Whenever we decide to be obedient, it is the last thing the enemy wants from the children of God. If they are obedient, they will fulfill God’s purposes for their lives and make an impact for the Kingdom of Heaven.
One of my favorite books is “The Screwtape Letters,” by C.S. Lewis from which I have learnt so much about spiritual warfare. In it senior demon ‘Screwtape’ writes to junior demon, ‘Wormwood,’ to give him advice. Speaking about dark times and obedience, he writes:
“Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”
Lewis describes that disobedience in times of doubt and spiritual dryness is one of Satan’s great weapons to keep the Christian in despair and away from the best our Father has for us.
- He simply steals me time. Other people come into my life and say “Come spend time with me,” or “Can we meet?” Often people that I haven’t seen for a while and would love to spend time with. Else I discover that I have more important things to do that take priority in my time planning right now, and in that perceived priority my time is stolen.
- He distracts me. He gets my attention on something else. Technology is a good strategy here. Or people come along with a project that sounds interesting and say “Come and join us in this project.”
- He will block me at the start. Making it difficult for me to find a starting point for my obedience. I cannot think of “Where to start?” or how to go forward.
- He Interrupts me. The phone or the door bell rings just as I start. Other urgent matters come up that need to be addressed; often other people’s urgencies. The unexpected always happens.
- He inconveniences me. Very often simple matters that should have taken just a few minutes become enormous tasks that are complicated and difficult to complete.
- He makes my busy. When life looked like it had capacity and time, I suddenly find myself incredibly busy and wonder where the time goes to and how I will ever find time to do what God told me to do.
- He exhausts me. If none of the above work, he starts to work on my flesh. Making me so tired that I don’t have the energy to do what God has told me to do. My heart is willing, but “I am just so tired.”
- He appeals to the comfort of my flesh. Telling me “Rest a bit, you have worked so hard.” “Relax a little, tomorrow is another day.” “You work so hard, people will understand if you take a break.”
- He sends strife or discord into my environment. As I busy myself in dealing with this strife or discord, I find myself thinking “If there is so much trouble in my life, why would I want to take this activity of obedience on, on top of everything else.”
- He frightens me. This will stop me in my tracks. He appeals to that which he knows I fear. “Who do you think you are?” or “What will people say?” or “What happens if this backfires?”
Unless I recognize these enemy strategies in your life, I will find myself in a place of disobedience. How do I work against the enemy? I do this in regular prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit. I ask God to reveal to me what hinders my obedience and ask Him to help me overcome and be obedient.
God longs for us to be obedient and when we call on Him, He will provide all we need in order to be obedient.
Father I long to be obedient. Please show me what strategies the enemy uses to distract me from implementing your law in my life and doing the things you have told me to do in my heart. Give me a heart that obeys you in such a way that the enemy cannot work against it.
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