Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter5:8-11
For the past several weeks God has brought this passage to my mind often. I have been very aware recently that I, along with many, are in a spiritual battle for our very souls. There are those who might think that’s a bit of an overstatement, but I believe God’s word is very clear about our enemy and his desire to destroy us.
You can’t read 1 Peter 5:8 without getting a very clear picture of what our enemy wants to do. The word seeking means to “to seek in order to find by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to strive after.” We have an enemy that thinks, meditation and strives after us, why? To devour (destroy) us.
We clearly have an enemy and God tells us he is the devil (Satan). I don’t know about you, but I have spent many years not really giving him much attention. I haven’t really understood what he is capable of or how he chooses to attack me. I believe that our enemy tries to stop the work of God (Neh 6:9) in many ways. Recently what I have seen is that he clearly attacks me in two very definite ways. Speaking lies and distracting me. As I talk to other women I think our enemy attacks all of us in this way. We each have our own lies we believe and we are each distracted by different things, but in the end if we aren’t alert to the schemes of the enemy he will stop the work that God would have us do.
What lies does the enemy use to stop you from doing the work God has called you to do? Maybe they are some of the same lies I believe? For example he will whisper “no one really loves you” “she’s tired of your friendship” “you are better off not counting on anyone” “you have no worth” “so many others could do this better” and one of his favorites “you are a pretender.” When the enemy speaks these (and others) my first instinct use to be to withdraw, to go bed and pull the covers over my head. Then I would spiral downward and would be useless to anything God might have for me. But today I have learned to speak truth in the face of those lies. It doesn’t mean I still don’t stumble and forget at times, but I have people in my life that will remind me of truth if I forget.
What distracts you? I think most of us would say busyness, and I would agree. But I always think our enemy uses other things to distract us too, good things. For example, I am currently involved in a ministry which I believe the enemy would love to put a stop to. So he often uses seemingly good things to distract me from the work. Distractions like, the opportunity to lead a Bible Study or mentor a young woman. Please hear my heart, these are not bad things, they in fact are things I can get very passionate about. But for me to take them time out now to lead one study or mentor one woman would take away the time that is required to open the doors of The Women’s Center Lehigh Valley where potentially hundreds of women could be taught God’s word and be mentored by spiritually mature women.
Each thing that comes across my path, or your path, must be brought before the throne of God. He has a purpose for each one of us and in that purpose I believe that God has amazing works to perform if we are only willing. But my dear sisters we need to be sure that among all the good things we could be doing, we are doing the one thing God created us to do for such a time as this!