Thursday, March 23, 2006

The enemy's tactics

One of my closest friends that just moved from Texas to Indiana called me a little while ago. I was so excited to hear from her and find out about their long trip to Indiana. When I saw her last week, everything was set. The closing for their new home was set for first thing Monday morning. But all the sudden, their lender called and said they could not close. In fact they were told that their loan would not be funded because of a discrepancy with an appraisal. After a long day of back and forth phone conversations, the loan was funded and they closed Tuesday morning. The company paid for the move and all of their belongings were on a moving truck. At first they thought they would have to put their stuff in storage and stay in a hotel but the closing went through. Then Tuesday night after beginning the moving process into the new house, something else happened. Their youngest little girl had a pretty bad fall and ended up in the emergency room. My friend explained that as her and her husband stared at each other in the emergency room, he looked at her and said "Did we hear God right on this? Are we supposed to be in Indiana?"

Another friend called to tell me just a little while ago that her husband was laid off today. No warning whatsoever. He went into work this morning to a job he loved and is now on his way home with two weeks severance pay. They are also in the process of a huge change coming their way with some other personal stuff. We sat on the phone talked and then I prayed for her. When I finished praying I felt so strongly that God was going to bless them. But with all of the decisions coming their way she expressed how she wondered if they were doing the right thing. "Have we made a mistake?"

In the book of Job, Job's three friends are quick to point out that he is suffering because of something he has done. But the Bible says that Job was an honest man, a man of his word. He was completely and totally devoted to God and hated anything that appeared evil. Job was blameless and full of integrity. However, Job's friends felt that there was no way that such affliction would be happening if it wasn't for sin in Job's life. Why else would such horrible things be happening to Job? Obviously Job was out of God's will! Right?

It seems that every time something becomes difficult or when something bad happens, we think that we have stepped out of God's will and trials come to punish us for doing so. Often I have thought, "Maybe I made the wrong decision." The first year of marriage was difficult to say the least. My husband and I had many ups and downs and sometimes still do. But in the first year I sometimes doubted my decision. For so long I had desired to be married and I just knew that when it was with the right person, my life would be perfect. Ha! I know that I married the one for me, I know God brought us together. We have difficult times in our relationship because we are both sinners and we live in a fallen world. Troubles will come. When I was pregnant with my son Josiah, I would pray over my un-born child all the time. Every night my husband and I would lay our hands on my stomach and pray for Josiah. We prayed for peace, for health, for things that I can't even remember now. But one very big thing I prayed against was COLIC. Since I had prayed so long about it and prayed that I would have a peaceful and calm baby, I new I would! Well, the second night in the hospital he began to cry all the time. Two and a half weeks later he had to have surgery for Pyloric Stenosis. After that he suffered from Acid Reflux. It was HORRIBLE. Oh and he had COLIC! For three months I was miserable. I would take a bath and put my ears under the water so I wouldn't hear him crying. Then one night I told my husband, "I don't think I was ever supposed to be a Mom and this is why he is so miserable. This is a sign that I am not cut out for this." Well, it was during those days of holding Josiah with us both crying that I learned to trust God more than I ever had. If it wasn't for the colic, I don't think I would be as strong as I am today. It was then I learned how to just do it! Get it done! So what of he's crying, he's okay! Then Ava Beth came and she was NOT colic! Thank you Jesus.

A few days ago I listened to our President give a press conference. "Every war plan looks good on paper until you meet the enemy. Our enemy is constantly changing tactics. We must do the same." As I listened to him speak I thought about the enemy that I face in my daily life. When I'm not a threat to him, he lets me be. When I am a threat, he changes tactics and tries his best to get me off track, destroy my dreams, destroy my plans and cause me to doubt. So, why let him win? Why not change tactics on him?

One of the greatest ways to beat the devil at his game is to do what the Bible says, "count it all joy!" (James 1:2) When things start getting stressful, problems arise, sudden emergencies take place, or unexpected financial situations come, change your tactic. Don't doubt God! If anything, thank Him. For the enemy will do anything to bring doubt or trouble. His tactics will sometimes catch you of guard but as children of God, we've got our own tactics! Count it all joy!

