The enemy is predictable. We know he will attack when we are comfortable. Sometimes it’s an overt affront, but other times it’s a sneak attack. If a door is left cracked, he will come in and wreak havoc. Yet, we know it is coming. We should expect it. His approach may vary, but the inevitability remains.
This week has been a challenging time. It’s been one of those weeks where I was unable to remember the things God has impacted in my life, including me. I allowed satan (I refuse to capitalize that word) into my life this past week. Fortunately, someone reached out and called it to my attention. Otherwise, I’d be well on my way to reverting back to my old self.
I’ll start with the events of the week that made me oblivious to his presence: I was exhausted (mentally and physically) from work, home, and personal battles. I was skipping my morning time with the Lord, especially my worship time as I drove to work. I was chastised and belittled several times, so I kind of “checked out”. Stress levels were high. In other words, I was distracted and overly confident in my faith. I never saw it coming.
I think the exhaustion is my biggest struggle. Normally, the attack is grand and obvious when I’m exhausted: “You’re not enough. You can’t succeed. This is stupid. Why would God want to use YOU?” I was looking out for that approach. However, I was not expecting the evil presence to sneak into my life – and then blossom. I wasn’t expecting the small rebukes, which I was able to counter; the seeds that were planted and watered.
By mid-week, I had basically forgotten to read my morning verse, have worship time, and pray. I was preoccupied with work, chores, responsibilities, and – some new additions – loneliness and despair. I decided that I deserved certain things, including someone to love me despite their commitment to Christ. I was withdrawing into my own world where I am in charge and needed no one to remind me of what matters.
So, yeah…. Before long, I had rationalized that smoking didn’t matter as I stood in line at the store (I didn’t buy cigarettes, but I was starting to ask for them before I realized what was happening), church attendance was unimportant because I have an app to listen to, and that I deserved someone who wanted to be around me. I didn’t need to surround myself with people who encouraged me because “I am an adult”. <Insert eyeroll here.>
Fast forward to Friday evening…. A sister in Christ reached out to me via private message to pass along some messages. Messages that she could NOT have known would impact me and that would hit the target. She reminded me that I am not invisible. God sees me. He loves me. I need to remain smoke-free. Surrounding myself with Godly people matters. I was convicted. Right there on my neighbor’s deck. Every point she made was spot on, yet something she never could have known was occurring.
God reached out to someone who was listening to remind me that I am His child, created in His own image, for His purpose. The reason? Because I was NOT listening. I had allowed the enemy to enter my mind through a mere crack in the window. He exploited that vulnerability, entered into my life, and blossomed like a mushroom cloud. He filled all of the space he could and I. Never. Even. Saw. It. Coming.
When we guard against the big attacks, we never realize how vulnerable we are to the insidious maneuvers of the dark one. It’s not enough to protect ourselves from just the major warfare; we have to be hypervigilant against the little things.
This week has illustrated to me that I need to really be aware of the little negative comments that enter my mind. As they accumulate, they allow access to my sacred thoughts. There isn’t enough room for good and evil in my head. I have to choose. As I was told last night, “Choose wisely.”
I know that I am precious to Him. I am valued. I am loved. I am necessary. I know that I now need to adjust my focus back to what matters and place my trust in the one true King.
Proverbs 3:15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 4:18 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)