I’ve said before that the enemy’s strategy is to cloud our thinking in our everyday lives. How many of you know what I mean when I say “the enemy”? Do you think of what you learned in church as a kid? Do you picture the devil coming to get you if you lie to your parents or push someone on the playground? Do you picture demons that come after you in the night or demons in the form of drugs, alcohol, depression or other hard to overcome issues? I think we all have our own picture or image of what we think is the “enemy,”the dark side of human nature, the opposite of God.
Do we ever think of the enemy as people we know? Do we even let our minds wander to the fact that the enemy can be deep within ourselves as well? Maybe the enemy comes out when we feel challenged or when a friend of ours is feeling jealous or even when a seemingly benign stranger sees us doing something on the road and “road rage” kicks in. All of these scenarios can be pretty uneventful, passing issues that hardly affect us. They can, however, escalate, and, suddenly the road rage incident causes someone to get hurt – or the jealous friend acts in a way that causes irreparable damage or we convince ourselves to behave in a way that changes the course of our lives.
I’ve said before that the enemy’s strategy in your life is to cloud your judgment or corrupt your thinking. I said in a previous blog post and in my book that in our lives, we’ve all fallen prey to friends who coerce us to do something against our better judgment. I also need to point out that maybe we’ve been involved in relationships and, suddenly, find that our lifestyle is one we no longer recognize or maybe we replay our actions and behaviors in a certain situation and find that we are not proud of what we did and that, further, we are worried about the repercussions of what we’ve done.
Once the enemy – in whatever form – gets inside our heads or the threat of the enemy allows us to weaken at all, we can start down dangerous paths. The enemy will make us question our own judgments, will injure us so badly that we can’t trust our own emotions, and will use guilt to chip away at our defenses and tap into our vulnerabilities. This is how the enemy permeates the minds of otherwise intelligent and secure people and moves through groups of friends, families, or communities, coercing and moving people to behave in ways that they normally would not. Sometimes, good intentions go horribly wrong, as we’ve seen in recent events in our own society. Peaceful protests and vigils turn to rioting and violence. Emotions are corrupted by selfish motivations. The root of the issue is clouded with vulnerabilities, hurt feelings, and fear.
We all have different goals in life; some are big, and some are small. We all share the same goal to move forward in life in a positive way; However, this may be interpreted in different ways. The family man may want success in his career. The single mother may want a more fulfilling personal life and a good relationship with her kids. The college age boy may want to do well in school and pursue a sport of some kind. None of us can move forward if we let the enemy decide for us what direction we take. We have to be stronger than that. We have to be prepared for whatever life sends us. We need to secure our “Armor of God” and offset the attacks that the enemy – again, however we perceive it – will, most certainly, unleash on us.