Those three words have been the subject of my thoughts in the last week. Particularly since I have been thinking on: the importance of going to church; spending time with friends and family and (having just become another year older) the special people in my life. At the same time, i have been watching television programs about lions, hyenas and cheetahs, following their hunting techniques.
As I was thinking on these words: Separate, Isolate, Annihilate , I am realizing that it describes a strategy of the enemy to destroy us.
Scripture warns that we have an enemy who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
It is an effective hunting technique.
First the animal is separated from the herd, then the hunters continually work until it is isolated and cannot count on the herd to protect it, or warn it of danger. When the isolation is complete, the hunters put their strategy in place to destroy (annihilation) the animal. Their goal is only death and destruction for the animal, an important warning to all of us.
Our enemy would like nothing better than to separate us from people who love us and will keep an eye out for us. Our families, friends and church all play a role in protecting us from the enemy and we are stronger for the relationships we have with them.
The enemy will insinuate himself into our relationships in any way he can, in order to separate us.
- He will cause distractions: be it career, a potential partner, substances or hobbies.
- He may cause divisions: as a result of unresolved anger, disappointment, un-forgiveness, causing us to be offended by our loved ones. (Prov 16:28; 17:9)
- He will confuse: showing us ulterior motives, convincing us of lies, pushing our rejection buttons so that we wonder about our acceptance.
- He will make us comfortable: so that we are too busy, believe it is too much effort, convincing us that other people need to make the effort, not us. His goal is to separate us from people who care about us.
If he is successful, he will then proceed to isolate us. We will begin to feel that:
- We cannot call on people we once would.
- He will convince us that other people will not understand and don’t care.
- We will start to believe that we really have nobody, no-one who cares for us.
- More and more, because we don’t feel able to reach out, we will lose contact with people who were close to us, saying: “Life is busy and people move on.”
Once he has successfully isolated us, he will set his plans into motion to annihilate us. His ultimate goal is to destroy us, to kill us. He will steal our dreams, our resources, our energy, our hope, our joy, our faith and ultimately when we have nothing left, he will destroy us, even if he has to get us to do it to ourselves.
Do not underestimate the hunting skills of our enemy.
He doesn’t lay down his traps in the open where we can see him, he catches us when we are not watching, when we are not paying attention, when our defenses are down. His plan is progressive and often we don’t notice the first steps in the hunt.
Take care of your relationships with family, friends and people you know at church. They are there to keep you strong, to protect you from the enemy. God calls us to be His chosen people who behave with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And in all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Col 3:12-14) Do not allow yourself to live separate, or be separated from people you have relationships with in your life.
I come across so many people who are alone, isolated, facing life by themselves because the enemy has messed with their relationships, or messed with their thinking about relationships.
If you want to win ground back from the enemy: renew your mind and fix your relationships. Start with family relationships because family is supposed to look out for each other. Rebuild friendships, appreciate them and reach out to new relationships within the Body of Christ, called the church. Make sure that there is no separation between yourself and loved ones. Work towards good relationships that are based on love and caring for one another.
Do not allow those you love to be separated from you and thereby give the enemy an advantage to build on. (Eph 4:26-27) Do not allow people you know to become isolated. We are stronger when we are together, bound together in bonds of love with God as Our Father.
Father, forgive me for all the times I have neglected my relationships and allowed distance to build up between myself and loved ones. Forgive me for making my goals and what I want, more important than the people in my life. Help me to renew relationships and remind the people around me that I love them and care about them. Help me to forgive where necessary and take steps to make things right again. Help me to see and recognise how the enemy is working in my relationships so that I can take ground back from him.
Struck Down But Not Destroyed
If you enjoyed this post, also read:
Mind The Attitude
Where God Is Working
The Rain Falls