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From the Pastor's Desk

Anybody else find themselves struggling to finish up 2020? Say it together now...Y-E-S! It has seemed to be a nearly universal opinion that this year has been, for lack of better terms, dreadful. I do not know what your struggle looks like, but I have good news, friend. I do know a God who has not been the least bit surprised by your struggle.

Maybe 2020 has been good to you. In my own life, I got a beautiful niece in March and married the love of my life in June. Why then does the work of the enemy so overshadow those areas where we have been blessed? I have found myself asking that many times over the past 10 months. I do not quite have an answer to that question yet. I am still holding onto peace in knowing that when I reach the other side, I will look back and say that He who began a good work was indeed faithful to complete it.

I found myself opening up my prayer journal this week to write one phrase; the only thing I felt I had the words to write: "Devil, you don't win." Simple, right? God knows it, we know it...so why do we live as if the Devil is going to win a battle that isn't even his? Our victory comes in remembering who the Victor is. The same God that parted the Red Sea, healed the leper, brought Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised Jesus from the grave is still fighting for you and for me every day. He sees every tear that has been shed, every question that has been asked, and every fear that has captivated your mind.

Sometimes we need to remind the Devil of who he is, put him back in his place. He is a liar. In fact, if the enemy is tormenting your thoughts, go ahead and believe the exact OPPOSITE of what he is planting in your mind. He is evil. He is sadistic; it brings joy to him to watch us suffer. In fact, Satan loves nothing more than to see us suffer and live in pain. When you feel doubt creeping in, when you feel fear bubbling up, remind the devil that he has no authority over you. In fact, it is the other way around.

I have recently found myself saying these truths out loud anytime a lie from the enemy begins to infiltrate my mind. "Devil, you do not win," "Devil, you DO NOT win," "Devil, you DO NOT win!!!" until eventually I find strength in reminding myself of who God is and who Satan is. When I'm reminded of which one has authority over my life and the lives of those I love, that same fear is replaced with even more peace.

I don't know where you find yourself in life right now. I do know that the battle is not ours. When we rely on our own strength and knowledge to carry us, it is no wonder we end up in the pits of anxiety, depression, and fear. God never loses battles...and he never wastes them either. 2020 has been a rough ride. Maybe the past 15 years has been a rough ride, but hold on...in the end, the Devil DOES NOT win.

Ellie Yaden

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