If you have walked with any sort of awareness of the spirit world you are aware that we are in a battle. In the book of Ephesians we are even given the list of the armor we should be using every day. Paul exhorts us to be strong in the Lord and the power of his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. for we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in heavenly places. Therefore, put on every pieces of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Ephesians 6: 10-13
Many of our battles are obvious–a car accident, an unexpected diagnosis, financial issues usually catch our attention quickly. But many of Satan’s attacks are much more subtle. Friction between loved ones, discontentment with leadership, discouragement with your lot in life are often signs that he has been working behind the scenes in your life. The word subtle is defined as elusive, hard to detect and sneaky! Sounds like Satan’s ways, correct?
Sometimes the reason people do not take these verses seriously is because they don’t feel they are a strong enough threat to the enemy to warrant him to attack them. If this is you my dear ones, please know that he is using this subtle mental attack already to make you feel “safe” or “unworthy” of his attention. This gives him an opening to increase his sneak attacks on you and your circle of influence. What I have learned over the years is he is relentless in his warfare. He does not quit or give up. His attacks begin very subtly. The word subtle means sneaky, not easily discerned, elusive. If/when we learn to discern these subtle attacks we can go on the offensive rather than the defensive. If we do not discern them, then he will distract us by helping us focus on the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things that come and choke the word, making it unfruitful. (Mark 4:19 (NIV) If he can use our own fleshly desires and weaknesses, (either making us feel stronger than we are-pride; or weaker than we are-inferior) he will have won the battle. Jesus won the war through the cross and his subsequent resurrection, but we have our part to play as well. Dear believers, do not let his wily ways drain your strength, focus and identity. This subtle warfare begins in our thought life. Capture any thoughts that would cause division, disunity or discouragement. He loves to distort our relationships and cause doubt and distrust of our leaders, our spouses and even our friends. Go on the offensive by setting your minds on things above (read through Philippians!) Pray for your leaders, your family and even “your enemies”. This is one of our most important weapons!
Father, I ask you to open our eyes to anywhere subtle Satan has influenced us. Help us to stand against his wiles and join in the battle today. David prayed that you would teach our fingers to fight and our hands to do warfare–show us what that means. Help us to embrace the battle, not run from it. Help us to understand our part in the fight and who our enemy is. Lord strengthen your people with compassion, diligence and persevering hearts. We ask that you open our eyes to your power and might. We stand against his subtleties this day and refuse to cooperate with his tactics. We are not victims, but victors, in Jesus Name.