Be Wary Of The Enemy
There are times when people misinterpret the good and evil forces at play in their lives. We all have different definitions of good and bad, which gives the enemy room to manipulate our perception. To gain a better understanding of which forces are at play in our lives, we must assess what is defined as the enemy’s work.
In the book of Galatians, Paul lays out a few guidelines to help shed light on behaviors that are motivated by God versus behaviors that are motivated by the devil. Behaviors such as jealousy, greed, hate, and envy are easily felt and seen, and it is essential to understand that a person portraying these behaviors is acting in a way that is fighting for the enemy.
It is crucial to understand that when we talk about actions that result from evil, whether in ourselves or others, we do not mean the person is evil. It also doesn’t mean that every negative behavior is the result of an outside influence. Scripture makes it clear that our own sinful nature will lead us away from the fruits of the Holy Spirit if we are not cautious.
Actions That Are Driven By The Holy Spirit
The Word of God tells us how to discern the fruits of the Spirit. In Galatians 5:22–23, the Bible makes it clear that the Spirit will bear fruit of:
There is never an easy way to see the forces at play in our daily lives. We can begin to decipher between that which is good and bad by looking at how it makes us feel. If you feel as if things are imbalanced, it is wise to consider the notion that there is evil afoot.
When you feel discomfort in a situation, separate yourself and allow yourself time to reflect on the facts of the matter. If you find that you are dealing with divisiveness, angry outbursts, and other behaviors of a destructive nature, then understand that evil is prevalent in the situation.
There is a difference between acting arrogantly and sharing your accomplishments. We all want to share our achievements or good news with loved ones. How we choose to carry ourselves while we deliver the news says a lot about what forces are at play within us.
If you humbly share your news and gracefully accept praise, then you are behaving within the boundaries of God’s love and grace. However, if you allow yourself to behave in such a way that suggests you are boasting about your successes, then chances are you are allowing the evil or negative energies of the enemy to flow through you.
Overlooking Moral Lines
As children, we were taught moral lessons meant to help us understand how to live life in such a way that we are not hurting others. When a person begins to overlook these moral boundaries, it becomes clear that the forces of evil are at work. Take the time to consider if others are overstepping your boundaries or if you are overstepping the boundaries of others.
It is helpful to remember that our attitudes and behaviors fluctuate. If you find that you are overlooking moral lines, then chances are it is time to reflect and change your actions to eliminate the evil trying to take over your life. God has created a path for our lives, but our choices dictate our journey.
We devise our moral code based on our upbringing, our choices, scripture, and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Rarely does a Christian wake up one day and decide that those moral codes are no longer the compass by which they navigate life. Instead, it starts with minor deviations in the name of convenience, fun, or maintaining relationships without “rocking the boat.”
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV)
Compromising our morals is a slippery slope, and once we set one foot on the path, each subsequent step becomes easier. Small compromises in our morality do not seem like a big deal at first. But, each step away from the righteous path brings us into the enemy’s territory. Falling away rarely happens in one great leap.
You Would Rather Give Up
The devil has a way of making people want to give up. If you find that you are at your wit’s end and would rather give up, then try to refocus your energy in the direction of hope. At times it seems that things will not work out, but it is essential to remember that a hopeful and faithful heart is driven by God and that there is success for those who persevere.
Most trials in life are presented to help teach us a lesson when we are straying from God’s grace. Do not give up because the situation seems hopeless. The desire to give up only illustrates that the devil is at play and fights to distract and misdirect your every move. You would rather fight the battle and experience the blessings God has to offer versus give in and allow the devil to take your life on a turn for the worst.
Remember to act lovingly and encourage yourself and others. Refrain from sabotaging yourself or speaking negatively because this is precisely what the devil wants you to do. If you find yourself saying I am not good enough, there is no point, or I’ll mess everything up anyway, then change your mindset. Be kind to yourself, and remember to encourage yourself when you feel like everything is hopeless.
Pity For Yourself
Do not allow yourself to fall victim to feeling pity for yourself. If you choose pity over understanding, you are not allowing yourself to learn essential lessons that can help better your life. You will have days when you feel down and out, but that does not mean simply giving up and wallowing in your pity. Instead, feelings of self-pity should be a siren to warn you that it is time to seek time and communion with the Father.
Remember that you can pick yourself back up, pray for guidance, and change your mindset. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel once you have fought the enemy and won. There is no reason to feel abandoned and alone, and as long as you are wary of the enemy, you will have a fighting chance of living a loving, happy, and healthy life.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)