Friday, October 25, 2013

Staying clear of the lurking evil …

I’ve said it before … I want to be on the offense against the enemy and powers of darkness, rather than just playing defense.  The scripture in Ephesians 6 rings over and over in my spirit:

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:11-12 NLT

I have this written on my bathroom mirror so it’s the first thing I see when I get up in the mornings (yes, it’s long … but so good!).

As I was driving home from growth group the other evening, I was reflecting on all God did in our group that night.  It was a wonderful time. 

Yet as I drove through the darkness, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it … the uneasiness in my spirit.  Of course, I try to be extra cautious, especially this time of year, as I drive back roads in the dark.  Now that I live in the country, I see a lot more deer.  I try to be aware and drive carefully through.

Yet, there was more to my uneasiness than just that …

When that happens, I just pray.  Pray for safety, covering, and for the Holy Spirit to go before me and guard me … physically and spiritually.  I was also praying to the Lord: “God, show me.  Speak to me in this.” 

Suddenly, I saw an armadillo venture out into the road, stopping just short of my tire’s pathway.  Those are such creepy creatures to me.  And it was a bit startling as I was already a bit uneasy.  I was glad I didn’t hit it. 

About a mile further and almost home, I saw the back of a large deer grazing along the side of the road.  I immediately slowed down, looking all around, hoping not to encounter its friends in the road.  Thankfully, I saw no more deer. 

I heard God’s voice in my spirit.  “See, you need me in everything.  I know what’s ahead of you and behind you.  There is much that goes on in the darkness around you.  You cannot always see it or feel it, but it doesn’t stop.  The enemy is on the prowl.  Listen to me.  You need my Light to illuminate your path.  And always be alert.” 

Ephesians 6 immediately came to my mind.  There is a real darkness and a real enemy that operates in darkness.  It has dominion over this world.  Whether we are aware of the enemy or not, it is still at work around us.  The Lord was showing me … to remind me of my need for Him, to be clear and sharp, to walk in the Light, and to always have on my armor.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm … Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.  Ephesians 6:13-18

The very next morning as I was having my Bible time, God led me to Proverbs 4. 

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over.  Proverbs 4:18-19

Did you catch that last verse?

But the way of the wicked is like total darkness.  They have no idea what they are stumbling over!

They have no idea because they are walking in darkness.  Without the Light of Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit in their lives, they have no illumination to see the path or anything for that matter!  They may or may not collide right into the large creature in their way that could harm them and destroy their lives.

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:25-26

The only way to keep our feet from evil is to walk in the Light of Christ and seek to gain His wisdom in all things. 

Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.  Proverbs 4:5-8

I want to follow His ways and gain His wisdom in all things! Even if it means that I’m considered “weird” to the world …

God has called us to be holy (which means ‘set apart’), as He is holy. 

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

And more about the enemy and those under evil authority … God warns us in Proverbs 4:

Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. Proverbs 4:14-16

See friends, if we are followers of Christ, our lives are going to look different.  He wants our feet to stay clear of the path of the wicked.  He wants me to be different, in a loving, yet truthful way. 

So how do I stay on the offense against the enemy? 

Walk closely with the Father in His Light.  Read His Word daily and listen to Him as He speaks through His Word and to my spirit through prayer.  Put on His armor!!

God, help me remember EVERYDAY to wake up and put on Your armor.  Help me to be ever mindful of the spiritual realm around me, even though I cannot see it.  Help me cling to You and Your wisdom as I live.  Lord, help me not stray from the convictions you have put in me, and help me be bold and unashamed as I live out my worship to You in all I do.  And Lord, help me as I guide my children in Your Way.  Let them see You in me.  In Jesus’ name! Amen.