Pay Attention! Four ways for Christians to Fend off Spiritual Attacks in their Lives!
Paying Attention: Important in Dodge Ball and in Life
“Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
While at a local trampoline park, my oldest daughter said she was going to play dodge ball. She was back very quickly, so I asked her if she had played.
“Yeah, but I got out. I wasn’t paying attention.”
In dodge ball and in our Christian walk, it’s important to pay attention. If we don’t, we are in danger of getting wolluped by something much harder than a nerf ball.
Has that ever happened to you? You’re walking along feeling great and *bam* something hits you out of nowhere. Maybe you over hear someone saying something bad about you. Or maybe you get blamed for some problem, great or small. Perhaps something does not go as planned and you have a mini (or major) freak out session (not that I have done that, of course. Well, at least I didn’t do that today—yay me!)
These things that sneak up and whack us in the head are from our enemy.
Sometimes, though, they don’t sneak up on us, but we slip up and whack our own heads or tails, or whatever. Those are the times when we are not on our guard against temptation in our lives and we fall into the devil’s trap and give into sin.
Either way, it is the enemy who is trying to trip us up. They are his attacks that hit us with the blows of life.
After all, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
God has clearly warned us that we have a very real enemy. That enemy is satan and his goal is to devour us! Jesus said, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” John 10:10 Whether he uses other people to do it or if he succeeds in getting us to go against God’s will and sin, his goal remains the same.
God has warned us about this because He doesn’t want us to be destroyed. He wants to protect us. He wants to give us life, not destruction. In fact in John 10:10, Jesus went on to say, “ I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Jesus wants to give us life. Satan wants to snuff it out and destroy us. So, we need to take the advice of Peter and be alert! We need to pay attention, so how do we do it?
How to Pay Attention:
1. Be grounded in God’s Word
Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Know what God’s Word says. Read it. Study it. Memorize it. Hide it in your heart. If satan tries to attack you with lies or by leading you astray your knowledge of God’s Word will be a wonderful defense.
A major battle in my life has always been regarding my worth—as a human being, mother, wife, children’s minister, whatever. I have never in my life felt I have measured up in anyone’s eyes. I KNOW I measure up in God’s eyes, because of His gift of grace in my life, but I still struggle daily with walking in this truth. My feelings often get in the way.
I know God’s Word says I am valuable, I am a very good, wonderful creation (Genesis 1:31, Psalm 139:14), I am free (John 8:36), I am loved (John 3:16, 1 John 3:1) and accepted (Hebrews 15-16). Those truths (and there are many more) are my weapons to combat the lies satan is trying to throw at me.
Is there something that frequently trips you up? Study the topic in God’s Word. Write down several verses that speak to that topic. Keep them in a visible place and work on memorizing them. When you are tempted by a lie speak God’s Word instead.
2. Put on the Full Armor of God
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18
God does not leave us defenseless. He gives us a game plan and a check list for what we need each day in order to fend off attacks. We can be fully armored each and every day. The pieces of God’s armor are complete and do not leave us lacking any kind of protection. If we are intentional about guarding our heads, hearts, feet and all other parts every single day, we will fend off those flaming arrows!
3. Hide in God’s protection
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
God has warned us, given us the spiritual war clothes we need, and on top of all of that, He gives us His protection as well. Remember, His goal is to give us life. His strength and power are given to us freely when satan attacks. We can say with confidence “a mighty fortress is our God” and we can stand protected within the safety of that all- powerful Fortress!
4. Remember, we are Victors!
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39
As Christians, there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from God. Jesus gave His life so we could know Him personally and be reconciled with Him. Because of what Jesus did, we are called children of God! Satan can throw horrible trials and suffering toward us, but we need to remember that we have already won! We have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ and that gives us victory over satan any day of the week!
Satan may roar, he may circle around us waiting for a chance to attack, devour, steal and destroy, but we can pay attention and stand our ground. In doing that, we will win the battles and, guys, we have already won the War! Jesus won it for us! A little bitty battle is nothing when we know how to prepare for it. So, go on, now—by God’s grace, you got this!
Our Wonderful Protector and Fortress, Thank You for Your protection. You have warned us and given us the things we need to fend off all attacks. And, because of You we already have victory over all of these things. You are amazing and wonderful! Oh, Lord, please help us to pay attention and walk closely with You every single day. Amen.