Saturday, April 14, 2018

Avoid that pile...

I once heard a coach tell his team they needed to find out what the other team was going to do - paying close attention to their formation, footing, eye contacts, etc. Then he said to them that this how they could take that next move into their own control - making it almost impossible for that team to 'make that next move'. Maybe this isn't bad advice for our daily lives either. If we were to pay a little closer attention to the enemy of our souls, observing his moment, noticing how he is 'setting things up' so we can take a fall, maybe we'd have a better understanding of how to counter those attacks!

8 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. 9 Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too. (I Peter 5:8-9 TLB)

I think many of us feel it is impossible for us to actually 'stay ahead' of our enemy's attacks. It is like we stand there and just continue to take the beating time and time again, him scoring full-on hits repeatedly in our lives. I honestly believe God has given us all we need to not only recognize his attacks, but to begin to understand his strategies. When we become more familiar with the strategies of our enemy, this is the fuel we need to form a solid defense against him!

God gives us his Word, complete with very specific illustrations and examples of how the enemy of our soul opposes us, setting up attack after attack. For example, the story of David would give us an illustration of why we don't want to attempt to stand alone in life. We need the companionship of others, especially when it comes to facing our enemy. David had a couple very specific examples of when he didn't do very well at resisting temptation when he stood alone - like when he sent his warriors off to 'do war' and he stayed back. That opportunity presented that infamous encounter with Bathsheba and his fall into adultery. 

From this example, I might come to realize I don't do well resisting temptation when I am not doing what it is God has planned for me to do. David was the leader of the army - he was their king. His place was with his soldiers, not back at home camp killing time in leisure activities. I might also recognize that where there is a weakness in my life it becomes harder and harder to 'look the other way' when the temptation is right there in front of me. Either way, I have been given these examples so that I can learn (and you, too) how to recognize where it is the enemy plans on making his attacks. The plans of the enemy are best thwarted when we are paying attention to learning how he moves!

We are also given immediate help - because the Holy Spirit of God indwells us with his presence and power. When we may not immediately recognize we are about to step into a trap, we can count on him to give us that little niggling that lets us know our steps are about to get us into a pretty big pile of poop which will leave a pretty nasty effect that lingers for a lot longer than we might like! Some of what we learn is by studying - at other times, our learning is more by the power of observing. Both are necessary if we are to ever understand and respond to our enemy's attacks. Just sayin!