Stand Guard!

I don’t think you can go through life and at some point not feel lonely, unimportant, or think no one in the world cares for you. I see this more clearly now that I am on the Back 9. Thankfully I haven’t had very many of these moments. I am the most blessed person in the world because of a wonderful family and dear friends. But to be honest, at times, I have had those feelings. Feelings that I now recognize are from the enemy! LIES!! Lies that he whispers. No one cares. Everyone is too busy. Your insignificant. You do not belong! I haven’t taken a survey recently of people who have heard these lies too or bought into them. But I just figure if the lies could work on someone like me, then they must be “effective lies” for others as well.

Just like when Satan tempted Jesus after He had been fasting for 40 days and knew He would be hungry, he knows when to slip in at an opportune moment and go for the deception. The difference between us and Jesus is that Satan picked an extreme circumstance to tempt Jesus. He knew it would be his best chance but HE Failed, because Jesus, even though he was fully man, He was God. We are not!! Satan can use simple circumstances to come at us.

Look at just two examples today that are prime times for Satan to pounce. For women, Satan loves to slip in at that “one time of the month!” For men, it may be “right after that lost sell in business or a loss in a sport.” There are countless other examples but I will stop here! Get the picture? There are times when we all are more susceptible to attacks from the enemy. Moments when we are more vulnerable to believing the lies!!!

I have found that someone can appear to have everything the world has to offer—success, power, influence, and a ton of friends—and yet experience a feeling of loneliness and feeling no one really deeply or truly cares. Satan loves to whisper lies to you and find the most “opportune time!” He loves to have a slow steady drip of whispers to make you feel isolated and lonely. To trap you into the thought that turns into conviction or belief of your insignificance. This is a lie. It comes from a dark pit of hell. Don’t buy into it!!!

Satan is a deceiver. He comes dressed in disguise and is very crafty in his approach. Never blatant nor easily recognized. Sadly, because we all are sinners, he can work through others. Yes, even Christians. He can convince someone to think they don’t belong or use words spoken and twist them to mean something other than what was the person’s intention. I hope you are following me here. As long as you take a breath in this world and there are imperfect people (that would be everyone–Christian and non-Christian alike), Satan can take words and actions of others that are not meant to be adverse and twist them, distort them, and confuse them. Making our thoughts turn very negative and create separation and division. He loves to divide. If there is division, the next step is conquest.

I have learned some very effective tools to combat the enemy and counter his attacks. Have you heard the old saying, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer”? Well, I am not recommending that you be close to Satan but I am recommending you be aware of his tactics and stand guard. Remember, I Peter 5:8 tells us to, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

The following are some effective ways to STAND GUARD AND TAKE DOWN THE ENEMY:

1. Prayer–not just a daily time of prayer but learn to shoot “arrow” prayers to God ALL DAY LONG! Recognizing God is with you wherever you are!!!

2. Memorizing scripture–quoting it to yourself or whispering it OUT LOUD. Remember, God can read your mind but Satan cannot. So whispering it out loud makes Satan flee. He cannot stand to hear the name of Jesus or HIS word. When Jesus was tempted, He quoted scripture back to Satan.

3. Communication–so important. If you have wronged someone or someone has wronged you, pray about approaching them and seeking to reconcile. Satan loves division. FIGHT AGAINST BEING DIVIDED with others.

4. Benefit of the doubt–Giving people the benefit of the doubt and what they are characterized by can be key, especially if you take a step back and reflect on what is going on. Are you at a vulnerable place such as being tired, hungry, sick, or are other outside circumstances affecting your emotions?

5. Seek wise counsel–choose carefully–a trusted friend, a person who might be a little older (wiser) based on experience, your pastor. Be vulnerable to them about your feelings. Just having them join you in prayer is a great help.

Whether the attacks of Satan result in feelings of loneliness or negative interaction with others, Satan is a common adversary for women and men. I encourage you to keep your focus and eyes on Jesus. But do not discount that Satan is real. He exists and his number one tactic is to TAKE YOU OUT!! Jesus is the source to combat and defeat the enemy. No one can defeat Satan in their own strength. It takes the supernatural strength of the Holy Spirit who dwells within the heart of a believer.

Psalm 119:28-30, “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law. I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.”

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