Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith… (1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV)
Satan attacks our thoughts, making us doubt God’s goodness, power, protection, and love. Lions look for weakness. Satan knows where we are hesitant to believe scripture. He distracts us by circumstances, by interpretations, and by whispering into our minds. Taking our focus away from truth, we are easily attacked. However, if we ignore his words, if we mediate on scripture, if we stand firm in the faith given by God, Satan will leave us alone. Lions are lazy; if the antelopes are too alert, the lions will lie back down under a shade tree.
David let down his guard.
And David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand.” (1 Samuel 27:1, NKV)
Do you see David’s mistake? What did he believe?
David believed that Saul would kill him. This makes sense, since Saul had been hunting for him with 3,000 soldiers (1 Samuel 26:2). There was certainly evidence to say Saul was going to kill David.
But look at the contradictions:
- Samuel anointed David to be king (1Samuel 16:13).
- Jonathan had given David the clothing of prince (1Samuel 18:4).
- Jonathan had stated: “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.” (1 Samuel 23:17, NIV).
- God had protected David from wild animals, Goliath, Philistines, and Saul before.
David stopped trusting God. This led to immediate disobedience. He left Israel to live in the land of the Philistines. God had spoken through the prophet Gad to tell David to stay in Judah (1 Samuel 22:5). Sin happens when we start doubting God.
For the next 16 months, David slaughtered men, women, children, and animals in the villages all the way to Egypt. First Samuel 27 just states the facts: there is never a survivor left. Never does it say that David went to God for guidance or repentance. First Chronicles 22:8 explains that God would not let David build the temple because of the many deaths at his hands. Perhaps the deaths that occurred when David was in rebellion here in 1 Samuel 27 were the reason.
Do you see how David’s beliefs lead to his behavior?
I wonder what would have occurred if David stayed strong. If he had repeated when the doubts came, “I will be king in God’s timing,” the story would have been different. Fortunately, David did choose to trust God again and his obedience returned.
Do you see why policing our thoughts is the most important tactic in defeating Satan?
Here are examples of how I change my thoughts:
Satan says, “Jayna, if God loves you, He would prevent…”
- I counter with: “But he (God) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NIV)
Satan says, “Compromise a little; people will like you better and you will be a better witness.”
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. … In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:11, 16, NIV)
- Sometimes I repeat the memorized verses aloud when the temptation is strong. We must decide before the battle begins to trust God and walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
- Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Even when they may not seem straight.) Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear (respect, obey, believe) the LORD and shun evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7, NIV) (Parenthetical comments are mine.)
Dear Reader: If you would like to read more on this topic subscribe to Jayna’s blog “A Woman Trusting God” and you will receive her 9 page booklet free dealing with this topic in greater depth.
We would love to have you attend our first annual Women’s Conference on June 24-25, 2016 with special recording artist Mike Weaver from Big Daddy Weave.
Hope to see you there!
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