The sermon last Sunday laid out the trap I unwittingly fell into every time. Then I became aware of the trap. And still got ensnared.
It reminds me of those Ninja Warrior courses. You can study the course, you can practice going through it, you can train for months to prepare for it. But sometimes you are still going to fall into the water.
And then you are eliminated.
BUT, unlike the Ninja warrior course, you get do-overs with Christ. You can go through the maze again and again until you get it right. But be forewarned: you often must successfully complete one obstacle before you can move to the next.
This trap of Satan’s is no secret. It’s laid out in the Bible for all to see.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
You need not read further than Job to see the three areas he attacks us with.
- Your Health: This was a big one for me. I’d overcome addiction and not even been tempted. Then something would happen. A car accident, an injury, a needed surgery…once the doctor gave me the first shot of something, the devil had me in his grasp again. Sometimes I was able to pray through it. Other times I wasn’t so strong. It was a battle I thought I was destined to battle-and lose- forever. But then I got through it once. Then again. And then a third time. And I felt like the chain had been permanently broken. I will always be on guard in this area but I do feel like I went to the mat with the devil over this one and won.
- Your Finances: I have been poor and I’ve been well-off and both have their issues. When there’s no money, you can get worried or despondent and really doubt the Lord’s ability in your life. When there’s plenty of money, you can easily lose sight of what’s really important. Our current income is commission-based and the Lord has blessed us. But He has also had us go through some really lean times. I once thought we were doing okay if there was a new box from Amazon arriving every day but I’ve come to realize that’s not it at all. We are okay when we are focused on our relationship with the Lord, with each other, and we are serving others. Sometimes it takes times of having no money to strip my focus back down to Him. I have, however, gotten better about panicking when it looks like our sack of flour is almost gone. He always provides and there’s always just a little more each day to see us through. (See 1 Kings 17 for a perfect example of this.)
- Your Family: This is currently the obstacle I struggle with and since Satan can’t get me on the first two, he has moved to this. For the most part I do well. I’ve learned to step back and not take things so personally all the time. Mostly. I do tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, especialy when it comes to my family. But I recognize that miscommunication is a trick of the devil that always leads to hurt feelings and I can usually separate the spirit and the flesh in this regard. But what I REALLY struggle with is when someone hurts one of my kids. I’ve had to literally ask myself if revenge is worth more to me than serving God. And sometimes I don’t like the answer. This is an area I think we all struggle with to some degree but we don’t have to.
Because we know that the Lord sees all, knows all, and can do all. He’s our own personal bodyguard and if we hurt, He hurts. We can find power in the following scripture (verses Satan hates) and we CAN overcome anything.
- “. . . For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8b
- “. . . I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall be any means hurt you.” Luke 10:18b-19
- And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:17-18
- But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. Luke 11:20
- How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Isaiah 14:12-15
- And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:11
- “. . . And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation 20:9b-10
- For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-15
- The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18-19