You Shall Not Go Empty

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In Matthew 4:8-9, the devil takes Jesus up on an exceeding high mountain and shows him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them and says, All these things will I give you if you will fall down and worship me. I know he was once an anointed cherub covered with precious stones (sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, carbuncle, and gold), but when he was cast out of heaven, the scriptures tell us that he drew with his tail the third part of the stars of heaven (angels who left their position of authority and their first estate). It doesn’t mention him taking anything else from heaven. So, where did he get ‘these things’ from? Much of what he has comes from those whom he tricks and deceives.

The enemy has stolen a lot from me (and my family) and one of the ways he has stolen from me was through me trying to please people. Because I didn’t like confrontation, because I wanted peace, because I wanted everyone else to be happy, and because I just wanted all of us to get along, I told the devil yes when I should have told him no. And you know what? I still couldn’t satisfy the devil through the individual. Years later, I took inventory of what was lost and/or missing, and I realized how my ‘yes’ gave him access to manipulate and control me. For a season, he would leave me alone and I thought we were fine. I even thought we were friends – until I said the N-word. You guessed it – No!  Then God told me, You can’t make your enemy your friend for your enemy will betray you. You lose when you tell the enemy yes, but you win when you tell him no. Don’t compromise with the devil. Stop trying to please your enemy (who is at work through the individual) and please Me. If your ways please Me, I will in turn MAKE your enemies be at peace with you (Proverbs 16:7). If you will obey My voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy unto your enemies and an adversary unto your adversaries (Exodus 23:22). All God asks is that I do my part so He can fulfill His part. My problem was I wanted God to do everything. God, can’t you just make him leave me alone? Make him stop.  But it doesn’t work that way.

When the Israelites cried unto God because of their bondage, they were empty, but God promised that when He delivered them, they would not go out empty. You shall spoil  (to take by force; strip by violence) the Egyptians  (Exodus 3:22). God commanded Pharaoh to let the Israelites go and He gave them favor with the Egyptians, but they had to open their mouths and ask for articles and jewels of silver and gold and in order for them to possess the land God promised them, they had to fight. It didn’t just come to them. They had to go get it. They had to take it back.

Will the devil leave you alone just because you told him no? Of course not. Well, maybe for a season. He knows that he can’t stop what God is about do in your life so he will send things and/or people to distract you or to make you quit. He may use threats, try to intimidate you, falsely accuse you of something you didn’t do/say or attempt to assassinate your character, but like Nehemiah, you must pray for strength (Nehemiah 6:9) and then continue the work God has given you to do – for the Lord will prosper you (Nehemiah 2:20).

Don’t be discouraged. Look at where you are as an opportunity to grow. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew  (Exodus 1:12). God may be using your enemies to mature you, to make you pray more, to bring the ministry that is in you out of you or to make you uncomfortable in your comfort zone.

No matter how you look at what you’re currently going through, it is still working for good. God is going to turn that situation around for you and you will go from being empty to being full. When Joseph’s brothers threw him in a pit, there wasn’t even water in it. It was empty. Although your ‘pit’ or ‘inventory’ may look poor, you are still rich in the word and God is with you. Open your mouth and use the word God gave you. God has given you power to get wealth. Wealth is not just money. Wealth is when you prosper in every  area of your life. I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2). God knows where the secret places are and He has given you the riches that are hidden there (Isaiah 45:3). He has given you the power to command what was stolen to be returned to you sevenfold. In past years, you sowed in tears, but this year you shall reap in joy. Your bad news is about to turn to good news!

You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good  (Genesis 50:20).

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