woman shares her encounter with her husband Manoah who, wanting additional details, prays for a second visit. God grants the request which ends with a dramatic climax. Manoah is terrified as a flame appears from the altar which, along with the angel of the Lord, ascends toward heaven. Seeing this, the couple fall with their faces to the ground in fear and awe. Manoah’s initial response of fearful reverence escalates to fearful hysteria as seen in his shouting, “We are doomed to die! . . . We have seen God!”

Thank goodness for a rational and reasonable wife who brings perspective to Manoah’s frenzied panic attack. This wise woman reminds her husband that God visited them because He cares about them and their nation. His intention is to deliver them, not destroy them. Lastly, since God promised to birth a deliverer through them, it doesn’t make sense that He would destroy them.

Manoah made the error of interpreting life’s happenings through the lens of fear. This resulted in distrusting the goodness of God and dismissing His promises. It’s likely that he would have fallen into despair and depression if his wife hadn’t spoken words of truth which brought God’s perspective to their situation.

Like Manoah’s wife, when facing fearful thoughts and circumstances, chose to believe and speak words of life. Bring to mind the goodness of God including His faithfulness and unending love. Reflect on God’s promises. Because Manoah’s wife trusted in God’s goodness and faithfulness, she did not accept an ancient Jewish superstition that death would result if you saw God or an angel. Her belief in the goodness of God conquered fear.

Personal Response

Satan’s enemy attacks haven’t changed much and their strategy remains the same. First is the invitation to question God’s goodness, next to distrust His Word, and lastly disobey His instructions. As the enemy invited Eve to question God’s goodness and to distrust His word, he planted fearful thoughts to Manaoh, and he is presenting lies to us today. Below are a number of faulty beliefs that need to be resisted and replaced with God’s truth. Use the examples below to help discover enemy lies targeted at your life.

False belief says: My life is barren and empty.

God’s Word says:

  • The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 (NASB)

False belief says: I am insignificant.

God’s Word says:

  • You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you. Isaiah 43:4 (ESV)
  • For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Deut. 7:6

False belief says: My life is meaningless and purposeless.

God’s Word says:

  • For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer. 29:11

False belief says: God has abandoned and deserted me.

God’s Word says:

  • The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8
  • Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Psalm 27:10

2 Responses to “Be Set Apart: Resist Enemy Thoughts”

  1. Susan B Says:

    Thank you, Lorie, for such fruitful insights. I am enjoying this journey of Samson. It is very thought provoking. Manoah’s wife’s faith and encouragement is such a testimony for us today. What a woman of influence and example! Her direct reassuring words to Manoah spoke truth and confidence. “Know ye the truth and the truth will set you free.”
    I also so appreciated the appropriate scriptures that you shared. I have read the Samson series in the morning but they stay with me all day pondering the awesomeness of God’s love and power. I look forward to the next devotion on Samson as if I can’t wait to get to the next chapter in a good book. T

    • Lorie Says:

      Thanks Susan for your encouraging words and for sharing the personal impact of these devotionals in your life. Realizing that God’s word is intended to transform us not simply inform us, it’s easy to question the influence of my writing. I wonder if the time I’ve invested will bring valuable insights that impact lives. These devotionals required hours to compose. I don’t feel equipped to write until I’ve spent time with God reading His Word and listening to the message He’s bringing. Time reflecting on His Word is my springboard for writing. Since none of Christ’s disciples composing the gospels were trained writers, I’m hopeful. I’ve concluded that the disciples and other effective writers are successful because they have good content which came from spending time with Jesus and writing about Him. I’m trusting that as I spend time with Jesus, I’ll have good content that impacts and influences lives. Thanks again for your inspiring words that encourage me to continue this pursuit.

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