Open My Eyes, Lord

As we scroll through our social media news feeds and watch commercials on our televisions, we are bombarded with thoughts, ideas, and products. Political ads telling us who to vote for or who not to vote for, shampoo commercials sending us straight to the store, and images of homeless animals convincing us we have to help - all are forms of manipulation. They tug at our heart strings and appeal to our beliefs. They often share what will happen if we don’t act now. While not always bad, many times they cause us to do something we weren’t already planning to do.

Satan operates by fear, control, and manipulation. It’s important that we learn to recognize them for what they are. He will take the one thing he knows is our weakness and attack, preying on our emotions and gaining a foothold in our minds.

 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze: “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things. “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality. “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.” - Revelation 2:18-23 NLT

JOURNAL: What is something the enemy has used to manipulate you or a weakness he has used to gain a foothold in your life?

We’ve all heard the story of Jezebel in the Old Testament (1 Kings), a name made infamous by her terrible deeds. She used her powers of persuasion to lead many astray just like this prophetess in Revelation. The fact that God gave the prophetess an opportunity to repent shows the unconditional love He has for us. Nevertheless, she rejected his offer and chose to face the consequences instead.

Notice what God says in verse 23: “Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.” It’s not just about our actions; it’s about what we think and our motivation. We must make sure we stay grounded in God’s Word so that our mind and heart match what we do.
JOURNAL: Share a time when you did something good with the wrong motivation. Reflect on the state of your relationship with God at the time. Was there a connection between the two?

“But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, to them I will give authority over all the nations. They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star! “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” - Revelation 2:24-29 NLT

We will always face manipulation, as it’s the nature of this fallen world. But we see in this passage that we can overcome it. God has given us authority over Satan’s control. We don’t have to fall prey to the lies of the enemy anymore.
Determine to “listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying” and allow Him to rule your life today.

ACTIVATION: Throughout the week, identify anything that you believe is manipulation and write it down. Find a verse in the Bible that combats that lie with truth and write it next to the manipulation in your journal. At the end of the week, read over what you’ve written and thank God for allowing you to see the lies of the enemy for what they are.

PRAYER: Write a prayer asking God to help you recognize and identify manipulation as you encounter it throughout the week. Ask Him to help you fight those lies with truth. 
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