Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion,seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8
We are told in the Word that the Father never “sleeps nor slumbers” (Psalm 121:4, Isaiah 40:28). As one of His children, that truth has been a great comfort to me along my journey.
However, a related truth occurred to me recently as I contemplated the well-known Armor of God illustration from the book of Ephesians—neither does the enemy. Satan is a tenacious predator; ever watching, ceaselessly plotting, always on the prowl for easy prey.
Our adversary never wearies of his evil scheming—but what of me? I readily confess that I am no match for the supernatural tenacity of Satan. By my very humanness I am prone to distraction, to complacency, to growing weary and falling asleep (Deuteronomy 25:18).
Recently I was awakened from my own ‘slumber’ by the Holy Spirit. As though with a snap of His finger, the fog lifted and I clearly envisioned the enemy before me. I saw him coming against my children and against the plans that the Mighty One has for their lives.
This is not the first time I have been mindful of Satan’s desire to derail my children. I am all too familiar with the common devices and traps devised to ensnare our children as we strive to raise them for the Lord. The usual suspects include alcohol, drugs, sex, gender confusion… you know the list as well as I do. Most Christian parents faithfully do battle, as they very well should, against these time tested weapons of mass destruction.
But what I envisioned in this instance was much different.
I saw myself living my life in a sort of semi-alert state; not technically asleep, but not keenly aware of the enemy’s actions. What if the truly destructive tactics of the enemy were far more subtle than I realized? What if the most powerful weapons in his arsenal went by the names of ordinary, mundane, unremarkable, and mediocre?
Perhaps it isn’t necessary for Satan to actually destroy our lives to win the battle. Perhaps catastrophe or tragedy is not required, or even falling into blatant sin. Perhaps one of his most subversive plots is simply to steal our potential.
You see, God has endowed each of us with a unique combination of natural talent and supernatural gifts. He desires to use each of us in mighty ways to accomplish extraordinary feats for the Kingdom. He sees in every one of us the potential to be an Abraham, a Moses, a David or a Paul. And He desires for us to live radical lives through His strength, and for His glory.
Is it possible that the enemy believes in our potential to impact the world more than we do? Could he be out to remove the extraordinary, exceptional, radical and excellent from our life story?
What has the enemy stolen while YOU were sleeping?