My family and I recently relocated to the sunny state of Florida. The sun is always shining, and the drivers are always angry. The rules of the road here are mere “suggestions” to your average Floridian, and it’s taking this slow-backroads-driving girl some getting used to.
One Sunday morning, I was driving to church on a winding, residential road. The driver behind me seemed to want to ram her front-end right into my backseat. I couldn’t understand why she was so close to me as the speed limit was 40 mph. But she kept riding close to my bumper, slamming on her brakes and making hand gestures at me. I checked my speedometer to verify I was going the speed limit and then debated on doing a brake check. But then I remembered it was Sunday, I was on my way to church and what would Jesus do?
I hadn’t slept well the night before. My sleep was infected with an attack from the enemy. I woke up at 3 a.m. hearing thoughts of you’re worthless, nobody likes you, you’re such a failure, you’ve done so much to screw up your life, and on and on. It was a restless night of emotional battling, and then having a crazy-hand-gesture lady behind me that morning got me thinking about how the devil is constantly nipping at our heels.
The devil has expectations for us that we will never measure up to; we’ll never accomplish enough and never be enough. Period. He’s chasing us from behind, riding our bumper and making angry hand gestures that say our every move is irritating him.
His anger is false power. He has NO authority.
During any attack from the enemy, I fight to maintain my position as a daughter of the King. Going after identity is an old tactic with new wrapping. Remember, the devil attacked Jesus’ identity in the wilderness. Jesus had just been baptized and validated by the Father God, who said, “This is my son, with whom I am well pleased.” The Lord Almighty gave his stamp of approval on who Jesus is and on what he was doing. Only for Him to turn from the refreshing water to the wilderness, where the devil said, “If you’re really the son of God, do this…” What a rotten devil, indeed.
Learning from Jesus’ example, we see that He didn’t defend himself or justify his actions (something I’m guilty of doing). Instead He shot back with the straight arrow of the Word of God. His response was well-placed Scripture that he held inside his heart for such a time as this: “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4).
If I’m a disciple of Jesus, and I walk and talk like him, then I need to follow his example of combating the lies of the enemy with the words that have come from God. So during that fitful night of sleep, I did just that.
The enemy said I’m worthless. So I meditated on the fact that I was worth the price of the blood of Jesus. That I am dearly loved by the Father, and He has called me his own.
The enemy said nobody likes me. So I praised God for all the influential people in my life who have invested deeply in my character and journey as a believer. I went through the list of all my mentors and prayed specifically for each of them.
He reminded me of all my failures. I reminded him that despite my shortcomings, I have eternal victory in Jesus.
The enemy is not going to stop. As long as we draw breath and reflect the face of God on this planet, he will take it as a personal affront and do all he can to confuse, confound and throw conflict our way so that we fall down and never get back up. But when you’ve been able to withstand the devil, “… and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore …” (Ephesians 6:13-14).
Don’t give in to his lies.
Don’t give up on your identity.
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