A few days ago I made my first trip to a really cool store called “World Market”. It is such an intriguing and fun place with a little of this and a little of that from different countries throughout the store. I can’t believe it took me so long to get in there! I had my 4 year old daughter with me and my husband was next door in the Nike Store. As I looked around I found my attention grabbed by so many fun things! Josie was sitting in a cart when I spotted a table of handmade Indian paper products. They were so colorful and beautiful. I parked the cart and took 5 steps over to browse at the table for about 30 seconds. Then suddenly, I sensed that my cart and daughter were no longer there. I turned and it was confirmed and the initial feeling of panic set in, but I thought maybe she had just pushed herself round the corner so I called “Josie”, expecting to hear her. Nothing. I raced around the corner saying louder “JOSIE”. Nothing. Commence Freak Out and very loud “JOSIE!!!” The room was spinning as I scanned with like a mission impossible spy cam. On my 4th “JOSIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I see my husband pushing the cart towards me with a big, stupid GRIN on his face. You see, he thought it would be funny to teach me a little lesson about awareness. But if my precious 4 year old hadn’t been staring at me, I’m pretty sure I would have given him a right hook and a few choice words. I was shaking with fear and the adrenaline in my body would have allowed me to snap a grown man…….that’s the lionness God has placed in us mommas I guess. The whole thing only lasted a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity. In those few seconds I really thought my girl was gone. Josie can’t stand to be out of my sight, so when I didn’t hear her calling back to me, I thought my worst nightmare was happening. Thankfully, it was just daddy showing me just how unaware I am.
Men, I realize you are ready to high five Jamey for making this point to me. But, I don’t recommend trying this at home. There is a very good chance all you will get out of it is a bloody nose! Adrenaline + a momma’s love of her children does funny things to a person! And btw, Jamey also apologized when he saw how upset I was. He meant it to only be a split second, but he got trapped in an aisle he couldn’t get down so his plan got disrupted slightly.
Ladies, before you plan your lynch mob for this cruel trick, I have to humbly admit, it really did show me just how quickly something can happen and how distracted I had been by the colorful Indian paper. (Don’t tell Jamey:) The moment I sensed she was gone was delayed too long and that could have been detrimental had it been a dangerous person.
This is similar to how the enemy of our souls works in our lives. We are just going about our lives distracted by busyness, activities, bills, work, etc, and the enemy can slip in quietly and begin to steal from you. Steal your passion, steal your enthusiasm, steal your joy, build walls between you and your spouse, plant thoughts of bitterness, anger, discouragement, and on and on. It’s not always the big things he uses to erode our faith, but the sly little sneaky things that we might not notice. He loves when we are distracted because we are no longer a threat to him. He loves when we are detoured by the minute because then we are not fulfilling what God has called us to do. It’s not that we want to give satan too much credit and go around thinking of him all the time- no way! We do, however, want to be alert. We don’t let him stop us from shopping in World Market, but we do keep our hand on the cart! I want to encourage you with 3 thoughts today:
1. Stay alert that the enemy is real and wants you off track. Staying alert is sort of like setting your alarm so you aren’t taken so off guard. Recognizing him helps you shine the light on him…..he can’t thrive in the light!
2. Let God set you FREE! He has come to let you out of the prisons of guilt, shame, fear, rejection, sin, abandonment, unworthiness……..you name it! These are tools the enemy uses to keep you boxed up and on the sidelines!
3. Be aware of the enemy, but focus on God the most! Stay in tune with what He is speaking to you and follow His lead quickly. We can overcome the enemy because God already did! Christ the Victor helps YOU be VICTORIOUS!
“Keep my lamp burning; my God, You turn my darkness into light. With Your help I can advance against a troop; with You, my God, I can scale a wall!” ~Psalm 18:28-29
“My God, Your way is perfect; Your Word is flawless. You are a shield for all who take refuge in You.”
Armor up friends, so you will stand firm against all strategies of the devil. You are not fighting flesh and blood, but evil rulers of the unseen world. Put on the belt of Truth! Lies can’t live when exposed to TRUTH. The Light shines on the darkness and destroys it! Stand your ground! Put on the body of armor of righteousness- it comes from God who makes you Right! For shoes, put on the PEACE that comes from the Good News! Hold up that shield of FAITH to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on SALVATION! It’s YOURS! It’s your helmet of protection. Then take that sword of the Spirit- GOD’S WORD–You are not powerless, you are not hopeless, you are not alone! You are not going to lay down to whatever arrow is coming at you. You have the God Who spoke the world into existence and conquered death itself to go with you! You are a fearless and mighty soldier. But you’ve gotta take hold of it!
Give everything you have to God. “Satan dines on what we withhold from God” ~Francis Frangipane. Serve Him with all you’ve got! There is FREEDOM in this……and God is setting you free, so you can turn and set someone else free! Pass on the gift!
No more dabbling in your relationship with God! Take the next step, and if you need help discerning that….get some Godly counsel.
It’s time. Today.