As Christians, we fight an enemy who we cannot see. Just because we cannot see him doesn’t mean that we can’t recognize his scheming ways. Jesus showed us how clever the enemy is with His own temptation in the wilderness just after His baptism. In contrast to his first temptation of Eve and then Adam, Jesus does not get tricked by Satan’s distortion of God’s Word. Jesus shows us that knowing the truth of the Word of God is vital to victory.
In all the world, it’s difficult to think that Satan is focusing just on you. That is true. His power is not unlimited like God’s. Where God can always be thinking of you (Psalm 139:17-18), Satan interferes in your daily life in a scheming manner. He goes after your community so that the milieu in which you live drowns out God’s voice and presence in your life. Most of us are easy targets for satan. We follow our flesh, our comfort, our will to discover a peace that enters our life our own way—perhaps by not acknowledging what is really happening in the world. Rather we get our coffee and check off our list of what we consider makes a successful day’s existence. We go to bed at night believing a good day is when we have had to face very little discomforts along the way and rarely consider why God has given us another day.
The best way to spend a day is to spend it understanding that God is the giver of life (1 John 5:11) and a day is an amount of time that can be received as an opportunity to conform your thoughts, feelings and decisions with His love for you. One of the first things you learn in marriage is that you have someone else to consider when you make decisions and that some of your decisions cannot be made without the input of your spouse. Since God is our spouse, it goes the same way. You consider God’s presence in your day and realize that He is there to give you wisdom, guidance and strength. He will be there for your ordinary tasks just as much as for the big projects you have in your life. Satan’s biggest scheme against your spiritual life is to make you unaware of how much God loves you and how present He is in your daily life.
When God is part of your existence, He can reveal the enemy of your soul that you desire to defeat. I love it when God can use Satan’s schemes against him in my life. A recent example was when I did not want to go on a mission trip. I was going out of obedience but not looking forward to it at all. The morning I was rushing around getting ready to leave for the airport Satan made a miscalculation in my life. I spilled a whole cup of coffee on my brand-new computer; then after I filled it again, I spilled a half cup on a special quilt. I never do that! It wasn’t until I spilled the second cup that Satan’s scheme caught my attention. I thought about where I was going—on a mission trip.
Why would I be getting so distracted and upset? It would be to miss out on what God wanted me to do or experience on this trip. It was only then that I wanted to go on the mission trip. I wanted to thwart Satan’s plan—the way he had been assaulting me all along by creating the discord within me as a result of not wanting to attend. The coffee spills didn’t make me madder. They brought my attention to the fact that if satan didn’t want me to go then God must have a reason for me to be there and special work for me to do—within me and for others. That is exactly what happened on the trip. It took a while before I realized the work of Satan or my own flesh that was keeping me from uniting with God for this trip.
Ephesians 6:12 clearly states: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We need to remember that it is the invisible enemy we fight and are guaranteed victory over when we battle depending on Christ and the armor of God.