I very nearly didn’t finish my book Loved So Much It Hurts. For one, it was excruciating to relive the trauma of going through cancer. But for another the enemy did not want it to get finished, which was a sign that it needed to get finished. For months, my family endured attack after attack as the enemy tried to drive me off track and make me give up.
Whether you’re seeking God’s calling for you or you’ve already received your commission, the enemy is very adept at finding our weaknesses and the weapons (people) to use to keep you from achieving your purpose.
Peter in Matthew 14:29-30 is a great example of this:
“So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!'”
Like Peter, I tend to learn thing the hard way, but God is patient, and what the enemy means for evil, God uses to teach us and strengthen our faith. Spending more time one-on-one with the Lord each morning in praise, worship, prayer, and the Word has made me more sensitive to these lessons and has given me fuel for the day—and boy do I need fuel. What I’ve learned through these attacks is that the problem lies not in the people causing me grief, but within myself.
My Achilles’ Heel in all these instances is partnering with the spirit of pride. And the reason the enemy uses this demonic spirit is simply because it’s so effective. It’s rife in the world today, because few people can resist it. But the ugly truth is every time I’m hurt, or angered, or annoyed by something someone says or does, my focus has shifted from the Lord, to myself—which is exactly what the enemy wants. It wasn’t the waves that defeated Peter, but taking his eyes off Jesus.
When you’ve been programmed all your life to look out for “number one,” it isn’t easy to change that focus. After all, we have a right to be respected and treated with dignity … don’t we?
Do you realize that the Bible mentions nothing about personal rights? On the contrary, we are called to a life of humility, meekness, and self-control. Our perfect example of this being Jesus Christ, who,
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”—Philippians 2:8 NKJV
Only through communion with my Lord and Savior am I capable of becoming like Him. It’s well worth the extra time alone with God each day worshiping Him and allowing Him to change my perspective. In the end, He’s certainly more deserving of my focus than I am, and there isn’t anything that can be done to me that wasn’t taken care of long ago.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”– John 16:33 NKJV
And, best of all, a change of perspective will render the spirit of pride powerless, eventually making him less likely to attack.
So, what happens when the enemy finds a new weapon? I’ll be ready. When it comes right down to it, unpleasant as it may be, each run-in with the enemy is just one more opportunity to exercise obedience; one more opportunity to become more like the One, who overcame the waves and the world!
God’s grace and peace be yours,