…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles… Hebrew 12:1
Nothing delights our enemy, Satan, more than entangling us. Sometimes he does this through devastating circumstances—anything that overwhelms and brings on worry, stress, or fear.
The more dramatic, the better.
Most of the time, however, Satan is far more subtle. It is his specialty.
As I was led to write today’s blog, I felt an oppressive heaviness. I usually do my first draft on Sunday, but each time I started to sit down to write, something else took my attention.
I’ve been reading a wonderful little book by Robert J. Morgan called “The Red Sea Rules.” He traces the Israelites’ journey from the pillar of cloud to the Red Sea and through to the other side. The book provides “ten God-given strategies (or rules) for difficult times.”
Rule #3 is “Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.” Satan is likened to a serpent in Genesis 3, a bird in Matthew 13, a wolf in John 10, a lion prowling around in I Peter 5, and a dragon in Revelation 12.
As if to emphasize that point to me, the Lord led a blogger friend to include in her writing this week that very verse from I Peter 5:8 about Satan being like a lion prowling around to devour us.
Our job is to be aware of him, but to put our focus on the Lord. How?
The next day I turned to another chapter—Rule #4 Pray!
We must practice continuous, fervent prayer—even when things are going well (especially when things are going well), for we can be lulled into passiveness, one of Satan’s favorite tactics.
The author quotes seven verses that each use the word “earnest.” My favorite:
The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16 (NTL)
Or if you prefer: The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (KJV)
Interestingly, the Greek for both “effectual” and “fervent” have to do with working diligently. Therein is the key, I believe. We must work fervently in our praying until it becomes as natural as breathing. I confess I am still at the working stage.
Satan is delighted when we aren’t working at all!
While my husband and I are away from home right now, we visited a church Sunday. The pastor spoke about how the Israelites forgot their need of God’s presence.
Then I read a subscriber comment from my blog last week—”Life and laziness crowd in and Satan does a happy jig when I fail to take time to pray.”
That was the final push the Lord gave me to go ahead with this blog.
What was hindering me? That old serpent, the dragon of Revelation. But, while earnestly seeking the Lord, He gave me Scripture verses, a devotional book, reinforcement through a friend’s blog, a pastor’s sermon, and a comment from one of my subscribers.
He does things like that when we are fervent in prayer.
Get thee behind me Satan!
~ Joyce ~