Friday, March 15, 2013

The Unseen Adversary

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
Freeway Fears
It was a big step for me…but if I were going to become a skilled rider, I knew I needed to take it.  Just like the day that I took my oldest son out for his first drive in the big city, I needed to get past the mental barrier of driving my motorcycle on the freeway and in Fort Worth.  My main concern was the getting there.  What would the traffic be like?  Would the other motorists try to crowd me?  Would they merge without looking?  I admit I was quite nervous. 

Here’s what I learned after having made the trip:  Yes, the traffic can be heavy.  But I put into practice all of the skills I have learned about controlling the bike, proper distances, guarding my lanes, and scanning all the time for potential hazards.  The real struggle of the trip into Fort Worth and back home that day was not what I could see, but something I could not see…

The wind.  The wind was awful that afternoon.  Like so many early March afternoons, the wind was very blustery and powerfully so.  Blowing constantly at around 20 mph, and gusting 30 to 40 mph at times.  I was under a constant assault, and there was no way to predict when, or from what direction the next powerful punch was going to hit. 

Looking back, that trip was not only an excellent riding lesson for me, but a spiritual life lesson as well.  As the passage above reminded me, as a Christian, my struggle is not with flesh and blood, but against powers that I cannot see.
To Wrestle or Not to Wrestle…
C.S. Lewis wrote “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or magician with the same delight.”

We are encouraged not to become super-extremely spiritual and find the Devil’s presence in everything that happens in life, but by the same token, to be reminded that we do have a spiritual adversary and that his mission is to ensnare us, capture our thoughts, mislead us, cause us to act and to react in ways contrary to the will of God.  So to pretend like Satan doesn’t exist is not in our best interests.  The instruction of our Lord is very clear in attacks by the adversary:  James 4:7 reads: “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  Resist.  Submit to God and resist the Devil. 
Here’s a life lesson from me to you:  The Adversary will attack you from any direction today.  So, submit to God, follow His instructions, and resist the devil.  Your journey is going to be okay. 

Almighty God, We are tempted and tested in so many ways every day.  Sometimes, it is easy to react and strike out at other persons around me, or to place blame on them for how I am feeling.  Help me to keep your truth in perspective.  Help me be wise to recognize when Satan is meddling, and to love others as you love them. Don’t let me be frightened by the wind, but help me to stand when it blows.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted By Kerry Patton

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