Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
It’s amazing how the enemy works. He seeks out people to destroy. It’s his purpose. It’s actually his one and only purpose, and no one is excluded from his destruction. I remember my old way of thinking on this subject. I thought as a Christian I couldn’t be destroyed by the enemy. In my mind, he was out for the “bad ones.”
That was back when my thinking was more religious and less relational. Now I know better. Not only do I look back and realize I was wrong, but it’s almost as if my way of thinking was completely opposite of the truth. Those “bad ones” (which doesn’t exist, by the way. We are one and the same) are already far from God, so the enemy doesn’t care. It’s those of us spreading truth to others; we are the ones Satan wants to destroy.
I strongly believe those who walk closely with God are the ones he aims to destroy the most. When we walk closely with God, we sometimes feel “above the attack” because our walk is so strong. We are so enthralled in the connection and closeness we have with our Creator that we sometimes let our guards down. You know what I mean?
The enemy is aware our guards are down, and he takes the first opportunity he sees to pounce. Even worse is too many times we don’t even realize we’re in the midst of destruction until it’s too late.
It’s vital we always be on alert in everything we do. When our stride begins to mirror God’s, we must still be alert in all areas because the enemy is waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
Swiper No Swiping
Yes, it sounds silly I know. However, as I write this I’m reminded of Dora and Boots, and more than likely if you’re reading this, you are somewhat familiar with the cartoon. Dora always has a mission. She needs to get somewhere, and she usually is taking something valuable with her. On their journey, it’s inevitable they will meet Swiper the Fox at some point. He’s always lurking behind bushes or trees waiting for an opportune moment to wreak havoc.
Now, sometimes Dora is alert and on the lookout for Swiper, and she knows exactly what to do to make sure he doesn’t take her things from her. If she’s alert she can say, “Swiper no swiping,” to which he responds with, “Oh man.” He’s unable to steal her things if she’s done exactly what she knows to do to defend herself.
Every so often, though, Dora and Boots and whichever friends may be with them are focused on their destination or the fun they’re having together, and they let their guards down. Swiper shows up, but they aren’t alert and prepared, so he’s able to take their things before they get a chance to fight back.
This is very much like our walk with God. We’re on a journey, and we enjoy the conversations we have with God. We sometimes get caught up in the destination focusing on where we’re going rather than the actual journey we’re taking to get there. When that happens, the enemy appears and causes chaos and confusion for us before we even know it—before we even have a chance to defend ourselves.
If we’re alert during the journey, we can be prepared when Satan attempts to take something from us, and we can use what God has equipped us with to fight back and defeat him before he can even try to attack us.
If you are walking closely with God, he will warn you ahead of time that an attack is coming. It’s up to you to be alert and listen to those warnings preparing yourself for a possible battle.
I say this because I recently found myself battling because I wasn’t alert and prepared. Don’t get me wrong; God fully equipped me for the battle and even gave me enough warning to help stop the battle before it began.
I wasn’t alert, though. I wasn’t on the lookout for an attack of any kind. Even though my walk was so close to God, I failed to catch his warning to me. I was so caught up in my destination to help others and speak to others that I thought his warning was for someone I was helping rather than myself.
Just like Dora focusing on how to get to her final destination, I was doing the same thing. And just how Swiper comes in and takes her valuables from her before she realizes what happened, the enemy did that very thing to me.
We All Mess Up
As a leader and mentor to girls all over the world (wow that’s crazy to even think about), I know I’m viewed in a different light. I’m looked at as a model to some, and I’m aware of that. I strive to be a good model. However, I am no better than anyone else, and I mess up just as anyone else does.
I messed up and the enemy almost won the battle to destroy me. He found an opening when I wasn’t looking, and he made himself right at home. I discovered so much about myself through the battle I fought, and God opened my eyes to things I had never considered.
The battle is over, and I came out the victor, Praise God! It was a very difficult one to face, and I hope to never face anything like it again. I am still dealing with repercussions of the damage he was able to cause, but I have won the battle, and I’m thankful to God for standing by me when I found myself far away from him.
What I know is if we keep our mistakes hidden from others, the enemy has a stronger grasp on us. It’s important to bring everything to the surface. Shed light on it all because where light is, dark is not.
I want to bring my mistakes to light to all who read my words. We all are called to share God’s word, and I feel incredibly blessed to be living out my calling. What I’ve found is the more people I reach, the more the enemy throws at me, and I must have my fans, readers, friends, pastors, and mentors hold me accountable for my actions and help me stay alert to the enemy who is seeking to destroy anyone spreading truth.
As someone speaking truth into your life, I’m asking for forgiveness for allowing the enemy to come in and cause a certain amount of damage (not destruction—I am not destroyed). Thank you for understanding that I am only a person, and I make mistakes just like anyone else. Praise God for redemption and mercy!
I will continue to grow spiritually and speak truth to all who listen (or read in my case).
If you feel like the enemy has a grasp on some area of your life right now, please know God is fully of mercy, and he wants you to be released from that grasp. More than likely you’ll even find that he’s been showing you ways out, but maybe your focus was somewhere else, and you didn’t even see it.
Go to him today and ask for help to win the battle, and no matter how difficult you feel it may be, FIND SOMEONE and tell them what’s going on!!! I’m so grateful for the people around me who I did not want to talk to but still helped me fight the battle (some who don’t even realize they helped).
Talk about it because the more you talk about it the less the enemy can control your actions. It’s when they remain hidden you find yourself in a dangerous situation. God loves you regardless of where you are right now. You Are Loved!
Be Ready for Battle at Any Time
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 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.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17 NLT