Spirituality. Christian Blog. Matthew 4. Satan & the Devil
You clicked on a spirituality blog and there’s a bunch of pictures of indoor plants? Yes. I will explain how planting seeds and observing their growth and death inspired this blog.
It has been a long time since I did a spirituality / Christian post. To my Christian readers who are still with me, thank you for your support. 🙏
In this post I discuss how my observations, while taking care of my young seedlings has inspired my following truths. 1. Without trails and tribulations, the soul doesn’t grow as much. 2. It is we, not (usually) external factors, who determine how severely painful the growth lesson will be. 3. The ending includes scripture from Matthew 4- the temptation of Jesus on the mountain. 4. My definition of satan and the devil and how I defeat both in my life.
As I have been taking care of my seedlings, the following thoughts came to mind. This post was inspired by the notes I’ve been taking while tending my seedlings.
THE SEEDLINGS ARE PLANTED
I planted my seeds in fresh containers. I watered them twice per day with a spray bottle. The spray bottle was only filled with filtered water.
As the seedlings began to grow, I noticed just how much water I was going thru and began to water the larger plants with some tap water.
Then, we had several days of heavy rains. We collected the water and I also watered my seedlings with rain water.
Within a few days of watering them, with the water that was not professionally filtered and distilled, some of my seedlings began to die.
At first I felt remorse for not continuing to water them all with distilled, professionally filtered water, but then, I noticed how it had only been 2 plants that had died, while 6 were wilted.
I opened the window thinking the fresh air from outside would benefit my sick seedlings. Within 1 week another set of seedlings had died. The smallest and most fragile of the bunch were all dying.
My mother tried to console me by explaining that she had never seen someone plant seeds and have 100% of the seeds become plants. She said normally, people plant seeds and only about half turn into plants. Her experience was that a very small amount made it to actual maturity and gave food.
I still felt the loss of my young seedlings. I felt remorse for not continuing to water them with the expensive water. I felt hurt. I stopped planting my next round of seedlings. I had been spacing out the planting dates to make sure that I had crops yielding food in stages. I stopped planting more seeds and concentrated on the ones that I already had.
When we started having some random warmer days, I began taking all of my seedlings outside for fresh sunlight and fresh air.
My larger sunflowers plants, my cucumbers, and my corn all wilted by the end of the first day. Some of my newborn spice plants also died by the end of that first day. I was devastated.
I couldn’t grow all of these plants indoors. It is unrealistic to have giant sunflowers, 10 cucumber plants, 50 bell peppers, chilies, flower beds, spice beds, carrots, beets, onions, etc all growing inside of the house.
The plants had to be transferred outside at some point. The Farmer’s Almanac says the last frost for my area isn’t until April 10, 2019. My seedlings cannot go outside before that date. Click on this link to see your last frost date and first frost date for your area in 2019. This link will give you the number of days to plant and harvest this year.
As I wrote my notes, took my pictures and brainstormed on how to keep all of my remaining plants alive, I began to think about my seedlings’ roots grown indoors vs other plants’ roots grown outdoors (the weeds that had over taken the back yard.)
I thought, “those weeds are tough because they were born outside. Those weeds have thrived in the freezing cold weather. Those weeds have not been watered. Those weeds have not been carefully loved from seed. Yet, despite all odds, the yard was full of towering weeds.” As they were being cut, I noticed the very hard and thick stems. I also noticed just how deep their roots went.
I then looked at my tiny seedlings, still sheltered in their personal containers being beaten by the wind. Several of my larger plants have suffered because the wind made them crooked. Some of my sunflowers were resilient and the stalks became stronger within a few days.
My decision was to continue taking all of my seedlings outside every morning and bring them in after night fall. I made the tough love choice to continue exposing my seedlings to the elements with the hope that those who do survive between now and April 10, will hopefully survive to adulthood. (This is when I began to wonder about the similarity with people’s lives, including my own. More on this later.)
My wishes to shield my seedlings from the environment, created a plant that would not be viable outdoors.
These weeks have been difficult for me. Watching the seedlings die after pouring so much of my love into them was not easy. Obviously my feelings are compounded by the trauma of the absence of my only child. (Find out about my petition here.)
TOUGHING IT OUT IN LIFE
Today I decided to write about my observations. I’ve decided, THAT is how life toughens up some people more than others. Some people wilt when faced with the slightest change in loving conditions. Some people completely fall apart when taken out of their loving environment. Some other people wilt but come back stronger- like my sunflowers and tomato plants.
