battle plan.

Satan, also known as the Father of Lies, is  great at consistent, quiet whispers in our ear until we believe what he’s told us. He likes to target things that cause us to lash out on God, so we usually question God’s goodness or sovereignty or wisdom. Once in Bible Study, Jim Sparks had us identify what enemy of love we struggle with. Mine was “score-keeping,” and this is where Satan likes to get me.

He gets me feeling like crap about myself and then asks me questions like these: Did they ever write back to those letters you sent? Hey, remember that time they were in town and didn’t think to mention it to you? Do you LOVE spending all that gas money on people who you can’t even pay to visit you? Just wondering, why do you think it’s so easy for them to hang out with everybody except you?

and so on. Then I get lured in and start counting backwards. there was that time, and that time, and that time… oh yes, those four times… and then it overlaps with other people and suddenly I am faced with this huge list of the people I love the most and ways that they have CRAPPED ALL OVER OUR FRIENDSHIP. and I fume and ask God if he could make me die in some tragic, horrible accident so THEY COULD FEEL LIKE CRAP FOR NEVER CARING ABOUT ME, and I exhaust myself with comparisons and anger and worthlessness.

IF ONLY YOU KNEW how often this happened to me. Bi-monthly at the least. Then, last September something clicked. This is what happened.

September 27, 2012
I guess it is good to know what lies Satan will and has consistently thrown at me when I’m already hurting or when I am emotionally vulnerable. First I will just get angry. After that, I will lash out on anyone who seems relevant to my current suffering, tearing them up in my thoughts. BUT THAT IS NOT SUFFICIENT. After these murders, I will dig up any other similar or relevant past offenses.

All the while my only role is that of the innocent victim-turned-slayer, crying not out of guilt but frustration that these people make me do this stuff. How selfish of them, right?

So Satan tells me – if only you had better friends, and you know why you have bad friends? Well, look at you!

Let’s be clear. I am definitely not in the running for any “best friend of the year” awards, but I’m not the kind of friend Satan says I am. Humility is having a proper perception of oneself, and that means knowing the truth of the strengths I bring to relationships but also being aware of my weaknesses and flaws.

Every time, Satan dangles the same lies in front of me. And I always greedily lunge for them, forgetting the consequences I always vow to never endure again.

Vows. Oaths.

Jesus said “Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’.” Be self-controlled, consistent and reliable. I aim for that in my outward dealings with people but – as ALWAYS – lack that discipline internally.

SO WHAT IS MY BATTLE PLAN?

If I know the enemies’ tactics, then I can be prepared.

STEPHANIE’S BATTLE PLAN AGAINST THE FATHER OF LIES

  • PRAY FOR MY FRIENDS
    -Ask God to bless them. pray for the things they’re facing.
  • FORGIVE MY FRIENDS
    -for everything Satan is dragging up.
  • REMEMBER MY FRIENDS
    -try to recall my first memory of them or my most recent fave.
  • RECITE SCRIPTURE
    -cuz Jesus did it
  • SEEK FORGIVENESS
    -from God, but also identify areas I must seek forgiveness from my friends.

I am writing this today because I have been experiencing Satan’s lies for the past two days, and as I sat at Starbucks, head bowed and praying for the strength to stamp and send a letter asking someone for forgiveness, I realized that this battle plan is no joke. It’s helping, and I am bearing the battle scars of standing firm.

Satan lies to all of us. If you think he doesn’t lie to you…. then there you have it. Develop a battle plan so that the minute you recognize that his lies have sneaked in, you can be on high alert and run him out before he does any more damage. But be prepared for serious warfare, because he will come at you harder and harder and the battle plan you’ve prepared in your own strength suddenly needs supernatural assistance in order to be effective.

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