The four stages towards destruction
Jeremiah 15:3 - And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the LORD: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy.
Most of the time we do things that angers God and provoke Him to act against us. And when we are being pulled up, we tend to glorify Satan by giving him the credit of persecuting us. In our walk towards righteousness remember when we keep our efforts to keep on to the road forward, Satan can not touch us. Most of the time, we are fighting our own sinful nature not Satan. It is only when we turn back, rejecting the Lord and His ways, then only does Satan get access to us. If he does, he tends to act quickly and devour us and the people around us. But when we are under the wings of protection of the Lord no one, not even Satan can touch us. If we are going through problems (not persecution from people for preaching the Gospel, or walking on the path of righteousness - testing) we need to reflect if we are being chastised or are we under the purification process or are we being taught by the Lord (which also is a part of the purification process indirectly).
When chastised or punished there are four stages a person goes through
1) Physical or natural calamities: these could include sicknesses, disasters, accidents, financial problems etc.. It is at this stage most of the time God stops and has mercy on us.
2) Destruction of the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us: this leads us to not having peace of mind, there is no love within us, we keep loosing our patients, we have no faith in God, we have learnt to overcome our conscience etc.. This stage makes our inner being spiritually dead; it is when the 'fowl' (insects) destroy the fruit. If we have passed this stage then we stop being God's children and the anger of the Lord really tends to fall on us.
3) Being possessed: this is a very, very rare stage where evil spirits start to reside in the person. Most of the time it is people being tormented from outside. In the case of being possessed, the person has surrender and become party for the evil spirit's plans of destruction, of others and ones self. The description 'dogs to tear' is very appropriate, the word 'tear' in Hebrew 'cachab' used here, really means 'to drag'. The person may look at peace in the start from outside, but they are being torn apart inside and soon this becomes visible on the outside too.
4) Made a testimony: this is the last stage where the anger of the Lord (sword) really comes down on the person. This person lands up becoming a spectacle, a testimony for all to see. This is even rarer than stage three.
At every stage the Lord tries His best efforts to turn us back, bringing us to repentance and correction. His mercy is always available to pull us out even at the last moment, only we need to come to realization, repentance and surrender. Stop giving Satan importance and start reflecting on the truth. Remember nothing happens in this world without the knowledge of the Lord.
This teaching is not to scare but to wake up. Remember our God is a merciful God; He is the Father of mercy. He loves us and wants us to be with Him, His plans for us are plans for our prosperity not for our destruction.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Father God, I know You love me and because You love me You chastise me. I thank You Lord for correcting me and for your mercy that is always over me at every stage. Lord deal with me tenderly but do not leave me, nor let me pass on to the next stage. I make this prayer in Jesus' Name, Amen.
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