Acknowledging The Battle and Keeping Watch by Gwen Smith
Acknowledging The Battle and Keeping Watch
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith… (1 Peter 5:8-9a, NIV).
Friend to Friend
We need to be fully engaged and alert because our enemy is fierce. You don’t have to wear camo but as a follower of Christ you do need a battle plan. It begins with acknowledging that there is, in fact, a spiritual battle raging all around you, and it requires you to keep watch.
I was excited one evening because I actually had a fun dinner plan, which isn’t always the case. Some grilled chicken was left over from the night before, so I decided to bust out my griddle and whip up some yummy grilled-chicken quesadillas. I know: it’s a crazy-easy make, but for some reason, my kids think I’m a genius when quesadillas are on the menu. Go figure.
I grabbed a knife, a chopping board, and the leftover chicken from the fridge. Minutes later, the chicken was ready for its cheese and tortilla companions. While the griddle was heating up, I turned my attention to a few other family matters. I don’t even remember what those matters were—just normal, ordinary stuff.
When I turned back to the business of quesadilla making, an empty cutting board glared at me. I raised an eyebrow and asked my husband if he had moved my chicken.
“No, honey. I haven’t touched your chicken,” he replied with a twinkle in his eye.
Hmm. A chicken mystery. How odd.
I began to interview each of my children, “Did you take the chicken off the cutting board?”
“No, Mom. I didn’t touch the chicken,” they said one after another.
I wondered, If I didn’t move the chicken and my family didn’t move the chicken, then where is my chicken? I looked around the room once more just to be sure that I hadn’t simply placed the chicken somewhere else.
Then I saw it … a look of guilt.
A look that screamed and pleaded, Yes! I took your chicken, but please don’t be angry with me. It smelled so good, and … and … I’m a big dog. I need my nourishment. Was it wrong? Okay. I know it was wrong. Please forgive me. I did it. I ate your chicken. I’m sorry. I’d like to go to my crate now …
His hairy ears lowered as my eyes met his. My brows furrowed. “Rocky! You ate my chicken! Bad dog!” I lamented in frustration as I began to make a new chickenless dinner plan.
Rocky’s just a dog. He’s not out to get me, and he didn’t mean to mess up our dinner plans, but he did prey on our family meal that night. He came and took what wasn’t his because I had let down my guard. I wasn’t watching over my chicken.
As believers in Jesus Christ, you and I must guard our hearts and watch over our homes. The Bible warns Christians to keep watch. Beyond things seen, there are spiritual battles taking place around us continually. Allow me to state this again: If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, then you have an enemy, and his name is Satan. If you live to listen to the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, then strap on your battle gear, girlfriend, because your enemy has a mission to destroy you.
The Bible tells us time and again to be alert to the schemes of Satan. To keep watch. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Pet. 5:8–9).
Though we have an enemy who wants to mess with our emotions, our health, our marriages, our children, our relationships, our jobs, and our thoughts, we aren’t without help or hope. We have both. Through the Holy Spirit, we have access to God’s power and protection: “The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thess. 3:3).
I was caught off guard the night our dog Rocky took the chicken off the counter, and there have been times I’ve been caught off guard in the midst of spiritual battles as well. As Christian women, let’s remember to call on the Spirit of God to empower us to keep watch over our hearts, our minds, and our homes.
Dear Lord, You are all-powerful and mighty to save. I praise you and delight in your plan for me to have abundant life through Jesus. Please cover me in Your Spirit today and equip me to fend off attacks from the enemy in your power and help.
In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Can you identify an area where you feel the enemy is attacking you? Grab your journal and write about it. Pause to pray for specific people and relationships that you feel need protection.