There are many times in our lives when we think we are under attack from the enemy, but how often is that really the case? Are the attacks self inflicted or are they real?
The enemy is always on the prowl. He seeks to destroy the Christian testimony with his lies, deceit, distractions, arguments, fear and anything else he can get his hands on. He is the author of lies and the master of deception. He will make you think you are not worthy of Gods amazing grace. He will cause you to doubt your own salvation. He will use anything YOU let him use to keep you from growing the way God wants you to grow and to keep you from fully surrendering yourself to God and His authority and His Will.
So how do we know what are true attacks and what are self inflicted from our own flesh? The answer is not as complex as it might seem. You see, if you are truly seeking the Will of God for your life and are truly surrendering your life to Him, then you should expect the full arsenal of attacks from every direction in your life. He will come at you from every direction, whether it is conflict with family and/or friends, work, your spouse, your children, and even other Christians, he will come. Like I stated before, the last thing he wants is to have a Christian man or woman fulfilling the Will of God. You see, when that takes place, lives begin to change. Our testimony and the victory in our lives speak louder than any sermon. The change in our hearts is seen by all who come into contact with us. We begin seeing people through Gods eyes, and we begin to become stronger in our faith with each step we take. The more we dodge his distractions or derailments, the more we grow and learn the enemies ways and of his lies. Don’t think just because you figured one area out you have conquered the test. He is called the master of deception for a reason. He knows every area of your weakness’s. And trust me, he will attack them all. That is why it is so important for us as Christians to heed Gods warning to take up the full Armor of God on a daily bases. The moment we let down our guard, thinking the trial has passed, BOOM, your are knocked off your feet and rolling down the hill. So be on guard and put on your Armor Daily.
Okay, so what about this self inflicted thing? What is that all about? Simple, you see often times we give the credit to the enemy and the credit is really not his to receive. We often times make poor choices out of our own fleshly desires that lead to consequences. Aren’t they the same thing? Didn’t Satan cause me to choose that bad thing? The answer is no. While Satan might have tempted you, God gave us the freedom to choose. The realization of being attacked and self infliction are two totally different things. For example, when you are being attacked, things rise up against you without you having to do anything. When you are seeking God in all you do, and you lose your job, your car quits, or kids are constantly getting sick keeping you from Church, you and your spouse have a fight and neither one of you knows why. These are all series of attacks (there are many more I could list, but you get the point). Self inflicted or fleshly things are as a result of a decision you make or an action you do. For example, you are speeding, you know you are and you know that you could get a ticket, but you do it anyway. And sure enough, the next thing you know, you are being pulled over and have gotten a ticket. That is an action you could have avoided by simply obeying the law and as a result of your action, you must now pay the consequence. You can say you were tempted to do it by Satan, but ultimately, you chose to do it, much like Eve chose to eat of the forbidden fruit.
Seeing and knowing the difference of self infliction and attacks is very important. You see, we can often times tell if we are on the right track with God by the number of attacks we receive from the enemy. He DOES NOT want you to succeed in your journey. He wants to hinder you in every way possible, to keep you in bondage. But if you stay the course and trust in God to see you through, He will give you the strength to do so. God will never give you more then you can bare and His Word not only tells us of His plans for us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11), but He also tells us that we can do ALL things through Christ who give us strength. (Philippians 4:13)
If you are not being attacked in some way and the things that you are experiencing are only of self infliction, you should check your walk. God wants nothing less then all of who we are to be surrendered to Him. He knows the plans He has for us, but He will not force them on you, He wants it to be your choice. But if you are only experiencing self infliction, and not attacks, the enemy really does not see you as a threat for the Kingdom of God. He has you so deceived already, that he doesn’t need to do anything else. I challenge you if this you, to repent and ask God to forgive you and truly find the freedom that is in Christ and fully surrender to His authority and His Will. After all, who do you think knows what is best for you, you or the one who created you? Our ways are not like His and our goals are not like His. Trust in Him, you will not regret one second of it, because while you are going to be attacked, you can count it as pure joy that you are a threat to the enemy.
Reflection: Are you serving God or are you serving yourself? Are under attack from the enemy or scared from self inflicted wounds of bad choices?