I've tried about three times now to write this blog, and every time I've gotten derailed.
I'm learning a lot these days about how the enemy works... it's funny when you think about it. God can use any means to create relationships with us. All we have to do is start wanting it bad enough. And when we finally start seeking Him he opens our minds to show us the deceitful plans of the enemy of our souls.
This is one I've been made aware of recently. One of the greatest attacks Satan uses on us (and by us I mean all people everywhere... not just Christians) is separation. The more he can isolate us, the more he can keep us in the dark. God created us to be His companions, and as such we are also in need of companionship. That is what we crave. That is why even the most secluded souls reach out to objects for companionship. Even those who have been hurt time and again by other people turn to animals for friendship and consolation.
The funny thing is, when you start seeing the plans of the enemy from God's perspective they seem so silly. They seem so stupid and weak that we are surprised that anyone gets sucked in. That is the key really, to see everything from God's perspective. So here are just a few of the tactics I've seen recently.
1) misunderstanding. Suppose you are in love... perhaps with a spouse, or perhaps it's just a really great deep friendship. You enjoy being together, and can't wait to connect again and again. Then this person says something inane. I mean really inane. Not even intentionally mean spirited, just stupid because they aren't even aware of how it's going to affect you. They aren't inside your head, and they don't know every single thing about you. They can't read your mind, but somehow they've picked at one of your old psychological scabs without meaning to. Suddenly you start to dislike them.
For some people, this little tick is enough to end the friendship right then and there. You are convinced that they did it intentionally, and are just like everybody else... out to hurt you. For others, this is a small wound that doesn't get taken care of properly. The event is lodged like a microscopic bit of shrapnel oozing infection until the whole relationship dies off.
The funny thing is, if we truly think about it, the comment or action or whatever started the whole thing wasn't meant to be hurtful... why would anyone who loves you so much intentionally hurt you? Until we have our eyes opened to the weakness of human nature, we cannot realize just how silly we are. Take a step back. Really think about all the time you've spent with this person. They love you, and they want to be with you. They didn't say or do it to hurt you, and the only way to get past it is to shrug it off, and love them back and tell them that it's a sore spot. When you open up to someone like that you aren't displaying a weakness, you are strengthening the bonds between you and the enemy can't stand that.
2) distraction. I can't think of anyone nowadays (at least in any moderately civilized country) that doesn't know what facebook is. Why do you suppose it was created? It certainly wasn't so that people would plant cyber farms and raise electronically generated vegetables. It was created so that people could maintain relationships in a busy world, where it's hard to spend time together. So, then, why would folks log onto a social network and spend all their time worrying about recruiting total strangers to their pirate crew so they can unlock special quests? or why would folks get angry at a silly computer development company for promising them pretend units of money so they can make fake pickles?
Looking at it from God's perspective, it feels kind of foolish to spend so much time caring for pretend people when we could be building relationships with real ones... unless of course, you've had enough "misunderstandings" with real ones that you've written all human beings off completely. If this is the case, go back and read #1.
3) busy-ness. I suppose some could simply use the word "business" because that really is the word's intended meaning. You're so busy with your work that you don't have time to maintain real relationships with people. Think about it. It's the perfect plan. Make the human race think that everything they do is so vitally important that if they stop for one second they'll fall behind.
If you're a parent, think about every moment you spent with your child. For some that won't take very long because they are so busy with everything but their child. They can count the number of truly meaningful, focused moments with their child on one hand. For others, they have spent their whole time worrying about their child instead of building relationships. Instead of taking time to explore the psyche of this incredible being they helped to create, they are worried about making sure this being doesn't fail (as if somehow God is incapable of keeping this from happening). Instead of relishing the time spent in deep communion with these unique individuals, they rush them from moment to moment in the hopes that enough exposure to enough experiences will help shape them into the perfect human being, capable of total freedom from pain and disappointment. In turn these individuals grow up thinking that staying busy is what keeps them from spontaneous combustion, and they can't understand why they aren't fulfilled.
Now, I realize that not everyone who reads this has ever experienced parenthood. I also realize that not everyone God created desires to raise children. So think of it this way. There is someone out there, someone who you can connect with on an incredible level. There are amazing individuals who can open your mind to incredible thoughts, show you incredible things, share with you incredible experiences. The only problem is, you're so worried about maintaining your hectic life that you haven't met them. You do as you're told, in the hopes that your job will fulfill you, but you lack the deeper companionship that you truly crave. You know deep down this is true because the spirit God gave you wants companionship more than anything. More than money, or power or excitement.
4) abuse. This is the last one I'm going to expose today. There are plenty of others, and as God opens my eyes with His vision I'm sure I'll see plenty more. This is the most painful of all. The others are like anesthetics. They keep you dull and unaware. This one is like torture... you are aware of it the whole time, but you don't know how to stop it.
For the abuser, it is a pain they cannot help but inflict. They are tortured, wanting companionship, but unable to maintain it because of their actions. They strike again and again, and are left afterward feeling the guilt and shame of their behavior. Some are so afflicted they have to be locked up. Separated even further from the companionship they desire most. Don't get me wrong... they need to be separated. God weeps over their condition like a father weeps over his murdered child.
For the abused it is a different kind of pain. The most obvious physical reactions are not the only affects of abuse. The abused suffer for years after the attacks stop. They not only question the actions of their abuser, but they question themselves on such a deep level, I'm in awe at anyone who can reach them. Of course, their Creator has the power to restore, but in giving mankind free will, the abused must at some point ask for restoration. Unfortunately many do not ask because too many of those who could show them the way are stuck in #'s 1, 2 and 3.
So there it is, the plans of the enemy revealed. Simple, yet tricky. Sometimes painless sometimes cruel. Our job now is to decide what to do with this information. Will we continue to believe his lies, moving toward our appointed date with eternity without trying to stop the deception? Or will we determine not to let him have the upper hand? Will we decide that it's so much better up in the heavenly realm seated with Christ, communing with Him and building relationships with other imperfect human beings that it's not worth it to keep succumbing to the enemy's lies?
Psalm 119:165 says, "Great peace have they who love Your law, and nothing shall offend them (KJV)." I used to think this was something I had to decide... some will on my part to not allow anyone to offend me. Now I realize that if I am viewing the world from God's perspective, then I simply will not be offended by things. It's like getting angry when someone wearing a blindfold bumps into you. It's not like they realized they were doing it.
Seek First God's Kingdom.