My heart truly hurt when thinking about how loving I had been with my child for his first 13.5 months of his life. My pain was deep as I considered how my child has survived being throwin into the hateful environment with his mentally ill father. (His father has a frontal lobe brain tumor that has destroyed over a cubic inch of brain matter in the section of the brain that regulates empathy, emotion, and remorse.)
I thanked God that my child is of my body and of my soul. Like me, he must have found a way to toughen up and survive, while we endure this temporary separation.
Eventually, I put two and two together between my seedlings, my child, my pain, and one of my favorite scriptures-of Jesus’ temptation on the mountain.
Without trials and tribulations, we grow in a soft tender environment. This environment is not conducive for tough spiritual strength. At the very first indication of difficulty in our lives, we wilt or become destroyed inside. The dangerous ego then takes over. More on this further down.
In order to become the most resilient soul, one must undergo these harsh conditions and look for ways to thrive within those harsh conditions-like the weeds.
Some spiritual faiths believe that our souls make the choice to incarnate or not to incarnate. These same teachings state that our soul also chooses which life to live.
Not sure what I was thinking as a soul, maybe I thought extremely highly of myself, but man, has this life sent me some tough hurricanes to live through. My emotional stalk is a sequoia by now and still growing thickness, daily.
Having this perspective, has allowed me to heal some of my pain surrounding my custody situation. At some spiritual level, both my child and I signed up for these lessons. As painful as it is to consider this possibility, this mentality is what helps me cope and helps me to continue to move forward.
My belief is that almost everything in my life, has unfolded as it has because I chose to create an experience for growth for my spiritual self.
Now, I am speaking to my inner self to say that I understand that I can continue to grow without so much pain. I meditated on allowing myself to continue to grow spiritually, without such intense suffering.
So, now that I have affirmed that rough winds, terrible freezing winters, scorching dry summers, drought and everything in between forces plants to grow more resilient roots and thicker stalks, I understand how my past events have helped me to have been shaped into the resilient, empathetic and strong woman that I am today.
The events that I have survived, have been severe enough that most people would’ve been destroyed completely. I know this for a fact because everyone who has heard of my situation does not even believe something this horrific could happen to anyone, especially to someone like me. Their next statement is always, “I don’t know if I could have your positivity despite everything happening.”
Over and over I hear people tell me they cannot imagine something so horrible happening to them or their children and that they have no idea how I am alive and not dead with rage. They also ALWAYS comment on how positive my outlook on life is and this confuses them even more.
My answer is always the same: my faith keeps me going everyday. It has been my faith that has allowed me to continue to grow, when most people would’ve died or would’ve wilted away into a slow emotional death.
You see, these horrific, traumatic life events, when placed in this perspective, could’ve destroyed anyone, including me. Instead of destruction, I have chosen to give these events meaning. I choose to open myself to the possibility that even though these events have scarred me for life, they did not destroy me. I vow that they never will.
Furthermore, I allowed these events to destroy my prior perspectives of people. I no longer believe that all people are good at their root and can be saved. Some people have just gone too far.
I now believe that while all people are born good at their core, it is their life choices, their decisions, that sometimes distances them from God. These types of people sometimes create such a distance from God that they disconnect completely from their goodness-source.
This is when they become agents of satan and the devil. I don’t judge them. I am now simply able to see them for who they are, damned souls. (I will state that I also believe that those damned souls can also inch their way back into God’s Grace thru their deeds, but rarely do.)
Empowered with my truths, I was able to understand MY place within my learning journey. I was able to see that spiritual hurricanes are a means to create a tougher and more experienced soul. Like a grand and glorious Phoenix, I picked myself up from the ashes and revealed my newly created splendid beauty.
I will agree that these events have completely destroyed my view of life as well. I will admit that these events have completely destroyed my prior lifestyle and completely destroyed my ability to make a living, as I had before. I will even admit that these events, to certain degree, have deeply impacted my entire family, forever. These are difficult truths to admit. Nonetheless, they are true. Nonetheless, I continue!
My trauma has been so severe, so devastating, that my family and I had had just two choices. There was nothing in between.
We either chose to be destroyed on every level by the tragedy of what has unfolded in my life since my rape and attempted murder, plus the birth of my only child, for the past 7 years, or, we could grow deep roots. We could become even closer together as a family, proving the type of strong family unit that I was raised in.