So if the enemy is knocking on your door, look him in the eye and thank Jesus for the battle you've already won! He can't win, he won't win! He's already lost!


Anonymous said...

Oh man....
I know what it feels like to wonder and doubt - wonder if you did something wrong and that is why your husband lost his job - or wonder if you did something wrong and that is why you lost your baby. Now I know that all I have been through has changed and shaped my relationship with God - More than ever I feel like He is my father and my friend. I pray to Him like I am talking to a friend - I was never good at the big fancy prayers anyway.
It is hard when things happen like this - I so feel for your friend whose husband lost his job - that is so frustrating. I can say though that God will provide for them - He will and I know one day - maybe not tomorrow but they will look back and realize God closed this door so he can open another.


Amanda said...

Your exactly right Nancy! God has something better, I know it! We talked about that today when I spoke with her on the phone. She isn't worried and I am so proud of her and for how she is trusting God to take care of their circumstances.

Gina Camp said...

Good word! The enemy is always lurking around to discourage us. Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world! You have grown through your trials. Praise the Lord.
love you missed you Wed.

Laura said...

Awesome! It's funny how Satan keeps on trying, but in the end we already know who wins...we know the enemy's fate! Satan can keep on trying with this girl, but he's just gonna get a big 'ole black eye!! haha

PaulHawg said...

That is an excellent word, Amanda. I was very encouraged by this post. I appreciate you giving me truth to stand on during times of trials or doubt.

Kathy said...

I am finding out that when trouble comes is when you are on track. I remember when I was 8 my grandmother bought me a new pair of patent leather shoes. Before that no one ever really said a word to me, I really stayed to myself. The day I got the new shoes all of these kids came out of woodwork and made fun of my shoes. They would say things like you think you are so rich having those shoes. They made fun of me because they thought I was rich....not. We were on welfare and getting food stamps and my grandmother paid 2 bucks for the shoes. I found out from my teacher who made me stay after school because i was crying so hard, that the kids were making fun only because they wanted what I had. They were jealous. On the ride home with my grandfather he talked to me. This is something that changed me forever. He said, "you will have trouble in life when someone wants what you have." I have remembered that all of my life. When God gives us something or blesses us and we have trouble, the enemy wants what we have and he is jealous because he will never have what we have. He will throw us off track to distract us and that is when you praise GOD and keep walking. IF God puts something in you, it is HIM. IF you feel tension or pulling it is the enemy trying to throw you off course so God can not get the glory. Mandi and her house is a prime example. GOd had that house for her the whole time. I needed this today to remind me that I have something that someone wants and he ain't gonna get it. I love you.

Christy said...

Wow this is so powerful... my husband says when people talk about you, make fun of you, gossip or whatever it may be -- they are jealous because they don't have what you have, regardless if its materialistic or not. Being in the ministry we have even faced this because of the things God does. When we have joy, peace, and are focused on Jesus the devil wants it... he will try and destroy us to get our eyes of Jesus.. count it all blessing. I don't know about anyone else, but I feel like giving in when the battle gets hot but its in the battle that I learn and draw closer to him. In the end I am always glad because he always sees me thru.

Patti said...


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Sarah H. said...

Hi Amanda! I wanted ot thank you for the encouraging comment you left on my blog. I guess I was inspired when I wrote that post:)

And btw - I definately share your views on American Idol!!!!!!

I haven't read your most recent post yet but I am planning to read it and I'll comment on it soon.

Thank you again.
God Bless you.

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

What a wonderful post. Thanks for reminding us. It's always easier after the trial has passed to look back and see the good!

Minnie said...

OOOOH Amanda! I SOOOO NEEDED THIS!!!! You are such a blessing to so many. Thank you for the incredible words. :o)

Dionna Sanchez said...

Tag - you're it! Go read my blog. :)