A few weeks ago, I had a foreboding feeling that the enemy would attack either my friends or myself. Some girlfriends from church and I planned on going to a weekend women’s retreat (that’s actually where I wrote a bulk of today’s content).
If I’ve learned anything from my walk with God over the last few years, it’s that the enemy is just as determined as my God to capture my attention. We can be certain that if our intent is to spend time in fellowship with God, the enemy would assuredly want to keep us from that sacred time.
I thought about emailing my girlfriends a few days before the getaway: “Beware! The enemy will get in your head and try to be present in your circumstances. Do not fall for it! He wants to keep you from going on the retreat as much as the Lord yearns to have you there. Pay close attention to how the enemy tries to get to you through your family. He loves using what’s most dear to us to accomplish his wicked schemes.”
I never got around to sharing the proactive reminder, but the message still got told as, one by one, friends experienced obstacles, potentially preventing their attendance. Each time I shared the advice I wished I had shared just days before.
I wasn’t immune to attacks, either. My youngest called a few minutes after I left: she had a splinter and wanted me to come home to take care of it. I didn’t, nor did I go home after each of the ten or so times she called throughout the weekend. She was ok!
The enemy will do anything in his power to keep us from being with the one who created us. He actually takes delight in it. So, knowing this, we can be on the offensive and recognize when he is more prone to attack.
Got a mission trip planned? Gear up.
Going to a bible study on Wednesday? Hold your hats.
Driving to church on Sunday? Young families, ever notice how getting out the door on Sunday is hardly ever the highlight of your week? Even if you successfully make it to worship, how present are you, really? If you are stressed from the fighting, distracted from the nagging, and unsettled from the rushing…you’re probably not very present at all. I wasn’t in that season.
The enemy is unrelenting, but so is our Lord, and He is so much greater than anything the enemy can try to throw our way.
That said, I do get it. Real life happens. For better or for worse, valid reasons come up and our plans have to adapt accordingly. This is not about those circumstances.
Before I wrap up today, I want to leave you with a quick story of when God provided in the midst of the enemy’s schemes.
A few years ago, I was away on a mission trip. I lived in PA, but my mom was back at her home on Long Island with my kids. While I was away, one of my daughters came down with pneumonia. No one would have blamed me in the slightest if I packed up and went home. In fact, some may have even judged me for staying…but here’s the thing: the Lord already knew about her sickness when He placed it on my heart to go on the trip.
My mom masterfully cared for me when I was a sick child, and no one else could have given my own daughter better care than the woman who raised me. Not only that, but there was another woman who also felt led to go on the mission trip: my daughter’s pediatrician was away with me!
She walked my mom through all the things and even instructed urgent care on how to treat her. When my mom was back home with my daughter, our pediatrician walked her through how to do the nebulizer treatments.
Can you imagine?! My daughter responded to the treatment by the time I arrived home, and I was grateful for the time away with God. I was in awe over how He provided! I was also keenly aware of how if I had left early, I would have missed the opportunity for God to show his faithfulness. Not only that, but I would have handed the enemy what he wanted right on a silver platter.
Father God, Fill me with your Spirit so I may more easily discern when the enemy is attacking. Help me to remember that battles between myself and my loved ones are actually battles with the enemy itself. Although I know Satan would like nothing more than for me to believe otherwise. I must not forget that you supply my every provision, and I will have everything I need in every circumstance. Do not allow well-laid out schemes prevent me from spending time with you or in the fellowship of other believers.
In Jesus’ Holy & Precious Name,