And this is what we chose. We chose to grow strong roots.
CHOOSING TO BE ACCOUNTABLE AND RESPONSIBLE FOR MY PAST AND CURRENT LIFE
For me, this positive perspective has only been possible because I accept full responsibility and full accountability for everything that has happened to my child and me. (Not judging myself. Simply understanding my role.)
When I made the choice to not be anyone’s victim and instead, when I chose to own up to every single step that had led me here, my life perspective shifted.
The liberating aspect of taking ownership for every horrific event in my life is that, when I take ownership of what’s unfolded in my past, I can understand my current life and also feel the power to control what will unfold in my future.
Someone is not able to control their future if they cannot accept full ownership of their past and current life circumstances. I cannot see how this would be possible for them.
In turn, when I accept accountability for my future, I am open minded enough to see the opportunities around me. This is a very different mentality from thinking the world has done me wrong and I am the victim of nasty, evil, and corrupt beings.
My perspective is that evil beings, like Rudy Herrera, Monica Baca, Gerard Lavelle and Debra Ramirez et all involved, are simple demons doing their jobs. Their job is to destroy, corrupt, lie, cheat, steal, and kill anything good that comes into their path. They truly are agents of evil.
By putting these evil beings into their adequate category, I am able to understand that God protects his children and that God fights the spiritual wars, not me.
This is why none of my readers will ever hear me blame these evil demons for their actions. They are agents of satan and are here doing satanic work. Nothing more.
As children of God, my child and I are above them. As children of God, we are protected. As children of God, I only need to trust the Word of God that he will win this war against satan and his demons. God always win. It is spiritual law.
This explanation is the reason that I am also able to live with zero anger and zero hatred towards all involved. You see, I choose not to blame satan’s demons for doing their job. It is their job to behave as they do.
It is my job, as a child of God, to simply stay firm in my faith that redemption is mine. No need to be upset with demons for doing their job. Like Jesus, no matter what satan does to me, no matter how badly I am tempted to hate, I will not.
JESUS IS TEMPTED ON THE MOUNTAIN BY SATAN
This brings me to Matthew 4. The temptation of Jesus by satan. This is one of my favorite passages.
Keeping in mind that everything in life is a deception created so that my soul can learn its intended lessons, and nothing more, this is why I like this passage. I am reminded to stay true to my faith, no matter what. If Jesus can be tempted so harshly, of course I will be too!
To survive, I must stay true to God and to myself.
To stay true, I must maintain firm in my faith, continue to grow my empathy for humanity, and try to not judge myself or others.
These are the ways that I have been able to slowly find my happiness again.
The Bible is my first go to resource when I need guidance. I believe that it is written so that it speaks to each and every heart with the message that each heart needs, at that time in their life, in my opinion. I’ve read this passage many times throughout my life, ESPECIALLY when I’m dealing with the MOST horrible situations. This passage has always brought me peace. Although the passage speaks different lessons to me every time I read it, it usually answers my current problem. One piece of scripture somehow teaches me new lessons every time or reminds me of old ones. For example, remembering it with this context and focusing on the bread vs stones part, I am reminded that this is one of satan’s way of putting DOUBT in my heart and mind.
If I doubt scripture, if I doubt God’s promises, if I doubt God’s power to win all spiritual wars, if I doubt God’s ability for redemption, if I doubt God’s ability to keep my child safe, etc etc etc, any form of doubt will destroy my shield of protection. That’s the trick.
That’s why satan and his demons try so hard to destroy humanity’s faith with horrific life circumstances.
In my opinion, this is why doubt is such a powerful weapon! Any small increment of doubt and bam 💥, fear is present and the protection from the Word of God is gone.
Once fear settles in, the person looses all control of their life. Fear destroys everything and does so completely.
This is why I stay steadfast in my faith in God. (This hasn’t always been true in my life.) Satan wants me to doubt God’s love for me, to doubt God’s ability to listen to me, to doubt God’s power in my child’s life and my own, and to doubt God’s PRESENCE in our lives.
