God used dust bunnies and dirty dishes to teach me a little bit about how to defend where Satan attacks.
One morning, in the brief span of time between getting the boys off to school and heading to work I felt a bit unsettled.
And maybe overwhelmed by the day ahead.
Wednesdays at The Grove are pretty busy for me. Typically I work out, shower, eat breakfast, take the dog out, and pack my lunch before I head out the door. Sometimes I have to choose between those last two options. And most days putting on make up waits until after I open up the shop. On top of my usual responsibilities, the house was cluttered and a few dust bunnies had been stalking me from the shadows for days. The stockings still hung by the fireplace, the Christmas tree still stood adorned in the corner, and my nativity scene seemed frozen at Epiphany. Laundry baskets and the dishwasher were full. To make matters worse, I was expecting a garage door repairman later that day who would have to walk through the war zone I called home.
I could have run around trying to do all. the. things. It was tempting, believe me.
But haphazard activity reduces results.
Only intentional action amplifies impact.
Identify High Value Targets
I needed to decide what I could accomplish in those moments that would have the most positive impact on the rest of my day. And it was straightening the family room, consolidating the dishes, and corralling the dust bunnies. Not what you expected?
In the Army, we called these high value targets (HVT). The people or places we could attack that would net the most damage to the enemy. Disrupt communication. Break down the chain of command. Destroy morale. Targets with maximum impact.
Friends, whether you volunteered for it or not, we are all engaged in spiritual warfare. And our enemy has identified an HVT of his own. Over and over again, I’ve seen him attack this one aspect from many angles with countless weapons. By destroying, damaging, or even just distorting it, he manages to disrupt our communication with the Master and each other, flips the chain of command on its head, and destroys our will to live, to fight, to love, and to win.
Even though we will continue to fight through battles and skirmishes this side of heaven, the war is already won. The truth is, our enemy already fought Jesus and lost. Satan knows he has been eternally defeated, but he is desperate to drag as many of us down with him as he can. We can trace nearly every strategy Satan uses against us back to the question of identity. He haunts humanity with these two questions:
Who is Jesus?
Who are you?
Identity is Satan’s HVT.
In Genesis, Satan confused Eve by questioning God’s Word and then tempted her with the possibility of being like God. Succumbing to the prideful temptation to be more than what God created us to be precipitated “The Fall” of mankind, our need for a Savior, and every other imperfection plaguing our existence this side of heaven. (Genesis 3:1-7) It was such an effective and devastating tactic Satan continues to employ it generation after generation. In order to thwart his advances, we need to know how to defend where Satan attacks.
After Jesus fasted 40 days in the desert Satan tested Him. The first two temptations began with “If you are the Son of God…,” clearly targeting His identity. The third temptation seems a little more ambiguous, but in order for Jesus to worship Satan, He would have had to deny His own deity. (Matthew 4:1-11)
Jesus resisted the devil because He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt who He was.
Just like Jesus did in the desert, we can thwart Satan’s attacks with the proper use of God’s Word. Satan knows God’s Word, too, which is what makes him a formidable (though defeated) foe. He used God’s Word against Jesus and Eve. But our best defense is always the truth. The truth about who Christ is and who we are in Him. Knowing God’s character as He reveals it to us in His Word is tantamount to understanding who we are. That is why we studied the names for God all last year in our Word Nerd Wednesday series and why I wrote More Than A Name—so we could discover the many aspects of who Jesus is and apply that truth to our own lives.
Once we have received the saving gift of faith and embark on the life-long process of learning the truth about who Jesus is, we can impact our lives most by studying our identity in Him. We cannot find our identity apart from Christ. It just doesn’t work. He bought us with His blood and we belong to Him, so we are who He says we are. Because God created us in His image, we are not at liberty to define our own identity no matter how much the world urges us to do so. We must dig into who He says we are. And we must know the truth so well that Satan cannot twist it.Because God created us in His image, we are not at liberty to define our own identity no matter how much the world urges us to do so. #identity #defendwheresatanattacks Click To Tweet
That is how we defend where Satan attacks.
It all starts with who He is and who He says I am.
Identity impacts every aspect of life. So we choose wisely and work on understanding the enemy’s HVT first. We defend where Satan attacks fortifying our identity in truth. For the next few weeks, we are going to look at who God’s Word says we are.
Fearfully & Wonderfully Made
These are more than just descriptions. These words form our identity with respect to Christ. Understanding them in context enables us to withstand the enemy’s attacks. When he twists the truth and temps us to be other than what God created us to be we hear things like….
“If you were really a child of God…”
“Are you really a saint? HA!”
“How could anybody love you?”
“If you were really fearfully and wonderfully made you wouldn’t…”
“You look more like a mess than a masterpiece.”
“Nobody ever chooses you.”
“If you really are made new, why do you still…?”
When we know who we truly are, Satan can’t use our identity against us.
Knowing who God says we are is the only way to become who He created us to be. And it is only accomplished by His grace and through the working, leading, guiding, reminding, and teaching of the Holy Spirit and His Word.
The desire of my heart is that my identity would be so intertwined with Christ’s that when you look at me all you see is Him. Because my identity is only safe from Satan’s assault when it is hidden in Christ.The desire of my heart is that my identity would be so intertwined with Christ’s that when you look at me all you see is Him. #identity Click To Tweet