Yes, you read that correctly!! Submitting to the enemy is something that I am becoming increasingly aware that I do on a regular (if not daily) basis. On Wednesday night, during bible study, Beth Moore talked about when we listen to the enemy. As she spoke, I heard her say that at first the enemy speaks softly to us, filling us with doubts, perhaps something more. For me, I think that he is even more subtle. The enemy repeatedly tells me that I am too busy, that there are things more important than that. And almost every day, I listen to him and submit to him. How else would you explain why we are 3/4 of the way through the best bible study that I have participated in, to date, and I have not even completed 1/3 of my homework?!? God must have something really important in this study for me to learn, something that the enemy wants to hide from me...
It hit hard when I realized what I am doing. I have been going in the wrong direction for awhile. Sure, I have had moments where I was so close to God that I could immediately discern the presence of the enemy (he spends a lot of time in the hospital), but lately, as the seeming urgency of prayer has waned, as life has started to return to "normal", as we are getting back into our day to day lives, it has become muddled. I ever so slowly started to listen to the enemy about more and more things. God wants me to have victory!! He wants me to have victory in all of the aspects of my life. This includes my prayer life, especially, but doesn't exclude my health or my home.
Beth also said that while the enemy is more gentle in his attacks at first, as we resist, he gets more and more forceful and more and more beligerant, turning to full-on attacks to our character, our hearts and our very being. I have noticed that. Perhaps, that is why I have started to give in and listen and submit the first time, before he gets mean, before he gets outwardly confrontational... I do hate conflict, you know. I typically throw in the proverbial towel the minute something gets hard of uncomfortable. I have played into the idea that life in Christ should be easy, after all, God is on my side. The problem is, God doesn't promise it will be easy. We will have hardships (Acts 14:22). We will have trouble (John 16:33.
I shouldn't take the "easy for now" path, I need to take the "path less travled"...it's less traveled for a reason...it's hard!!! But as Beth said during the study, there are promises at the end of the path. Not just any promise, mind you...God's promises! Just take a look at Jeremiah 29:11... "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. " Tell me again, why I've been submitting to the enemy, when I could be submitting to THAT!!!