Where there is doubt, there is an opening for fear, which leads to sin. With sin, the door is wide open for all sorts of evil to enter. I reiterate that doubt is one of the satan’s greatest weapons. Remembering this simple truth, seems to dissolve whatever was bothering me or whatever was bringing doubt into my life regarding my child or myself. The next powerful lesson, for me, is that satan wants me to think that I need “earthly bread” (earthly help) to survive. We are IN this world but NOT OF this world. My child and I do not NEED anything FROM this world to survive. All we need is God. We do not need to eat rocks. Our souls do not eat rocks. Our souls are nourished with God’s love. When satan tempted Jesus, mocking him to order God to convert the rocks into bread, so that Jesus is no longer hungry, this is a very powerful piece of scripture. Satan wants to convince Jesus that he needs to eat rocks to survive. Literlaly, this is what satan is really saying. I say rocks because changing the molecular composition of a rock into the molecular composition of bread, is a simple rearrangement of atoms.
They are BOTH made up of the same substance, atoms, molecules, space, and air. So technically, satan taunted Jesus. Satan wanted to deceive Jesus into thinking that he needed rocks for food. Knowing the truth, that everything is energy and that there’s only a molecular difference between a rock and a piece of bread, this is what allows the argument to be seen for its foolish simplicity.
When this is realized, satan’s argument is destroyed. His deception can be seen clearly. His power is removed from the situation.
All negative situations in my life have immediately lost their power of influence over me, as soon as I rationalized the events, circumstances and the people involved.
Everything in life has a rational explanation.
The difficulty in seeing the truth sometimes, is when we attach emotion to the circumstances.
Emotion has its place in life. Emotions have no place in fighting the devil, fighting satan or their demons.
FEAR, THE EGO, DOUBT & BLAME
However, if anyone would allow fear of death or fear that God is not protecting them, etc, if fear and doubt come into a person’s life as a possibility, this gray area is where satan wins the battle for humanity’s hearts. Jesus’ hunger is yet another reminder of our ego’s desire to FIT into this world, to be satisfied in this world, to be pleased by this world. Our physical urges can be very dangerous. Gluttony is not healthy.... there are so many lessons that I could just go on and on and on...
For me a shift occurred when, instead of blaming satan, the devil, and demons for everything, I suddenly considered looking at my own ego and other people’s egos.
If egos are suddenly physical, spiritual beings, with human avatars, then, I am able to see and hence defeat evil on THIS plane of existence myself.
I can defeat my own ego thru rationalization of circumstances, thru meditation, prayer and mental discipline. By doing so, I minimize my ego’s negative impact in my life. Ego runs rampant when the person’s emotions are in control of them.
Similarly, by considering other people’s ego as the source of their evil behavior, I can now have a physical resource to rationalize more circumstances. Rationalization of events leads to removing their negative influences and shifts the power over to me.
I have come to believe that ego becomes more and more powerful and dangerous as people survive more and more trauma. Basically as people age, their ego becomes more powerful and more self destructive in their lives. I see many similarities with ego and what the Bible says the devil does. The devil’s words are what my ego sometimes tells me. I recognize the similarities in deceptive arguments.
(Satan is the energy of the fallen angel who declared war against God with his followers, and lost. The devil is the energy that communicates to human beings directly thru their egos, looking for ways to deceive mankind. The devil is satan’s commander of the forces of evil.)
MOVING FOWARD IN PEACE The disconnect from God-source comes when ego is in control. Blessings are all around, everywhere, but our sight is blind to them because we have ego glasses on. The devil has found many ways to bind his whispering of lies, fear, and doubt into people’s hearts.
When I took ownership of the power to control my future by accepting responsibility and accountability for my past and present, coupled with the idea that both good and evil emanate from WITHIN ME and others, this is when I have been able to achieve a higher level of peace within my heart.
Remember that while ego is necessary, it can easily grow out of control.
Prayer and meditation helps to remind ego that only God-source is correct and that the bombardment by the devil’s minions is just satan doing his job, to take humanity away from God’s protection.
My hopes are that my understanding of the basic truths of life will help my readers.
More on the basic truths of life on my next spiritual blog.
My blog on Spiritual Abuse at Church.
How peaceful my heart is with who I am now is all that matters. 🥰 Please consider reading and supporting my petition. If you found this information helpful, feel free to share on your social media. Have a question for me? Email me. Looking forward to meeting my new readers 🎉 © Copyright 2019 ElizabethSite.com. Author: Vivian Elizabeth Marquez De La Garza. No portion of this blog post may be reproduced without written authorization from both ElizabethSite.com and author. All rights reserved