Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Confident Confrontation

What comes to mind when you read the word Viper?  A fancy car?  A poisonous snake?  Fear?  Anxiety?  For me, the answer is a poisonous snake.  Why?  Because I got to see a viper up close and personal at the zoo this past weekend.  I would typically run far away from any type of snake, but when there is a 6 inch piece of glass separating me from its poisonous fangs, there's nothing to fear, right? And so with great courage, I approached the glass.  The viper's face was front and center, and he looked right at me.  I put my face as close to the glass as my hat would allow, and the snake looked me straight in the eye for a moment, and then slithered away.  He repositioned his head away from the glass so he couldn't see me any more.  Hmmmm... I thought.  Pretty interesting that the snake slithered away when confidently confronted. 

My thoughts then turned to the Garden of Eden, equating this viper with the serpent that tempted Eve.  Remember how Eve entertained the serpent's questions, allowing the serpent (aka Satan) to plant seeds of doubt in her mind?  And remember how Eve ultimately disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit? (Genesis 3:1-13)  How would things have been different if Eve fought Satan with confidence, using her sword of the spirit (Ephesians 6:17) to defeat the lies hurled her way...

Satan carries many descriptions in the Bible:  liar, murderer, and father of lies (John 8:44); a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8); a thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) and a schemer (Ephesians 6:11).  He's good at what he does... and what he does is no good.  We can so easily fall prey to his schemes, lies and tricks if we are not watching out for him. 

I fell into one of his subtle traps this week.  A major decision was made on behalf of my family and I was at peace with it.  This is kinda uncharacteristic of me because I've been known to worry about decisions of this nature.  It felt great to trust God with where He was leading our family.  And it was exciting to think that I was growing in my faith.  And then... dun, dun, duuuuun... I randomly come across a piece of information that took that peace and tossed it to the wind.  Doubt filled my head.  Worry crept in and found a nice home in my mind.  And the wrestling began.  What do I do with this new information?  Is it God guiding or Satan inviting confusion to stir up worry and doubt when I was at peace?  What do we need to do? 

I spent the next day praying, wrestling through our options, discussing the situation with my hubby and getting advice from someone with experience in this area.  It is such a blessing to have those trusted people you can turn to when you're faced with big decisions that are muddied with your emotions.  I was blessed to have my hubby and friend think clearly for me when I couldn't think clearly on my own.   

With a strategy in place and prayers lifted up, the research phase began.  And within 24 hours, I received the answers I needed to confirm our original decision.  God was faithful...  we asked for His divine wisdom (James 1:5), and He provided.  And peace has found it's home again in my heart and mind. 

It would have been easy to stay on the worry, doubt, insecure path that I started on... but God protected me.  He answered prayers.  He exposed Satan's confusion.  And I can stand firm and look Satan directly in the eye and watch him slither away, just like the viper at the zoo did. 

Are any of you on the worry and doubt path?  If so, ask God for His divine wisdom.  And then apply James 1:6, or you might find yourself right back on the worry path again...

James 1:5-6  New International Version (NIV)

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Don't let Satan blow and toss you around with his lies and schemes.  You have the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) as your weapon to defeat him.  And he doesn't stand a chance when you confidently claim the promises of God's word.  You have the power... use it and watch Satan slither away.

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