Monday, April 22, 2013

Encounters with the Enemy

Scripture tells us that the enemy's purpose is to "steal, kill and destroy."
John 10:10.

It's easy to look around everyday and see evidence of evil in our world.
The bombings in Boston.    Sex trafficking.     Genocide.     Abuse.

This world can be a very dark place.

While the enemy clearly works in the "bigger" picture of our society,
I also see evidence that he's at work in a much closer and more personal way
-in and around my life.

I've seen him tear apart the families of people I care about.

I've seen him in the drug and alcohol addictions that rob my friends and
loved ones of their lives.

I've seen him steal peace, promote bitterness,  ignite fear and instill insecurities.

When I see prejudice, I see him.  

When I see cheating and infidelity, I see him.

When I see suffering and abuse and neglect, I see him.

Scripture says "Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around,
like a lion, looking for someone to devour."   1 Peter 5: 8

That's one of the things I ask God to give me -- the ability to recognize the enemy
when he's coming against me.

And the thing I learned a while back?

He knows where I'm vulnerable.

He knows where I'm weak.......and it's there, he attacks.

He whispers doubt over me.

"will God really protect your children?"

"can you really trust Jesus?"

"do you think He really hears your prayers?"

He speaks discouragement over me.

"you're not smart enough"

"why do you even try?"

"what do you have to offer anybody?"

He whispers fear over me.

"you're going to lose that loved one."

"your cancer will come's just a matter of time."

"you will fail."

That's how the enemy comes against me.

But.    And I say this cautiously.  God is helping me to recognize the enemy
when he speaks these things over my life.

I've asked Him to give me that discernment.

1 Peter 5: 9   reminds me to "Stand firm against the enemy, and be strong
in your faith."

When I recognize the doubt, the discouragement or the fear, I call it out for
what it is and I ask God to help me.

The enemy would have me believe that God is not trustworthy - and that
the life  He wants for me can't be as good as the life I might live apart from Him.

The verse I hang onto is from Jeremiah 29:11:

"for I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for 
good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.   In those days 
when you pray, I will listen.   If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will 
find me."

All I have to do is keep looking to Him.

And when doubt, discouragement and fear are spoken over me.

I will find Him.

If you're hearing that doubt, that discouragement and fear spoken over your
life,  call it out for what it is.

And look to Him.

"I will be found by you," says the Lord.

We will find Him.

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