Life has many ups and downs. Some of those downs are self inflicted, like making an unwise decision. Yet, a lot times those downs are deliberate actions by our enemy, Satan. We need to be on guard and recognize when it’s his attempt to take us down.
Recently I had a week where it seemed every move I made was being blocked some how. Ever have days like that? Maybe you’re heading out to bible study and you can’t find your keys. Funny, when we move towards God there is always an invisible force trying to stop us. The Bible teaches us in John 10:10 NKJV we have an enemy who want to “steal, kill, destroy” anything that’s honoring or glorifying to God.
Here’s a few examples from my week of how the enemy tries to sabotage us:
Monday I went to update my website only to discover I was unable to because the site provider was migrating to a new server. Oh, that’s right I remember getting an email notice about that. No worries I can go one day without updating the site, I told myself. (Notice, I’m not thinking about the enemy here, I just write it off as “Oh, I simply forgot”.)
Tuesday I tried to update the site again but found it was still out of commission. That’s strange, the migration was supposed to take only one day but now my sites been down for two. (Hmm, I starting to think something else is going on.)
Also on Tuesday, I had agreed to do some data entry for my church and the assignment was due on Friday. I made arrangements to pick up the material at lunch and I had errands to run in that area anyway. (Ah ha, things were clicking, this is good.)
Tuesday night when I sat down to start the work, I discovered my MS Word trial version expired. No, problem I told myself. I had a purchased MS Office CD up stairs, I’d simply reload it. Only when I reach for the CD I noticed the activation code was missing. (How can the code be missing? Great! I bought the software but can’t use it, what a waste!)
Now, not only would my volunteer work be jeopardized, but also my writing would be hindered! That also meant my site wouldn’t be updated until I got a new copy of the software. After talking it over with my husband, we agreed I should order a new copy of the software via the internet. The only problem was I wouldn’t be getting it until to arrival until Friday. How would I get the volunteer work completed in time? What about my site? What about my writing? (By now, I’m starting to see a pattern. There’s definitely more going on than meets the eye. Notice how all these activities were God centered?)
Once I recognized the enemy at work, I knew exactly what to do: Put on the armor of God. I immediately humbled myself before the Lord and asked Him to guard me with His perfect armor. In pray I began to recite Ephesians 6:10-20 NKJV:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…” In Jesus name I pray Amen.
Then an idea came: Work on the data entry during my lunch hour using my work computer. And would you believe, that each day at lunch time, my work meetings ran late and spilled over into my lunch hour! But I laughed at our enemies feeble attempt to stop me! I persevered until the job was done, thinking to myself, that data entry work must have been important for the enemy to try so hard to stop me.
A lot of our struggles can be some what alleviated when we recognize the work of the enemy. In Ephesians it said we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, which means it’s really not a physical problem you’re dealing with, but rather a spiritual problem. When we do our part to turn to God asking for help, He is faithful to guide us through the situation, whatever it may be. When you find yourself struggling against the odds, recognize the enemy at work and do as Ephesians says: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand…”
Lord, thank you for your enlightening and freeing Word. Thank you for being faithful to answer our prayers and guide us through life’s difficulties. Thank you for equipping us to stand against the wiles of the devil. Help us recognize his attempts to take us down. Give us the strength and courage to armor up and take a stand. In Jesus’ name Amen.
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