Satan is good at being bad. Knowing our weaknesses, he camps out with bated breath just waiting for his chance to launch his missiles. And he does it with extreme accuracy. The good news is we can begin to recognize his tactics and watch his attempts be thwarted. How? By saturating ourselves with Scripture. By reading about the triumphs of those who stumbled before us. By believing God is bigger than Satan's best shots. Remembering why the enemy continues to hit us where he does is essential.
Weak Spots Work
If we become increasingly aware of our areas of struggle and rely on God's strength in those areas, eventually they will not be the targeted areas. The only reason they are revisited is because Satan has success there. It's a spiral that we can get out of. We need to believe that God is bigger than those areas of our lives. The truth is, God is bigger than any weakness we have. Mull that over for a while.
In their book, Boundaries, Townsend and Cloud tell a story about a man who continually goes down a street and falls into a hole. The story paraphrased goes like this:
A man would go down the street, see a hole, and fall in. The next day the man walked down the street and saw the hole and fell in again. The third day the man partially changed his route but eventually still fell in the hole. The fourth day he altered his route a little but then looked back and fell in the stubborn hole. Finally when the man became tired of his failure, he decided to walk on the other side of the street. Enough was enough. He stopped thinking he could do it. Many of us still think we can.
When we keep trying to get different results by doing the same thing, others recognize it as insanity; we think we are persevering.
Look at God's Record
It's helpful in our battles to remember God's track record. He has proven himself in each of our lives. I need to remember what he did in my life because that's the life I'm living. And while I can learn from the stories of others, it's important to look back and see his faithfulness to me.
David went against Goliath, not because he was feeling particularly giant-strong one day, but he remembered God was with him—the very same God who gave him strength when he stood eye to eye with a bear—the same God who showed up when a lion crossed his path. David's trust needed to be in the right place, in God. Once that was established he stepped out.
And when Saul tried arming David with something that might have worked for Saul, David dismissed it. Not merely because of the obvious, the poor fit, but because God was the one who would do the fighting and he fights armor-free.
All Is Not Some
Satan is a word-twister. He did it in the garden when Eve was in the mood for a piece of fruit and he still does it today. He has found we are more apt to swallow half-truths than blatant lies. When we choose to trust God and start walking in faith, Satan whispers that God can do a lot, he can even do many things, but not all things. But Numbers 23:19 tells us that God is not a man that he should lie. If God said "all things," then that's exactly what he meant.
Challenges teach us two things; something about God, and something about us. If we choose to believe that God will give us the victory, we will see ringside just how powerful God is. If, instead, we choose to trust in our own strength or intelligence, we will quickly see how inadequate we are. We need to truly believe John 15:5, which says that we can do nothing apart from him.