by Mark Casto
I remember some of the old timers in my father’s church as just a little boy, would always have this catchy phrases about how blessed they were. One of those sayings was, “I’m too blessed to be stressed.” But in a world with some many distractions, opportunities, and hardship, we can turn that saying around sadly to say, “Most are too stressed to be blessed.”In Daniel 7:25 it speaks of the Anti-christ who will, “…speak against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High…”
One of Satan’s assignments is to wear you down. That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 24:13, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
I want to talk about the end-time struggle. In Luke 21, Jesus said that men’s hearts would fail them from fear and the expectation of those things which are to come…
One of the attacks from Satan in the last hour is to wear out the saints through anxiety and fear. Just in America alone, approximately 40 million plus people suffer from anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Satan desires to stress you to a place of fear and anxiety, and ultimately rob you of the very thing that can keep you, that is your FAITH.
It is sad to say but many people do not understand the concept of testing and trial in the eyes of God. We have been raised in church and been promised only the best of God’s blessing and never prepared for the attacks ahead.
God allows testing and trials in the life of the believer. Just look at Deuteronomy 8:2, “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.”
You can also see this in 1 Peter 1:6-8, “6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
2 Chronicles 32:31 speaks concerning God and Hezekiah, 31 However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.”
It’s just like the story of Job, Satan desired to test Job, and God allowed it, to prove Job was who he said he was. What is a test? It is a trial, for the purpose of ascertaining someone’s quality, or what he/she thinks, or how they will behave. By Mark CastoTOO an end-time struggleStressedBlessed?TO BESMG Solutions 59In a bad sense, it is to put to proof his feelings or judgments. It is often to try and test one’s faith, virtue, character, by the enticement of sin or temptations of the devil.
Satan is described in the Bible as a tempter, to plant thoughts in your mind. Because he has no authority in the earth since the cross and resurrection, he can only get that authority by planting a thought in your mind that you will take ownership of. Bill Johnson would say, “When you believe the lie, you empower the liar.” So I want to give you some keys to overcoming the temptations of the enemy.
The Renewed Mind
1 Peter 1:13 gives us instruction, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”Girding was a practice used by Orientals, when starting on a journey or engaging in work, they would use a leather strap to make sure their clothing wouldn’t get loose or come off. We can’t afford to get loose in the word, and we can’t afford to not be covered in it. A renewed mind is a shield to protect you from the fiery darts of the enemy. Because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.Your faith is what Satan is trying to test. Satan wants to steal your faith because He knows that 1 Peter 1:9 says, “the end of your faith is salvation.”
James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” Paul tells us in Hebrews 12, to “run the race with endurance.”Endurance is built in the simple things like daily devotion. It is built when we speak the Word and keep a good confession. We are strengthened to endure with the Sabbath and with just being still in the presence of God.
1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7casting all your care upon Him. For He cares for you.” Actual translation says, “…says cast all your anxiety upon Him for He cares for you.” He cares for you translates in verb tense, “…God makes provision and looks out for you.”
Jesus – Our High Priest
You must know your High Priest and what your benefits are through your covenant.Hebrews 2:14-18 “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”
The only way the enemy can keep you from the blessing is for you to block the blessing in your mind, through the power of agreement with the enemy. It’s time to agree with what GOD says about you and the promises He has spoken in His Word. I encourage you to get in the Scriptures today and find out what God says about you and begin declaring those things over yourself and your situations. No more anxiety or stress in Jesus name!
Pastor Mark Casto is an evangelist and author of When Misfits Become Kings and evangelist. He also leads Circuit Riders Rising, a ministry initiative to multiply voices for revival! To learn more, visit: www.markcasto.com