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Friday, November 10, 2017

No longer a victim

Be careful—watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart. Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too. (1 Peter 5:8-9 TLB)
If you have ever played the "victim", you know how easily you can fall into the pity party mode. Before long, you have yourself made out to be so this or that, the other guy totally wrong or hurtful, and the spin begins. The truth is that we have one really big enemy who is out to put as much of this "spin" into our lives as possible. He knows that as long as we are "spinning" the pity wheel, we are not focusing on how much God cares for us, is madly in love with us, and has more than enough grace to help us through that difficult place.
Victims aren't always blameless. Sometimes the "victim" puts themselves right where they shouldn't be and then wonder why "all this is happening" to them. In this case, they opened the door to the reality of the muddle they find at their doorstep. There are just times when we are in the wrong place at the right time and we get caught up in what would have been best to not "step in". We don't need to be caught "unaware" of the trap being set for us. We can develop a keen eye to the traps, but we have to be willing to pay attention in order to see them.
Any good trapper will tell you they work hard to disguise their trap. Why? Nothing comes into what looks plainly like a trap! They avoid it because they know there is something suspicious about it. To spot counterfeit, the study of the genuine is most important. Why? We don't need to study what is "wrong with the picture" - we just need to know very well what the true picture looks like. As scripture reminds us - truth sets us free. We aren't going to spot the attack, or realize the trap, if all we do is study up on how many ways something could go wrong! We need to study how much grace has made a way THROUGH all attacks.
In the military, we learned to set up something referred to as a "M-18 Claymore mine". It is a semi-circular mine with a trip wire. When the wire is "tripped", the mine explodes outward in a pretty broad pattern. It isn't all that accurate - not like the sniper's bullet - but the massive outward explosion is sure to hit somewhere on that victim's body. The enemy of our souls uses a lot of these types of "mines" to trip us up - knowing that something in the "big scheme of things" will eventually hit target. He doesn't care that it doesn't totally "kill us" - he knows maimed "soldiers" are pretty lame.
The enemy's mines may be relationship directed, with all the explosive power directed toward damaging "something" in that relationship. His financial mines are designed to keep us indebted, taking our focus off God and placing it more on the worries of how we will ever "bail out". Whatever the "mine" is, we need to become aware of where those "trip wires" are. When we begin to recognize the environment we are in through the eyes of God, we will be able to spot what is "out of the ordinary" or is "counterfeit" in real time. Then we will be able to successfully navigate the mine fields that have previously claimed us as "victim"! Just sayin!