Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Enemy is Prowling: Three Ways to Keep from Being Devoured

Why did you even come?  They already have their friend group.  There's no room for you.

You have nothing of value to say, and even if you did, you would just sound stupid.

See?  They’re not interested in talking to you. They’re not interested in you at all.

Insecurity is a vicious feeling that festers in the mind and heart.  It will eat you alive.  It builds walls between us and keeps friendships from moving forward.  It causes relationships to sit idle and dead like stagnant water.

In the past month, I dealt with deafening thoughts of insecurity that threatened to immobilize me. I felt burdened at work, home, and church.

Thankfully, God’s truth is stronger than the enemy’s attacks and I realized something was not right.  I stepped out in faith and you know what I found?  I was not alone. Other women in my life were transparent about their own struggles.  All of us felt that sting of insecurity and realized it wasn’t a coincidence.

Here’s the thing.  The enemy will do everything in his power to keep us separated.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:8

Be on guard, friends. The devil is prowling.

It’s no coincidence two of my sweet friends quoted 1 Peter 5:8 to me this past week.  I also know it’s not an accident they both described the hunting patterns of lions to illustrate the same point. Lions don’t attack a whole herd. Instead, they look for the stragglers; the ones separated from their group. 

Isn’t that so fitting?  It makes perfect sense the devil would want to keep us separated from our community.  Of course he would want to make us feel like we don’t have a place.  We’re much easier to devour.

So, friends, how do we combat those feelings of insecurity that make us want to shy away from companionship and community?  Relationships are the key. 

1. Pursue an active prayer life.

Spending quality time with someone is the best way to get to know them.  The same is true in our relationship with our Creator. When we dedicate time in our day to be alone with God, both in talking to Him and listening, our relationship with Him strengthens. James 4:8 says if you draw near to God, He will draw near to you.

2. Keep active in a community of believers.

The enemy wants you lonely and alone.  He wants to convince you that you don’t matter, that you have nothing to offer, and that no one wants you.  His goal is to break you away from your support system.  

Don’t let him! 

If you feel like building a wall around yourself, that’s a great indicator to build a bridge instead.  Reach out to those around you and keep showing up. Be honest about your struggles because there's always another woman feeling the same way. I promise, it’s worth it.

3. Fill your life with truth.

If you want to have a better understanding of God’s character, look no further than the Word.  It is filled with truth we can preach to ourselves when the enemy starts prowling. 

The other night in church, small coincidences had me doubting friendships and my place in my church family.  The devil was hurling negative thoughts at me like small grenades of insecurity. I was battling the enemy's lies.

A few days before, my friend Suzanne reminded me that as Christians the devil can’t possess us, but he can sure oppress us. In church that night I was weighed down with that oppression.  It was suffocating. 

Then the light broke through. 

My God tells me I don’t need to find my worth in the way people feel about me, or who my friends are.  My worth is found in Him alone.  He’s the one who sustains me. He brings me peace. 

The devil started the battle, but God’s truth bomb won the war.

And just like that, the burden fell off my shoulders and I no longer felt shackled by insecurity.  God is my deliverer and my firm foundation.

A final thought…

If you’re not currently struggling with the enemy’s attacks, can you do me a favor?  Find the person who is standing at the edge of your community with one foot out the door and reach out to her. Be transparent with your own struggles and use that opportunity to speak truth into her life. Ask to pray with her and for her. Show her, that despite what the devil is whispering in her ear, she is still loved. Learn to recognize the struggle in others and reach into the darkness. 

“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

In doing so, we build up our community and build a hedge against the enemy looking to devour us one by one.


Lori said...

I found myself nodding with conviction as I read your post - so very, very true! I'm an introvert, so there are times when that evil one convinces me that I need "alone" time because "I'm an introvert". Sure, I do need to recharge, but being alone WITHOUT God is not the answer - He needs to be with me at all times! And being in the community of believers to be strengthened is so important. (What a liar that satan is!) Thank you for writing this!

Melissa said...

These are great reminders to combat the enemy. Where there is truth and light there cannot be darkness and lies. God bless!

Anonymous said...

I read your blogs and feel like I am reading my own diary. I have always struggled to "fit-in". I hide the insecurities because I am a very social person but usually end up feeling like my presence is a bother. You are very brave to display all of your insecurities so publicly.