Driving to work the other day, I saw this beautiful husky dog just barking away and tugging on his leash as hard as could be, clearly trying to get to something. Then I saw why. Just a little out of his reach was a sly grey cat taunting him. It was as if the cat was smiling, knowing the dog couldn’t reach him as he was slinking around just close enough. Apparently, the dog was unaware that he could not get to that cat because he kept trying with all his strength and might! Oh, that cat is pacing back and forth mere inches from the tether holding that beautiful husky from eating him.
Sometimes, I think this is exactly what Satan does to us. We are blissfully leading our lives, trying with all our might to make our best relationship with God. Then, one day I think, just for today, I am going to run before I do my bible time because I have to get to work, and my body is a temple, after all. Or I decide that it’s ok to sleep in today–I will read my bible and spend extra time with God tonight, just for today.
Can't you see Satan just outside the fold of holiness, not saying anything but slinking around, just counting on my humanness?
I can see Satan just lurking right outside my mind. Almost smiling as he just waits for me to be weak in these moments, watching me add busyness to my day, all the while knowing I will not spend that extra time with God tonight because I will be tired and veg out with social media or tv or something else mindless. Something that fills my mind with anything but Jesus.
Can't you see Satan just outside the fold of holiness, not saying anything but slinking around, just counting on my humanness? He knows where I am weak and stays out of the way because, on those days, he has no reason to worry. I am right where he wants me.
Then there are the days I am strong in Jesus. The days I start by reading my bible and spending time in quiet prayer listening for the voice of my Father. Those are the days Satan is threatened, and I think those are the times he whispers that doubt or murmurs those fears that can take me back to my place of weakness. Because on those days, Satan is afraid. He knows I am leaning on Jesus and that I gain my strength from Him.
Spoiler alert. God wins!
Paul delighted in the weakness, hardships, and difficulties God put in his path. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) I am not even going to pretend that I am close to where Paul is, delighting in weakness, hardship, or difficulties. I can’t get there yet. I would like to think I handle them better with Jesus. When I am closer to God, I am more at peace with my weakness and difficulties. Maybe one day I will delight in them, and perhaps I do find myself stronger because of them. My goal is to get to that day when I can delight in any hardship that comes my way, because I believe that is the day Satan loses his grip on me entirely.
It’s a journey, my friend, and we will all get there at our own pace. Here is what I am certain of; when that journey is made, we can celebrate the end of this story. Spoiler alert: God wins! (Revelation 12:7-12a)