One of my more recent posts reveals a sin that I struggle with a lot; reacting in anger and yelling at the kids. I know that it’s not a sin to become angry, but the way I tend to handle it is definitely not Godly.
Tuesday morning I sat down with the kids and told them what a promise was; then I promised them that I would not yell in anger at all this week. Cue in the Devil. (After all, he loves to try us when we’re weak and more likely to fail, right?)
After dealing with the baby being cranky all morning, and Tobi peeing on the couch (he hasn’t had an issue with potty training since the day I told him he was too big for diapers, but lately he’s been waiting too long before going to the toilet, not wanting to stop his game), I realized that Annie was taking a long time in the bathroom and went to check on her.
As I shared on my Facebook page, I found her playing with this.
Talk about being tested!
I’m glad to say that I did not react in anger. I did not yell. And I’m hoping that the face plate can be glued back on. The camera itself still works, at least. And fortunately, this isn’t my main camera. I mainly just use it for videos, since my other camera doesn’t record audio with videos.
But it made me realize that the Devil was trying to knock me down while I was still unsteady. And that got me to thinking of the different ways that Satan attacks us.
After doing some reading, I realized that there are 2 big ways in which Satan attacks us. There are more I’m sure, but these are pretty generalized categories, and the ones that I notice he attacks me the most often.
In John 8, we read:
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
The Devil is a liar. He attacks the mind. He tries to trick us, deceive us, make us doubt what we know is right. And he’s good at it! We see this in all the women who don’t see their true worth; in marriages that fall apart because the spouses don’t believe it can get better; in students who drop out of school because they don’t believe they can do it.
I see it in myself when I’m tempted to yell at my kids because “it’s the only thing that will get their attention.” That’s a lie, and I know it. And yet I still struggle with it.
1 John 3:8 tells us,
8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
He’s an expert sinner. The first sinner, even. He attacks us morally. He watches us and knows our weak points. He knows what buttons to push. And he tempts us where it’ll count the most.
He tells us that it’s OK to skip daily time with God because it’s important that we get those precious extra minutes of sleep in the morning, and that we’re too busy the rest of the day (yes, I’m guilty with this one.)
He tells us that it’s OK to rely on ourselves instead of on God (something else I struggle a lot with.)
And look where that got Eve? (And the rest of us.)
Thankfully, the Bible doesn’t just give us all this spiritual warfare to look forward to. It gives us advice on how to handle it.
Ephesians 4 teaches us,
25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each oneof you speak truth with his neighbor,”[e] for we are members of one another. 26“Be angry, and do not sin”:[f] do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working withhis hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
And there is hope! James tells us in chapter 4,
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
How encouraging it is that if we resist the devil, he will eventually flee from us!
(Scripture taken from the NKJV.)