A prowling lion

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For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Ephesians 6:12

Last week at work someone sent an email to another colleague about me. It wasn’t overly terrible, but it insinuated I thought I was a big deal and that I take credit for things that are not mine. Unfortunately for the writer, the receiver cc’d me on their reply. When I read the words, I was so hurt and yes, mad. You see, the writer and I have history. They were not kind to me when I came to my current position and talked behind my back. After years of holding them at arm’s length, I felt like God was telling me to step in, make an effort and let the past go. I thought I had. Actually, I had recently assisted them on two or three projects and didn’t ask for recognition or make a big deal out of it.

So, when I read the hurtful words, I just couldn’t believe it. I wanted to march down the hall and let them know exactly what I thought of the message. I wanted to lecture them about how I had tried so hard to get over hurt feelings and now they were just making it worse. But, I am less confrontational now than in the past. Thank you Jesus! All Him, not a bit of me there. He has taught me the first thing I want to say or write, I will regret.

I would like to say, the peace of the Holy Spirit fell on me and I was able to forgive right away. Um, no. I stewed about it for several hours. Then, finally, I prayed. “Why are people so mean? Why am I being attacked? What have I done?” God didn’t answer any of my questions.

As I listened for a reply, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the Gospels. Our small group has been reading through the Gospels over the last year. There are numerous times when Jesus was misunderstood, hurt, accused of wrong doing, and laughed at, even by family. If all of these things can happen to Jesus, my perfect Savior, how could I not expect that I might have to deal with hurt feelings?

Then, He reminded me of Paul’s words.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Ephesians 6:12

You know, hurt people, hurt people. But the true issue was not that this person is hurting and lashing out. The true issue was that satan was trying to derail what God had been doing over the last few years. He wanted me to either blow up or to withdraw from the person. Satan doesn’t want there to be unity at my workplace. He doesn’t want us to get along and there be a possibility that I am able to share my faith with my coworkers.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8

But he doesn’t stop there. Over the last week, I have seen his attempts to derail me with my husband, my daughter, family, neighbors and friends. A small slight becomes something monumental and the foundation for me to push people away or harbor resentful feelings. And friends, he wins sometimes. Before I bring it to God, I lash out. I let my feelings rule me.

Lysa Terkeust teaches that feelings are indicators, they do not have a brain. So, you have to stop and use your brain before acting on them.

We must be vigilant dear friends. VIGILANT! We have to take the offensive for our marriages, family, friends, coworkers and for this world. As soon as we fall back and start playing defensive, we will soon be overrun by situations and feelings.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.  Ephesians 6:18

Let’s be alert. Pray for your marriage, family and friends even when it seems things are going very well. Because we know our enemy is prowling, trying to find a weakness he can attack.

I am praying for you. Please pray for me.

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