“If you don’t have enemies, you’re doing something wrong.” –John Piper
Ever feel like nothing is going your way? Does God seem absent or far away? Are you tired of trying to get His attention? I think we all have felt this way at one time or another. Like the rug has been pulled out from under our feet. Like we can’t gain our bearings.
We often forget that we have an enemy in the spiritual realm; he is downright mad and ornery. His primary objective is to derail believers in an attempt for us to turn our back on God. According to John 10:10, Satan’s mission statement is to steal, to kill, and to destroy everything God is accomplishing in your life. Now, if you ask me, that doesn’t seem fair. Why are we are on his bad side? Why is he chasing me down?
Remember, you are not alone. Satan was trying to destroy Jesus as well. And if Jesus was not off limits…well then, hello…neither are you or I.
“Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I [Jesus], the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!” Matthew 10:25 NLT
We can expect to be treated poorly. We can anticipate that Satan will use sneaky tactics to take us down. Don’t be surprised or dismayed, after all, my friend, you are a child a God.
The enemy uses everyday situations and objects. Why, he even manipulates people that you know by name. Don’t be alarmed or disband your calling…for Satan can effectively twist and turn things in the confines of your very own mind. As we surrender more of our lives, circumstances, and situations to Jesus, we make the enemy upset. He will pursue us with a vengeance. However, this should not cause us to shake or tremble with fear. On the contrary…this should cause us to rejoice instead, for we are making the enemy fret. We are entering his territory, denouncing his name, and making nothing of his terrible threats.
According to 1 John 4:4, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
There is something good happening when all seems to be failing. When your world seems to be falling apart. The enemy cannot touch a hair on our head unless our Heavenly Father has first allowed access. As depicted in the book of Job, the enemy lives under tight restraining orders. And please hear this from one who has been broken and restored many times…our good Heavenly Father will not allow the enemy access to you unless it can be used for His ultimate good. God always has the best intentions. He can turn any situation around.
The enemy, under God’s sovereign authority, can only bring pain and suffering into your life that has first passed through the filter of God’s great love for you. We must hold on to this truth with great ferocity. God is always up to something good. He always has good intentions.
Make no doubt: the enemy wants us defeated. He wants us to give up and throw up our hands. He wants us to surrender to the lies. It is in our most vulnerable, weak places that we see him silently prowling around. Places not yet tender. Areas not completely healed. Spaces unyielded to God’s providence.
The enemy brilliantly disguises his lies often leading us to despair or fear. “You are not good enough. God must not really love you. If God really cared, then you would not be in this predicament. See, God is not worth living for.” Rather quickly we forget we are in a spiritual battle, which is not against flesh or blood. The enemy deters us from seeing the truth by using conflict or circumstances to weigh us down.
Through the years, I have come to realize that the enemy’s tactics help identify my weaknesses, especially when it comes to thoughts wandering aimlessly in my mind. I have a tendency to tell God how to run things around here. Keeping things neat and tidy, under my control. Frequently asking God for things like more money, and health…and yes Lord, can I look more like Marilyn Monroe. It is in these recesses of my soul that the enemy maneuvers and meanders about. Making me skirmish as I see that things don’t always go my way.
By pinpointing the areas of my flesh that are weak, I can turn towards my Lord and Savior for strength and healing.
The enemy’s lies can be detected and contradicted with the ultimate truth, God’s Word. When I live my life in complete, continuing surrender, the enemy loses battleground. He no longer is facing me alone, but instead comes into direct combat with God Himself.
During times of personal adversity, I must recount the promises of God. I remind myself God is blameless (Psalm 18:30) and always good (Psalm 136:1). He is looking out for my best interest (Romans 8:28). And when I am hurting and suffering, He cares. Not a tear shed goes unnoticed (Psalm 56:8). Nor do my personal experiences outweigh what Jesus did on my behalf on the cross. He sympathizes with my weakness and for this reason; I can approach the throne room with boldness (Hebrews 4:15-16).
I can freely ask Jesus for help!