How to Catch the Enemy in the Act
The reality is, the enemy’s eyes are always on you. Be on alert, because the Devil is. The Message version of the Bible states: “This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.” Ephesians 6:12
Be prepared to demolish all strongholds and attacks of darkness. “The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” Psalm 27:1
Here are five possible schemes the enemy throws your way that often go undetected:
Suddenly your peace is stripped from you: Fear and worry consume you. Stop and ask why. You have a choice to make. You can use these moments as a catalyst to immerse yourself in God's presence and regain your joy or be remain disturbed. Choosing the latter gives room for the enemy to cause more havoc in your life.
Many times the enemy attacks after wonderful times of refreshing in God’s presence. You took time to journal what God was doing in your life and overall, it was a beautiful time of peace & worship on this day. The time you spent with God seems but a memory. Without realizing it, you relinquished your joy in the Lord over to the enemy.
Satan’s scheme of interruptions: He puts up detour signs when you are pursuing God in a serious way. He will use any number of techniques to stretch the days between which you devote to God. Distractions are a chief method to be disobedient to God.
Being over-committed is an easy and subtle tactic of the enemy to hijack our day, especially if the “yes” is a worthy one to help others. Saying yes to others when we should be saying no is a sure way to lose your joy in serving, as well as physical and mental rest. Be the best for God and you will be victorious over the interruptions of the enemy. “We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” Galatians 5:22-24 MSG
We are lulled into complacency by our distractions. What’s on your calendar day-after-day that overwhelms you, that you wish you could get rid of, that weighs you down? Too often we blame the enemy and the unseen world when in reality, we are the ones who need to make the change. If you want to be like Christ, admit when you are the one controlling your schedule. Sometimes the rebellious thoughts waging war against us are the obstacles we’ve put up. We put things on our calendars that we “think” are important. What does God say about each activity? “Build your calendar around what you want to become, not what you want done.” (Jason Mitchell) How are you the obstacle in your life to obeying God? “ We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Ministry and serving others. Ask the question - “is there evidence of the fruit of the Spirit of God in my life?” If the answer is no, then there is only ONE other answer. It is the evidence of the meddling of the enemy. There is no neutral ground. He’ll keep putting up detour signs to keep you from sharing the gospel and serving others. Don’t give in to him. Give to others. Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” NIV
How is God using you in your community? At work? For God to use you throughout your day it is important to cultivate an intimate relationship with God in the privacy of your home.
Mental challenges: The enemy loves to infringe upon our thoughts. What thoughts plague your mind? Is it work overload? A difficult relationship? Is your child is having a difficult time in school? You don’t like your boss? Shake off negative thoughts and anything that is keeping you from dwelling and living in the freedom of Christ. “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free..” Galatians 5:1
Live in the Word to experience freedom: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12
Stubbornness: Is it important that you get the last word? I hate to admit it, but I’m guilty of this. When we face a problem and react with irritation at another person, or we slump under the weight of discouragement, or we give in to the experience of defeat, we have given ground to the enemy. We make little choices daily, little pieces of territory that we either "take back" from the enemy or give away. There really is no standing still in the spiritual realm. The idea that we are standing still is an illusion - don't be fooled. “ It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.” Titus 3:3-8 MSG
“Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.” I Peter 5:8