It’s no spiritual secret that the devil has a plan to steal, kill and destroy. He roams the earth like a lion ready to devour his prey. The sneaky thing about Satan is that he doesn’t come to us in a fire red suit with horns and a flaming pitch fork. It’d be nice if he did because then there would be no question of his presence and we would run away faster than a speeding bullet. But that’s the very reason he doesn’t operate like that. Unfortuately, the devil comes to us looking like everything we ever wanted. He hides himself in beauty and gets close to us through the desires of our heart. He presents himself as truth, yet he is the father of lies.
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
Satan wants to kill all of God’s children. He works harder on the ones who have a significant message for God’s kingdom. In my experience, the devil doesn’t have to work very hard when we are already off course from God’s plan for our lives. When we are lost, wandering alone and away from God, we place ourselves in a vulnerable position where satan can easily swoop in looking like the right answer. That is what I’ve allowed to happen in my life…multiple times.
Satan has been after me hard for years. He has shown up in different contexts and worked through different avenues to get to me, but he has been a constant force in my life for years. Recently I have become much more acutely aware of his presence and his relentless attempts to steal, kill and destroy everything I have. Through this, I have also become much more alert and able to see his schemes and fight against them. However, I am entering a new and unknown battle and it has become harder to fight the last few days.
There are situations in my life in which it has become clear that not only was satan after me and fighting against me; he was living in my house. I invited him in (unknowingly), made him dinner, told him to make himself at home and allowed him all over everything I am and everything I love. He has infested my life in a very real way and I have realized I am now powerless over that fact.
(Someday when it’s appropriate I may go into the details of this a little deeper; but for now, vague generalized statements will deliver the message. :))
There have been times, particularly lately, where I truly feel suffocated and choked by the devil and his schemes. Its like being held under water as I watch things happen and unfold that I can do nothing about. I can’t even pull myself up from under the water; and even if I could, I wouldn’t have enough strength to fight this beast. He holds me down until I start to feel my heart beat beginning to slow, then he pulls me up just long enough to get in one breath before pushing me down again. He laughs the whole time. It feels like the devil is winning this round today.
Now, let me be clear. I am in no way saying I’m a victim of Satan and now I just have to lay down and let him win. This is about the exact opposite in fact.
Although I am powerless, I am NOT helpless! There’s a big difference in powerlessness and helplessness.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
Struggle and warfare is not altogether bad. It forces us to find our strength; and the truth is that in order to find our own strength, we first have to find the one who not only gives us strength, but is strength.
John 16:33 says, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
The more I understand abiut God, the more I am blown away by His character and absolutely awed by the fact that He loves us so much. As I go through my struggles, both the small, daily and mundane ones, and the huge, soul shattering, life changing ones; I often forget that God has already overcome all of them. No matter how hard the devil fights and no matter what scheme he creates and even pulls off, he ultimately loses. Every time. Even in the battles that appear to be won by satan and his sidekick demons, God always has the victory. I also tend to forget that I’m not alone in the fight. In fact, not only do I have an earthly team of warriors on my side, I literally have armies of angels in heaven fighting for me and Jesus himself intercedes on my behalf. Wow! That stops my breath.
When I find myself feeling suffocated and choked, gasping for air as the devil tries to suck out my soul, I need to stop and remind myself of this fact.
One of my favorite verses in the bible is Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” This past week, this verse has replayed in my spirit over and over again. Now, that hasn’t stopped me from striving and spinning my wheels and trying to fight this overwhelming battle by myself. I’m a stubborn person with a strong will. God gave me those qualities and he knows how they trip me up sometimes. But just as I have to allow my stubborn and strong willed 2 year old’s to wear themselves out realizing they won’t win the battle by doing things their own way, God does the same thing with me. I have to get to the end of myself sometimes before I finally fall flat on my face and surrender myself at God’s feet and say, “I get it. I can’t do it. Its bigger than me and it is out of my control. I don’t have the strength to fight anymore. You take over.” At that point I literally feel my spirit collapse and God’s mighty hands catch me. He holds me in one hand as he fights for me against Hell with the other. Amazing!
The fight I’m currently in does sometimes feel like a losing battle. At times it seems no matter which way I look, there are demons waiting to devour me. Satan wants me to think he is winning and that he will take me down…and even he thinks he’s winning too.
“But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:9-10.
God lets the battles rage on long enough for us to learn the important lessons we need to learn from them. Meanwhile, He and the angels are suiting up, sharpening their weapons, preparing to take that little devil down and send him running back to hell where he belongs. God always wins.
Even when my back is against the wall and satan himself has his hands wrapped around my neck, God is still in control and He well always win. Therefore, I will always win! Its so amazing that even though I’m like the wimpy nerdy kid who no one wants on their hypothetical spiritual sports team, God says, “I want you. I choose you. We are on the same team and I am fighting for you. Relax and take a breath my daughter because we win!”
So, after fighting in my own strength long enough to realize I can’t do it, I am surrendering. But as I surrender myself into God’s hands, I am putting on my armor. The devil is nowhere near ready to surrender his fight…but that’s okay because neither is heaven. The angels and I are suited up and we are in warrior mode. For this next round I believe I will tuck myself under some angel wings and allow them to do the fighting though. I’m going to let the Lord fight for me because He is much better at it than I am. Heaven’s warriors know how to take down Hell’s peons. The battle is raging on, but I know who wins; and in that, I can rest. In that, I can face and feel the fear and do it anyway. In that, I can do the thing I cannot do!
And so can you!
When you find yourself feeling crushed by the enemy, blast this song as loud as possible. Throw up your hands and scream this out to the heavens! The enemy has been defeated!!! (Even when it doesn’t look or feel like it in the moment.)
Hillsong – The Enemy Has Been Defeated: http://youtu.be/OJqvZUDCZyY
Here’s one more!
Take Heart – Hillsong United – Lyrics [HD]: http://youtu.be/8MfBQ30Ta9w