Well, today he's been working overtime, and calling in for reinforcements.
He was out to get me today. He had me in his cross hairs and was not afraid to pull the trigger. Never before have I felt so oppressed by something (or someone) I could not see. I am a novice when it comes to the theology of spiritual warfare, but today I definitely knew that I was deep in the trenches, fighting for, and against, something. He and I have been battling it out all day, and he's got me weary. (But, on the other hand, it almost feels like an honor that he considers me so much of a threat that he is making such an effort in trying to stop me.)
I really think he hates what I'm doing here. Actually, I know he does. He made that abundantly clear today when I could hear him in my head, over and over again, telling me I am not good enough to be doing this. He was having me question my experience, my skills, and even my inspiration. He was trying to fill me with his lies by giving me glimpses of my past where I was anonymous, where I didn't have to answer to anyone, and where my faith was a private matter between me and God.
And I will admit, there were times when he seemed to be gaining some ground. Times where I conceded that he was right, and agreed with him that there are far better ways for you to spend your time than to be reading anything that little ol' me has to write.
He's good at what he does. He's really good, actually. But what he didn't count on was that I already knew he wasn't the best. I played his game for a little while. I looked at what he had to offer me, I weighed my options, I waded through the doubts and the anxiety he tried his best to instill in me, and in the end he didn't even make it to the finals. Because there is one thing both him and I do see eye to eye on. We have one common denominator that even he can't dispute. And that is that though he may be good, his enemy, my God, is Great. And once he realized that I knew that as well, he had no choice but to retreat.
For while I was deep in the trenches today, I was not fighting alone. With every temptation Satan threw out for me to consider, Christ countered it with a promise of His own. When Satan told me that what I was doing here didn't matter, and that I should be spending my time doing other things, Christ reminded me of the fulfillment following Him brings along with it, and how nothing can compare to the rewards He has waiting for me if I remain faithful to Him. When Satan pointed out all the other devotionals and websites that are surely much better than this site here, Christ reminded me that this forum belongs to Him, and He will not allow it to be anything less than what He intended it to be. When Satan showed me pictures of the comfortable life I had been living, and the easy life I could continue to live if I give this up, Christ fought back with pictures of His own, pictures of me enjoying heavenly splendor and eternity with Him if I would only just stay this course which He has presently called me to.
At the end of the day there was nothing Satan could offer me that even came close to the majesty of what is in store for me if I just remain faithful to the One I love.
I was also reminded of one other thing in all of today's warring. Though I knew God was by my side all day, I was never promised an easy win. He never guaranteed that there would be no opposition, no pain, and no sacrifice. In fact, in His Word He promises just the opposite. (John 16:33 "I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.") But God does promise that the sacrifice will be worth it. That He is faithful to those who are faithful to Him. And that He will be waiting for us when the battle is over, with open arms, a proud smile on His face, ready to say the words that we, as believers in Him, most long to hear.
"Well done, good and faithful servant."
This battle, my friends, belongs to the Lord.
Dear Lord in heaven,
I pray this day mentally and spiritually exhausted, but with a strong sense of victory. With Your help I was able to recognize Satan's attempts at filling me with his darkness, and hold him off. I do not know where he's going to turn up tomorrow, but I do know that You will be there also, ready once again to defeat him if I give You the chance. Thank You for coming along side of me, a beginner in all of this, and showing me that I need not fear, that when I call upon You, You are faithful in protecting me.
Be with all of us, Lord, as we daily battle the one who longs to see us fall. Help us to be able to see him at work. Make us conscious of his efforts, and aware of his attacks. And then just remind us, O Powerful One, that we serve the Living Lord. And that Satan fears nothing but the moment when we call upon Your name.
What an honor, Lord, to go to battle for Your kingdom.
In Your Strong and Mighty Name I pray,