I was standing in the bathroom the other morning with a heavy heart.
The doctor had asked me to come in for some blood tests, so I was up early. This would be no big deal, except that I had cancer a few years ago and so now everything feels like a big deal. Yep, even when it’s not.
So there I was blow drying and lotioning and mascaraing for the lab tech when I caught myself having a “What if…” and “Well you know…” conversation with myself.
Have you ever had those?
The circumstances are always different, but it goes something like this:
What if this isn’t just a routine test? What if there is something seriously wrong with me and nobody wants to tell me?
Well, you know, you did have breast cancer. That snuck up on you out of the blue so why couldn’t something else?
Around and around the thoughts circulated through my brain until I heard a very dominant voice in my head ask a simple question. “Who are you talking to?”
And then I realized.
I had been standing in my house having a conversation with the devil.
I was going back and forth debating whether or not I was seriously ill with the one who came to this Earth to steal, kill and destroy.
Immediately, I started reciting the Lord’s prayer.
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil….
Today, I want to ask you, Who are you talking to? When your hands are busy but your mind is not, where does it gravitate? I think that’s when the enemy likes to whisper in our ear. When our defenses are down. That’s when we need to think about what we’re thinking about and make a definite decision to allow those thoughts to continue or to cast them out.
This week’s memory verse gives us two assignments and then a promise.
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NLT)
We must humble ourselves, which to me means submitting to the authority of God. Saying daily, “God I need you. I want to do the right thing, but it’s hard. Walk with me. Show me how to do this life better.”
And then we need to resist the devil. When words and phrases pop into our heads that are not kind or loving or nurturing (to us or anyone else), we say No and intentionally replace those thoughts with something more productive.
Then comes the good part: he will flee from you.
Sure, he might try to come back a hundred times, but the enemy will flee each and every time you turn your eyes to Jesus. That’s a promise.
If you were to keep reading, just past the part we’re memorizing this week, you’d find another wonderful, comforting promise tucked in the very next verse.
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” James 4:8 (NLT)
I like that. Because whatever we face each day, it’s so much better knowing that God is there too.