Based on the quantity of my blog posts lately, to say nothing of the long stretches of time between posts, it should come as no surprise to hear that I’ve been struggling lately. Let me tell you, Satan is a jerk. I don’t know why I’m always so surprised when I realize just how deeply he’s got his claws sunk into me, but I am. So it was quite a shock this morning when I read in our devotional the following:
“That’s exactly how Satan works. He begins by bombarding our minds with cleverly devised patterns of irritation, dissatisfaction, doubts, fears, and reasonings. He moves slowly and cautiously (after all, well-laid plans take time). Satan is never in a hurry. All he needs is an opportunity to inject unholy, self-centered thoughts into our heads. If we don’t kick them out, they stay. And he can continue his evil, destructive plan.”
(from Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer)
Wowza. Satan certainly has been injecting unholy, self-centered thoughts into my head and I have been doing an absolutely horrible job (read: I’ve done nothing) of kicking them out. I’ve been stomping around all cranky and irritable, feeling sorry for myself and taking my feelings out on my husband, who most certainly doesn’t deserve any of it. Oh, how I love him even more for putting up with me!
The verse that went along with the devotional this morning is a powerful one. “Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.” Ephesians 6:12 ESV I’ve certainly been fighting against people of this earth, and this really knocked me back into the reality of what’s really going on. The person my anger is focused on isn’t responsible for what’s happening to me – Satan is. Satan is just using my circumstances for his benefit, and I’ve been playing right into his slimy, evil trap. Which leads me to the continuing verses in Ephesians 6:
“So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest. On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One. Accept God’s salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God’s people.”
What gets me most about those verses is actually the last six words. “Always pray for ALL God’s people.” It hit me as I sit here typing this that not only should I be praying for God’s strength in dealing with my circumstances, but I also need to be praying for the other people involved in my circumstances, the ones I want to focus my outward anger on. They may not yet be believers in my God, but they are God’s people, and they need my prayers just as badly as I do. It’s a hard pill to swallow, don’t get me wrong, but it’s what we’re called to do. Take that, Satan!
And speaking of circumstances, I’ll leave you with another great tidbit from my devotional this morning. This comes from Streams in the Desert and I cannot recommend this devotional enough. Today’s message ended with this:
“Faith does not say, “I see this is good for me; therefore God must have sent it. Instead faith declares, “God sent it; therefore it must be good for me.””
I may not see the good in my current circumstances; in fact most days I want to crawl under the covers and never come out; or yell and kick and scream and shake my fist at Heaven. But God has put me here in the middle of these circumstances – he brought me to this perfect place in His perfect time; therefore, it must be good for me.
Can I get an Amen?