Seeking Whom He May Devour
As I write to you on this Election Day, the winner of the 2016 election has not yet been determined. Even as this decision unfolds, the Lord is stirring me to remind you that the warfare and deception we have seen on a national level applies to believers at an individual level. Satan, our enemy, is still "seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8.) To forget this would be to surrender again to an apathy far more dangerous.
Thankfully, many Christians have been stirred by the election process to wake up from apathy and passivity, and are praying fervently for our nation. If you are one of these people, it might comfort you to know that the fear, complacency or even apathy you have felt for some time is not entirely your fault, although the enemy would like you to believe it is!
The truth is that there has been a “shroud of deception” (See Isaiah 25:7 for a biblical example of this) cast over the minds of believers, and not by the hands of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump! In the words of Jesus in Matthew 13:28: “An enemy has done this.” Satan has deliberately deceived believers into thinking that our national situation is hopeless, beyond repair. Nothing could be further from the truth!
YOU Are the Winner of the "Election!"
Let me challenge you with a timely thought today: YOU are the winner of God’s election process! 1 Peter 2:9 reads: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…” (NASB.)
God chose you before the foundation of the world to go and bear fruit. Your testimony of His greatness is the crown that you cast at His feet, even now. Just as the enemy desired to quench the hope of our American nation, so he desires – on a daily basis – to quench the hope of a godly nation, which you are.
I urge you to stay alert and awake, long after the results of today’s polling are in. It is true that Satan desires to destroy earthly nations, but he desires even more fervently to destroy you, as part of a godly nation. Let me explain.
I have found that I am attacked the most severely when I am the least watchful. It is easy to think of “putting on God’s armor” and “clothing yourself with kindness” as you go off to work in a secular environment, or as you embark on an outreach or mission trip. You expect warfare in these situations, and you prepare for it.
It seems unnecessary, even apostate, to think of being on your guard as you enter your church, your Bible study, or your home. After all, these are the people that love God and love you! This is the place where you are safe and can let your guard down, right?
Angry, roaring lions don’t respect invisible boundaries. (See 1 Peter 5:8.) You may have stepped into the physical walls of your church or home, but there are no dividing walls in the spirit realm unless YOU create one with the blood of the Lamb!
Daily, almost mechanically, you enter your home or church and relax your guard. You are tired, weary, and in need of encouragement. Suddenly, without warning, the enemy is upon you. He has seen you relax, he knows you are tired, and he uses those closest to you to attack with surprising effectiveness. The wounds of a friend hurt far more than the wounds of an enemy. (Psalm 41:9.)
What’s worse, most of us forget the enemy’s strategy of using people to attack us. He knows you will blame the people, and he succeeds in deceiving you once again. In this way, your marriage is destroyed, your church is divided, or your witness is compromised.
When this happens, I beg you to open your mouth in prayer, release the sword of the Spirit, and shut the mouth of that lion! Hebrews 11:33 reads: “…who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions…” (NASB, emphasis mine.) This verse is not referring just to Daniel and his friends in the lion’s den!
Do not be lulled into complacency when the Lord has plainly told you that you are at war. Remember that because of your love for God, you are the enemy’s target!
A Spy's Story
I love to read spy novels, and the book I am reading now is written by an ex-FBI agent who teaches classes to the general public on personal safety and surveillance. He notes that criminals are not unlike animals in their malicious approach to a target.
Criminals watch you for a period of time, to establish your baseline, your “normal.” They have a defined strategy, and use the elements of distraction and surprise to deceive you, so that you don’t immediately perceive what is taking place.
While the criminal’s eyes are locked on to you like a lion on the hunt, your attention is elsewhere. Steadily, stealthily, he approaches until he is within range, and then roars and seizes his weak or isolated prey. Unfortunately, your resulting anger is often misdirected against those whom you see, not the one who masterminded the attack.
In Christian circles, the roar of the enemy, combined with the angry cry of the helpless, inspires fear in the rest of the flock. Fearing similar pain, people leave the church. Blaming an unfortunate marriage, they divorce. Weary of the fight, they abandon the faith. God, it seems, didn’t love them enough to protect them. Nor did God’s people – His holy nation - who deserted them.
Amazingly, the lion has just roared, divided, conquered and escaped – completely unnoticed!
There is Hope for Your Situation
God has made provision for you to live a victorious life. Not a life free of warfare, but a life in which you have the tools necessary to wage victorious battles. The key is to remain watchful. By “watchful” I mean prayerful, observant of your surroundings and how the enemy might seek to devour you. Notice, for example, when someone around you is hungry, angry, or tired themselves and realize the potential for them to lash out (unfairly) at you!
Remember to pray. Remember to be on your guard, because just as Satan has deceived and wearied us with these national battles, so he desires to weary and overcome you in your personal battles.
“It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.” (Revelation 13:7, NASB.)
We are coming into a time when the Antichrist will rule entire nations under the shroud of darkness and deception. Yet our homeland, God’s holy nation, cannot be overcome. We are already chosen to rule. We are assured of ultimate victory, no matter how dark the days appear. It only remains for us to persevere, to keep the commands of God and to pray diligently for protection so that our own love does not grow cold. (See Revelation 14:12; Matthew 24:12.)
Please pray this prayer out loud with me now:
Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. I plead the blood of the Lamb on me and all that concerns me. I know that I am in the midst of a war that will not have its end until You yourself judge our mutual enemy, Satan. Please give me the perseverance and fortitude I need, not just to endure, but to overcome. Let me be the one who draws my spiritual sword in each battle and roars the roar of the Lion of Judah! Let me see the lion’s mouth of the enemy shut for good.
I ask your forgiveness for believing that Your people are the source of my troubles. I know that they are just as susceptible as I am to the enemy’s attacks and deception. I forgive all those who hurt me, in the Name of Jesus. Fill me with Your love for them, and help me to use all the power at my disposal to defend the love and unity that characterize our covenant with You. Amen.
©Deborah Perkins / HisInscriptions.com
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.