"Be alert." God said.
As I took my morning walk along the peaceful greens of my darling neighborhood, God began a new chat with me. It was direct and simple as usual. Oh how I cherish these moments with my Creator. It is a an honor to share these times with others. Thank you dear readers for opening your ears and eyes for the voice of God through this mere messenger.
Recently I read 1 Peter 5. In a portion of the chapter, Peter warned Christians to be self-controlled and alert regarding our enemy Satan.
1 Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
At the moment I read Peter's instruction, I questioned my power to actually demonstrate self-control. Don't I need some help from God
for such a tall order?
On this morning, God turned the verse around to allow me a better understanding.
God: "Be alert."
God: "When you are alert, you can have self-control."
God: "Be alert that an enemy is out there, but do not be afraid of this enemy."
God: "Your awareness of the enemy prepares you for a controlled response."
I just keep hearing "Be alert" over and over again. And I have no fear or feel the least bit threatened by the consciousness of my enemy ready to devour me. None! I have Jesus!
1 John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
So God's word for us is this:
Be alert. Be watchful. Then when life brings you bad news, trouble, heartache, trials or anything else that is not of God with goodness attached - know immediately the source is not the person, the behavior, or the act. It is your enemy, and your enemy only! Then you can give your self-controlled response.
If your thoughts are not on God's goodness and unconditional love, but come in the form of fear, anxiety, despair, worry or any thing that is detrimental to a healthy Godly thought life - this is your enemy. He is the deceiver and liar. Satan works to distort what is true in God. He wants to mislead you away from truth.
Be aware; thus self-controlled by knowing you have an enemy. When you recognize emotions or events as a ploy from Satan to destroy your relationship and faith in God, use your self-controlled response. Use James 4:7 as your guide.
Jame 4:7 AMP
Submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.
THE SELF-CONTROLLED RESPONSE from the Word of God -
Tell God :
"I submit to you God."
"I yield myself to your power."
Tell your enemy:
"I can see you."
"You cannot hide from me."
"I recognize you and your tactics of lies."
"I do not accept them."
"So flee Satan in the name of Jesus."
After saying these words, will you feel like you have beat Satan and conquered evil? I doubt it. I know that I don't feel that way. I don't have a rush of victory come to me. I hope you do, but based on my experience I think you may feel no different.
However, we don't care how we feel. We are obeying God's Word. We are taking direction from the words of our Almighty Creator! That is what we do. We know our emotions may not exhibit a big high after a chat with Satan. But we do not pay attention to our feelings in this time. In fact, let's just disregard our misgivings and feelings of doubt that this will work.
Yes, I really like that:
let's disregard our feelings (when they are not in accordance with the hope of God)
let's find victory and joy in obeying God's Word and submitting to Him.
Yep, that is my preaching for the day! I have to preach sometimes to get you excited about a message that you can take action with daily. This is it. We need this. We got this! Easy!
If this is a lot to process, simply start with the directive from God: "Be alert."
Just be aware of the fact that you have an enemy. No need to be afraid. However, notice him when he arrives. At least then, you will know your source of anguish. Then you will take less thought to the messenger (people or circumstances on earth) and fight a battle with the true problem, Satan.
I have begun to use this wise approach when my thought life is bothered by the lies of Satan; it works! Please try it to relief your suffering heart from the deception of your enemy.