The enemy will attack us the most in the areas of our lives where we struggle to allow the Spirit to produce Fruit
For instance, if you struggle with Meekness then the enemy will attack you by keeping you proud, arrogant, stubborn, bossy, or controlling and the enemy will lie to you and say that is who you are. If you struggle with Self-control then the enemy will deceive you into thinking that your addictions are okay and you can have everything you want to have; greed. If you struggle with Joy then he'll attack you with depression and thoughts of worthlessness, the enemy will tell you that nothing you do will ever bring you fullness of life. If you struggle with Peace then the enemy will make you question every problem that comes before you and in turn you will question where God is in the presence of your storms. However, peace is not the absence of turmoil, but the presence of tranquility even while in a place of chaos. It is a sense of wholeness and completeness that is content knowing that God holds us in His hand daily.
Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness being tempted and tested in every way by the evil one himself. Yet through every situation Jesus used the Word to rebuke and resist the tricks, thoughts, temptations, and confusion of the enemy. If we look at other people, and their circumstances, and then use the outcome to justify our own solution we are not using the Word of God. Instead we are forming our own theology based on other men and women, their trials, their defeat, their victory, and this is basing your life off the works of people. On a quick side note about the Armor of God, did you know that the sword Roman soldiers carried were not long or made for fighting. They were short swords and as the soldiers held their shields up to fend against the arrows flying at them, if they were hit with an arrow this short sword was used to dig the sword out. So in context of how we use the Sword of the Spirit when we come under attack, we are not meant to fight either, but instead minister to ourselves with the Word.
If you’re confused, let’s talk about an example. Let’s say I have a family and my neighbor has a family as well. Both our families go to the same church. Pretty simple situation yes? On the surface our lives look great, keyword is surface here, but then one day something seems wrong at my neighbors. A moving van shows up without any heads up or forewarning to me. I proceed over to my neighbor's house and find they are packing up the belongings of his wife. With sincere curiosity I ask what is going on, hoping for the best. He pulls me aside and tells me they are getting a divorce, and gives me reason after reason as to why this divorce is justified. In a state of confusion I leave with hopes to come back and talk more to find out what caused this. In the meantime I tell my wife and children, so that they are not caught off guard by the situation. Immediately the enemy has an opportunity to put fear into our lives about how perfect our neighbors seemed, but still their family has now been torn apart. A few days later I have a fight with my wife over something irrelevant, but I go over to my divorced neighbor to talk. He tells me how he isn’t going to church, he hates his wife, his children hate him, but on a good point in his mind, he gets to keep the house. He feels justified again, he owns a treasure of this world even though he lost his fortune, his family. Now he is so upset by our conversation, he begins putting thoughts into my head about how great he feels and how happy he is. I begin to listen and allow thoughts, that are not from God, to enter my head and slowly become convinced that maybe he is right. I mean he seems happy, he changed churches but he still seems to be a good christian. What I do not realize is that I am believing a theology from him that isn’t Biblical at all and now I am following demonic thoughts of destruction for my life. Why would I base my life on his failing circumstances? I should rebuke these thoughts with the Word and pray for my friend and encourage him to do everything possible to save his marriage. Instead I listen like a fool, ignore the Word of God, and allow the enemy to have a foothold in my thoughts.
Who are you in communion with? Who are you in a covenant with? Your neighbor or God? Were you with your neighbor in private at all times? What if he turned from God and still pretended going through the motions after his divorce? Now, through ignorance, I am listening to an ungodly man who is pretending to be something he is not to save face. Even worse, if going to this new church my neighbor continues this façade and fools leader there and they put him into a role of a leader. To me my confusion would deepen even more. I would think, oh well it looks like this divorce was a blessing for him, look at how great his life is now. I still am unaware at how miserable he is on the inside and the torment he lives with daily. I do not see him drinking in private, I do not see him crying and the sleepless nights he faces. I just see the surface don’t I? Now, for the purpose of the story, let’s say that I keep fighting with my wife and looking at how great my divorced neighbor’s life is and finally I use his twisted theology to justify leaving my family. God was never present in any of this, and it can almost be called a story of atheism. I soon thereafter realize I have made the biggest mistake of my life and one day surprise my neighbor at his home only to find him drunk and cursing God. I ask him how this can be, and he tells me it was all a front so that people would this he was a good guy. A few weeks later he quits his job and disappears. Now who have I followed? Where was the Word of God in my circumstances? Where was it in my neighbors circumstances? We relied on our own understanding and it led us to the pits of darkness.
I know I went with a tough example about divorce, but this can be any situation right? Just think of a few instances where you listened to someone else and didn’t talk with God or reference His Word. It can be as simple as making a purchase that you can’t afford, and then you end up struggling financially. If God blesses us and we receive gifts from Him in every area of life, why would we struggle on the other side of that gift. I wouldn’t say that is a gift. Gifts from God are free, but maturity in God is costly.
The word circumstances in the Greek means a turning point or season. Yet we use this word so negatively every day of our lives. We focus on our circumstances do we not? They consume us, we worry how we will ever make it through certain circumstances. If we knew what that word meant we would look at problems in a different context would we not. Every circumstance that stood before us, like a Goliath, would already be predestined to fall in front of us. How powerful the Spirit could be in us if we stayed in alignment with the Word of God daily. What are you waiting for? I am just honestly asking.
"I have purposes for your life that began in eternity. Before mountains and hills were brought forth, I chose you to be Mine. I planned for your redemption before you saw the light of day.
I opened your eyes to see the beauty of My Son, and you believed. Now My very life lives within you. My dwelling place is in your spirit. I have caused you to mature, to grow in the ways of heaven as My life overtakes yours.
I have brought you many gifts from My Holy Spirit and I have sent many ministries of My Body to strengthen and encourage you. My grace has caused you to grow and I am pleased, for it is a good work that I have begun in you. Yet today I come with fresh wind and energy to make you even stronger.
I will make Myself real to you this day and My living presence will lift you higher. Come and grow stronger as you live in Me. My fruits will now come forth out of your innermost being. Love will prevail and joy will absorb your pain. Peace will surround you as a cloud of glory while kindness streams from you to others.
The strength of My patience will consume your anxiety and watch as my gentleness makes you great and brings honor to your door. I will cause My strength to overshadow you and give you courage and discipline to move ahead.
I have purposes for you that embrace eternity, and I have now begun to hasten those purposes to completion. For I have chosen you before time began to live in the fullness of My Spirit. Surrender to Me this day and do not hinder My Spirit's work to make you into the image of My Son and you will see with your eyes the miracles I will perform in you." ~The Passion Translation