Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Eph. 6:11-12
Before the era of parenthood struck, my husband and I took a 9 day trip to Hawaii.
I am a total beach baby. I love the ocean and I love to swim. I thought my husband shared my fascination of the deep, so I grabbed a couple snorkels and decided to follow a group of SCUBA divers below. It was magical. It was so magical that I got lost in my amazement as I swam through sea turtles, rainbows of fish and underwater masterpieces formed with reef and rock. I also got so lost from my husband. He was less fascinated and more frightened of drowning so he retreated to shore.
I really don’t know how much time passed. But as I followed the current I apparently drifted quite a distance around a rock ledge. I couldn’t see my husband or the beach where I started. I sort of figured I would just follow the current until the next beach and plan my next move from there.
That’s when I heard my husband’s voice from the cliff above me. “SWIM BACK!! SWIM BACK!!” I guess he thought I was lost at sea or at the bottom of the sea. He was bit on the frantic side at this point. So I switched directions to swim back. But the current that allowed me to easily glide through the waves made it impossible for me to make any head way in the opposite direction. My husband yelled more. I yelled back. I couldn’t move. I could not resist the power in that current. In just a matter of moments I became winded and out of breath. I had no energy or power to fight that current. I gave in. It was going to take me where it wanted to.
Spiritual warfare is like that. We seem to be drifting along in pure amazement, when BANG! we realize we’ve gone some place we didn’t want to go and we don’t know how to get back. We think about going back. We try to go back. We struggle to go back, but the devil has taken us farther and deeper than we could imagine.
The devil does his best to lull us into peaceful surrender. His whispers are so faint that they become part of our subconsciousness and eventually part of our conscious decisions. He drifts us down and wraps his cords around our heart so we can’t get home.
The bible says that the enemy will:
- Snatch the seed of the gospel (Mk. 4:15)
- Fill hearts (Acts 5:3)
- Tempt (1 Cor. 7:5)
- Outwit (2 Cor. 2:11)
- Preventing ministry (1 Thes. 2:9)
- Perform counterfeit miracles (2 Thes. 2:9)
- Prowl like a lion devouring souls (1 Pt. 5:8)
As unseen as that current, Satan’s pull happens in the invisible world. We walk out the door every morning to a barrage of fiery darts aiming to pierce our soul and we can’t see a thing.
He comes at us from every angle. He sends bad news, hurtful words, betrayals, sickness, irritations and accusations. He comes in your home and in your car. He shows up at work and in the security of your church. He has no boundaries. He respects no limits. He wants nothing but to take you down.
So does Jesus, who sees these attacks, expect us to go it alone? When he sees the current we are caught in does he intervene? Does Jesus leave his mortal children to fight the immortal on their own?
We are his children.
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:26
My relationship with my own children has taught me so much about the way God loves me. I am a mother. I wipe tears in the night and vomit from sick faces. I shield them from danger and guard them from predators. And when I am called, I will fight for them because I am a fierce mother.
He is our Father.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Mt. 7:11
As fierce as I am, I am nothing in the shadow of the Christ. All of my strength comes from him anyway (Eph. 6:10). All the care and protection and fight in me, as a mother, is just dust compared the eternal, spiritual care and protection and fight of my heavenly Father.
Believe it. Trust it.
That’s why Paul told us we better “hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil” (Eph. 6:16).
God’s strength says, as bad as the devil is, as much as he attacks, accuses and assaults, your God is stronger.
- We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 1 John 5:18
- No one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28
- The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thes. 3:3
A friend of mine says, “I fear Christians who subscribe more power to Satan than to God.” Sit on that for a minute.
If the enemy is snatching, filling, tempting, outwitting, preventing, faking and prowling, the Savior does more. And if we are God’s children and if God is fierce when it comes to protecting his offspring then the Redeemer has a response for each attack. The Truth will speak louder than the Accuser again and again.
For every assault the enemy launches Jesus defends. For every weakening Jesus strengthens. For every calculated, studied move of the enemy Jesus shields. For as many whispers as the enemy calls out Jesus shouts reality.
He may speak comfort in your grief. He may speak truth to the lies in your head. He may speak affirmation through his creation, his word, his people. But he will speak. He is speaking.
Here’s the thing, are you listening?
For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. Job 33:14-15
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. -Jesus
Check out the previous post “When God Speaks”