On one of my trips to Africa, I met a tour guide who told me the story of a group that had been warned not to get out of the jeep in certain areas. They were told that it was extremely dangerous and they were to stay in the vehicle no matter what. A woman thought she knew better than the tour guide and got out of the jeep and was killed by a lion.
I never forgot that and it reminds of me 1 Peter 5:8:
Be sober, be vigilant;because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
I don’t go looking for drama. At all.But especially before critical times of ministry, like the upcoming Thrive Conference, it comes looking for me. I’m telling you it hunts me down! It comes looking for me in such an outlandish fashion that it’s almost comical.
I wish I was exaggerating but I’m not. Over the years I have had craziness unleash like problems of a six-figure magnitude, health scares, relational trauma and breakdowns I never anticipated, people dying, and worse. (Yes, sometimes it seems worse than death.) Again, I wish I was exaggerating but I’m not. I’ve had things happen I would not wish on my worst enemy even though I make it a practice not to have enemies.
So far, this week has been one of those weeks. I got back from vacation and BANG! There it was. Something crazy out of left field.
I don’t write this for sympathy, but to help anyone this is happening to who needs a word of encouragement. Particularly if you are new to this level of attack…I’m here to help you!
Outrageous things happen to you during times when ministry is ramping up…
Where you are on the cusp of open doors…
When your next level is so close you can almost taste it.
That is when the enemy circles, just waiting to pounce.
Notice that 1 Peter says that the enemy is seeking whom he may devour.
He’s looking for someone who fits the bill…someone he can get away with doing it to.
DON’T BE THAT PERSON.
You’ve got to have a made-up mind that you are NOT available for the enemy to devour.
Here are 3 things that help me avoid being devoured:
1) Use the Word.
The enemy is relentless BUT you’ve got to be even more relentless. Stand on the Word of God and do not budge! It is imperative to keep quoting the word and do not become proud thinking you can do this on your own. Keep in mind that Jesus was approached by Satan. And when Satan tried to ensnare Jesus, He repeatedly quoted the Word of God. He would always answer, “It is written…” If Jesus didn’t do it on His own, that should give us insight that we cannot defeat the enemy in our own power. Satan is the father of lies, so keep in mind–if there’s one thing he can’t stand it’s being continually confronted with truth! Give him more of what he can’t stand!
2) Listen for a word.
When you stand on the word and stay in a posture of listening, God will give you very specific direction from the Bible and also through the gifts of the Spirit. (I Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4.) Last evening I drove home from work and felt prompted as I often do to play one of my favorite worship/prayer playlists and be silent and wait to hear from God. During this time, God dropped a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom and clear direction to me. Sometimes just hearing one phrase or word from God is all it takes to get you through! With intentional times of listening I have experienced not only getting plans of action when needed, but supernatural insight and strength for the battle.
3) Know the season.
Remember that 1 Peter 5:8 says to be sober and vigilant. Other versions stay, “stay alert.” You have to know what time it is. Nothing is by happenstance. I just know that when certain events are right up on me, preposterous things are going to take place.
I look at the lives of friends whose lives are devoid of those types of spiritual events or activities. Maybe they don’t even know Christ. Some appear to have almost no warfare at all. There is no threat. This is not to criticize anyone or make me out to be the only one who is experiencing challenges. Far from it. I am saying that those who run the same type of spiritual race– those who are leading or serving in any type of endeavors that are going to lead to life transformations through Christ…these are people who are going to face a different level of attack. In short, if you aren’t doing much of anything to impact souls, Satan isn’t worried about you.
We’ve got to remember the season and what/who we’re up against. Staying alert is everything.
I encourage you today if you are on the verge of something transformational, stay awake and steady no matter what you experience. Send a signal to the enemy that you are not easy prey.