When I was growing up, our house had three doors. To ensure that the house was locked, we would check all three doors. The front door was easy because it was used the most. The back door was pretty easy because it was in the kitchen so there was lots of traffic in that area. The side door was most easily overlooked because we rarely used it & that area of the house didn’t get much traffic.
In a similar way, we need to guard our hearts & souls from the enemy who lurks & waits for opportunities to sneak into our lives through side doors or low traffic areas. The enemy looks for places to enter our lives where we least expect it or where we have the lowest guard / attention. This could be times when you’re very tired, areas where you think you’re strong / victorious, situations that are familiar or comfortable, etc. The enemy of your soul looks for places where your guard is weak, your attention is distracted or your pride is big. With these instances, the enemy will often come in on tiptoes, sneaky & quiet, to begin his insinuations, whispers & distortions.
Pay attention & keep the doors locked!! 1 Pet 5:8, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
I had an interesting experience in a conversation with a friend a few days ago as we were talking about various challenges in our lives. In the discussion, I opened up and shared some frustrations & struggles that have been on my heart, which may seem fairly harmless. After the conversation as I was walking to my car, I felt a bit of a gentle scolding in my heart from God. Some of His loving rebuke challenged me that sometimes I can be whiney: complaining about what isn’t going well, “venting” with my frustrations, etc. Even worse, I can get into a pity party & swallow the lie that I’m a loser. I think we can all fall into this trap from time to time.
I’m extremely confident that God was confronting & challenging me to change in His loving rebuke because the next morning, my Bible reading time just happened to be in Josh 1, where God commands Joshua 3 times to be strong & courageous. Furthermore, I also read Ps 103:1-5 where David beautifully magnifies the work of God in our individual lives.
So here are my take-aways (and perhaps they will encourage you as well):
just because the evil one serves me a plate of discouragement doesn’t mean that I automatically pick up a fork & start ingesting his poisonous delicacies masquerading as a chummy conversation;
be strong & courageous: may my ears & eyes be sensitive to hear & see God moving in my life (vertical focus) more than how I feel or what I see & hear on the horizontal plane;
Be strong & courageous is a command from God & it obliterates my self-pity dribble
Perhaps on this Resurrection Weekend it would be constructive to celebrate the death of the “loser lie”. Indeed, when they crucified Jesus, many thought He was one of the world’s biggest losers, but He came back & annhilated the “loser lie.” So my friend, let me invite you to join me in receiving His lluminating imperative to be strong & courageous to evaporate any discouragement, deceptions & lies in our lives 🙂