Welcome In Matthew 16:23, Jesus tells Peter, “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Wow, those are some pretty harsh words. I would have been crushed if I had been in Peter’s shoes. I understand what Jesus is saying, though, but I still can’t help but feel like Peter was just sad at the idea of losing his dear friend. Aside from this lesson, I have noticed that sometimes I have these words in my head when I’m trying to avoid temptation or sin that might cause me to stumble. I’m not yelling out to other drivers or rude people, “Get behind me Satan!” as I am sure that would only increase my problems! But thinking these words in my head brings my mind back to the “things of God” rather than “things of men.” I can use these words to help me fight my own battles against the temptations I face each day. Once I realized this is quite a useful tool, I thought about some other verses I can take with me on this “battlefield.” I hope you find them useful, too.
Today’s Scriptures Ephesians 6:10-17 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Food For Thought Take particular notice of that last part in verse 17-the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. We are instructed to use God’s Word as a weapon on the battlefield against the evil one and his work that brings us to sin. When I was younger, I did not understand truly what this meant. As I got older, I heard others talking about how quoting scripture can keep temptations at bay. Honestly, I thought they were nuts, probably because I envisioned someone walking around quoting scriptures at awkward or inappropriate moments. First of all, I now realize there’s not really an “inappropriate” moment to quote God’s Word. Second of all, I have been putting this into practice, and it does help. Really. Don’t misunderstand, I am, and always will be a work in progress. I face some situations that in the heat of the moment or weakness, I forget about my scriptures that are supposed to keep me on track. Sometimes I quote my scriptures, and still fail. Other times, I might be quoting the wrong scripture or I’m focused on the wrong thing at the time. But there have been times when focusing on the right verses at the right time, whether meditating on them or saying them out loud, has brought my own worldly thinking around to the Spiritual again. This has strengthened me to resist temptations.
Some of my biggest weaknesses involve negative and judgmental thinking, along with envy and comparison. It’s ugly, I know, but I first have to be aware of my weaknesses in order to improve in these areas. When I feel my mind starting to wander into these murky thinking patterns, I have repeated in my mind, “Get behind me Satan, get behind me Satan, get behind me Satan.” I know that evil thoughts such as these are only from the evil one himself. If I can use words from Jesus, I can trust I’m going to be well-armed in my battle against Satan and sin! Over the past several months, I have found several verses to be useful when tackling my daily battles.
Different verses are appropriate for different occasions and situations, so it’s always good to have a full toolbox for this type of work. Like when I’m stuck on mistakes of the past, and can’t move on, I like to use Isaiah 43:18, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” When I feel I’m unable to fight a battle any longer, I like to meditate on 1 Corinthians 10:13, knowing God will always provide a way out for me when I’m unable to hold up under the strain any longer. I have experienced this wonderful mercy first-hand. Second Corinthians 7:1 is always a good source of words for standing up to the enemy, as well: “…let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” Sometimes I just ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for me, as in Romans 8:26. I don’t know about you, but I can use all the help I can get on my daily walk. I encourage you to read these verses to help strengthen your armor.
Announcement My daughter is on Spring Break next week, so I will be taking next week off from blogging and writing so that I can spend time with her and my husband, who will also be on vacation. Don’t forget our giveaway that’s going on until April 1, by commenting, sharing, or liking any post on our Facebook page or here on the blog. I will announce the six winners from the drawing Monday, April 2 on the Facebook page. Good luck, and enjoy the beautiful new season of Spring and Easter.
Today’s Recipe One of my daughter’s favorite meals is pancakes and bacon. Tough critic, I know! While our family definitely enjoys breakfast for dinner, we noticed that pancakes are one of those things that really spikes my husband’s blood sugar, even though I use sugar substitute and sugar-free syrup. So, I have been on a quest to find a pancake recipe that might not wreak havoc on his diet, while still giving us that feeling of yummy comfort food. So today I’m going to share this Banana Oat Pancake recipe that is refined-flour and refined-sugar-free. We like the subtle flavors and the texture is not dense or gummy at all! I hope you like them, too. And let me just say, the picture doesn’t do them justice, unfortunately!
Banana Oat Pancakes (makes 10-14 pancakes)
- 2 bananas
- 2 cups oats
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 TBS honey
Place ALL the ingredients in a blender and MIX. Batter will appear thin at first. Let it stand for about 5 minutes and it will thicken. Spray griddle with nonstick cooking spray and heat to medium high. Pour batter (I poured straight from the blender jar) onto hot griddle in size you desire. Cook until bottoms are golden brown. Note that these pancakes take a little longer to cook and there won’t be as many bubbles on the surface to let you know when to flip. It was almost six minutes before I could flip mine on my griddle, but yours may be different. Watch them carefully and lift slightly with spatula to check underside before flipping. Serve with desired pancake toppings-they go really well with sliced banana and fresh blueberries or strawberries!