Have you noticed, when we become complacent in our walk with Christ, our adversary (aka Satan) doesn’t pay much attention to us?
Why should he?
Even as Christian’s (with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit living within us) we are not much of a concern to the enemy (or the world for that matter) if all we focus on is our personal stuff.
Simply going to church on Sunday, maybe offering a prayer before a meal or tossed off before sleep. Otherwise living every day in this world as we see fit.
I know because I’ve done it. Far too often.
The Bible remains dusty on the shelf, even as a variety of books rotate regularly from nightstand to coffee table to bathroom sink. The television or computer goes on as soon as you wake up in the morning or walk through the door after work at night.
Our lives are busy. There is so much which competes with time spent with our family, let alone quiet time with the Lord. We become used to living a little less than what we’ve been called to I think. The enemy might come along to make sure we are stuck in our own space, lull us into a kind of white noise/white space area so we don’t pay attention to what’s going on around us.
We forget we are living smack dab in the middle of a spiritual war zone—behind enemy lines.
Until we poke our head out of the proverbial bunker we’ve been living in. We start to seek out God, looking to Him for direction. We begin praying on a regular basis. The Bible becomes our go to guide and we apply its principles to our marriages, child rearing, work relationships, and how we interact within our sphere of influence. We begin operating in the gifts, skills, and talents God has given us. We use them according to HIS purpose to impact the church and the world for the better.
And that’s usually when a spiritual attack comes along.
Now, because of my past in the occult many people automatically think I’m speaking of something supernatural (such as I blogged about yesterday). Yes, it’s very real. If this type of event happens it can be frightening, exhausting. A person could be led to start questioning God. These things do happen. We need to be aware and prepared so we can stand firm in that kind of unusual battle. However, I believe most people experience spiritual attack which is much more natural in it’s execution and effect.
Illness. Divorce. Loss of job. Loss of house.
These things which do happen in our world and are always big, loud, and devastating. The concussion of such a blast leaving us disoriented, hurt, even angry (and questioning) God. Yet, these full on assaults more often draw us closer to the Lord. A full on crisis tends to turn our eyes to God, crying out for help. We stand firm in the spiritual battlements with God as our strength. Our faith is built up as we raise our shield or employ the use of God’s word we’ve spent so much time reading and memorizing.
So I’m more inclined to think it’s the sneak attack which can be more effective (and most often employed) by our spiritual enemy.
Little things which add up over time (usually clustered together in a short span). An argument with your spouse over something very minor which blows out of proportion. News which affects your child such as a bad report at school, loss of financial aid, difficulty with friends. The car suddenly stops working. An unexpected bill drains what’s left of your finances. A misunderstanding between friends causes hurt. Things which we don’t think to take to God but rather try to handle things in our own strength.
Soon you are stressed out, worried, and it’s been days since you even thought about God, let alone prayed. Temptation rears it’s head and you falter into sin, causing guilt or self-condemnation (which doesn’t so often lead to repentance but defensive posturing and excuses).
A fairly effective strategy for neutralizing a Christian’s effective witness or impact in the world don’t you think? We must never forget or take our spiritual enemy for granted. Scripture warns us to “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV).
The Bible tells us to be wise and use discernment.
Don’t make the mistake of believing because you are a Christian, you cannot be deceived by the enemy. There are many teachers and messages which seem good on the surface (filled with what sound like Christian belief or language) but are carefully twisted half truths. People who honestly believe they are serving God but are actually bringing strife or belief not supported by scripture into the church. This is how New Age/New Thought, Science of the Mind, mysticism, and any number of false gospels have become so prevalent within the church today.
This is spiritual attack as well.
“These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NLT)
Many Christians become fearful at the thought of spiritual warfare. But honestly, we have no reason to be afraid. God has provided all we need to stand up to (and withstand) the enemy. More importantly, He promises to always be with us. He will never leave or forsake us, always moving ahead of us into the battle.
God has already won this fight.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.” Psalm 18:2-3 (NLT)
This informative memoir and Bible study offers one woman’s unique perspective on Christianity, our world’s fascination with the supernatural, and God’s saving grace.