My wife and I spent this past weekend sharing at a couples retreat and seeing the Lord powerfully at work in people's lives. One of the things we addressed in our teaching is the need to be enlightened regarding the spiritual war that Satan is waging against marriage in general and our marriages specifically. No sooner had we walked away feeling blessed and confident that God had used us to speak into people's lives when we were broadsided by the enemy. Through one little situation the enemy came in like a flood and challenged us on everything we had been speaking to the couples about. I was reminded once again that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
I find this really interesting because all week-long Cheryl and I had been bracing ourselves for the onslaught, knowing that we would be stepping out to encourage a few hundred couples in their marriages. I even said to Cheryl on Friday, "Wow! We made it through the week unscathed!" It was amazing. No bickering, no harsh words, no loss of patience with each other; it was smooth sailing throughout the whole week. Then at the retreat the teaching flowed, the Spirit moved, the people were blessed, and we were just having a great time … Until … Until the phone rang and some information came through (not particularly bad information) that caused fear to come in and rob us of all the joy and blessing we were experiencing. That's what the devil is always looking to do. As Jesus said, "The thief has come to rob, steal, and destroy" (see John 10:10), and there we were getting robbed by the evil one. Even as I write, I know Jesus is going to come through for us and everything is going to be fine. But I know too that we'll look back and wonder how we fell prey once again to those same old tricks.
Here's the point: even as I said to the couples this weekend, we are in a war and our enemy is ruthless and relentless. Therefore, we must keep our guard up. We must take the admonition of the Scripture to heart: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). And here's the word: "Resist him, steadfast in the faith … " (1 Peter 5:9). Don't give in to those lies, don't give in to those fears. God loves you and He's not going to let you sink. Extend the shield of faith, trust the Lord, stand on His promises, and know He will crush Satan under your feet shortly!