I have found that if I stay alert to the enemy’s schemes to derail the first few hours of my morning, everyone in my home has a better day. His schemes are different for each person; for me it’s an attack on my attitude of thanksgiving and my recognition of God’s constant and ever-helpful presence.
It began with my strong-hearted Charlotte arguing with me when her eyes were still slivers in her room that was just beginning to fill with morning sunshine. It wasn’t time to come out of her room yet. But, Charlotte vehemently disagreed despite what her little wake-up clock said. As I pulled her bedroom door shut—she was sitting just inside the door with her brow furrowed and her tiny little arms crossed—I sighed.
Seriously, why does the day with her have to start like this? I asked myself. And then, I remembered my memory verse from my Loving God Greatly study of 1 & 2 Peter.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5: 8)
He was prowling that morning as soon as I turned off my alarm, slipped on my robe, and sluffed downstairs to read my Bible. As I finished my prayer time, he was even more angry. After my run-in with Charlotte, was a perfect opportunity for him to distract me with discouragement, self-pity, and even anger. But by God’s grace (and because of His Word), I was alert and turned his weapon back on him.
As I made my bed, I thanked God, aloud, for Charlotte’s strength and determination. While choosing my clothes, I declared that she would be a mighty weapon against the kingdom of darkness and would bring many people to Jesus.
Matthew Henry’s commentary of 1 Peter 5, gives further understanding of the verse. He writes, “To be vigilant; suspicious of constant danger from this spiritual enemy, watchful and diligent to prevent his designs.” You and I are in constant danger from the spiritual enemy. Now, let’s be clear, God has already won the battle; victory is ours, but we have to claim it. We have to walk out the victory. Everyday. Think about the vigilance we take in protecting our children from sickness, injuries, and dangerous people. This same kind of diligence is necessary to prevent the Enemy from derailing you. He may not be able to keep you from Heaven, but he will do all he can to make you ineffective on your way there.
Ineffective to equip your children with the gospel because you’re so frustrated with them. Ineffective to serve with your family because you’re exhausted from feeling sorry for yourself when the day doesn’t go as planned (can I get a witness, the days never go as planned). So, we must be alert, vigilant, and watchful. But, when we see that enemy prowling, what do we do?
Matthew Henry writes, “Be steadfast, or solid, by faith. A man cannot fight upon a quagmire, there is no standing without firm ground to tread upon; this faith alone furnishes. It lifts the soul to the firm advanced ground of the promises, and fixes it there.”
We cannot fight on a quagmire (an area of soft, wet ground). We cannot stand with nothing firm beneath our feet. Faith is the solid ground under our feet that enables us to stand against those early morning (or late afternoon, or dinner-time-scramble) schemes. Faith, comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
1. Be alert and aware that the enemy doesn’t take a vacation.
2. Be in the Word daily to build your firm foundation.
– If you need some help establishing a routine of being in the Word, I highly recommend Loving God Greatly. (I even lead a Facebook group for young moms).
3. Be ready to turn the enemy’s weapons back on Him with thanksgiving and praise! – Don’t worry, if you miss one opportunity, there will be others! I don’t always get it right the first (or second or third time).
What schemes does the enemy use to try to derail your days and render you ineffective? What do you do in response? Share your thoughts on Facebook.