If I were your enemy, I’d disguise myself and manipulate your perspectives so that you’d focus on the wrong culprit—your husband, your friend, your hurt, your finances, anything or anyone except me. Because when you zero in on the most convenient, obvious places to strike back against your problems, you get the impression you’re fighting for something. Even though all you’re really doing is just . . . fighting. For nothing.
Have you seen the movie Rocky? Yes, the Sylvester Stallone movie about the boxer from Philly. “Yo, Adrian!” Rocky.
We introduced that movie to our oldest son, Noah, about two years ago. When he was about four he was fascinated and enthralled with the movie Real Steel about the boxing robots, so when he got a little bit older we thought he’d enjoy this series of classics. I am a big fan of underdog movies, and Rocky is no exception. I think my favorite part of any of the Rocky movies, is watching him train and prepare for his fight. He’s preparing to fight against Apollo Creed…a trained champion with all of the best equipment and gear. Everything he needs to win. He’s a shoe in to take Rocky down with ease and make him look like the amateur that he is.
The enemy is really good at making us turn our attention to everyone BUT him. In our house, he has a habit of making me turn my focus and my attention to my kids and their behavior, my husband and whatever I think he should be doing at that time (but isn’t), the unexpected expense that came out of our checking account, the negative or hateful comment from a family member…basically everywhere but at him. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet mastered the ability to recognize him at work around me and direct my feelings and thoughts at him instead of the ones that I love. Way too often I realize it after the fact. When the hurtful words have been spoken and I can’t take them back. When I’ve lashed out at my kids and broken their spirit. When I’ve made a snarky comment at my husband and created friction between us. When I’ve placed blame on anyone that doesn’t deserve it. When I’ve allowed a negative comment made by someone else to steal the joy from my day. Anytime that I do that, my focus is out of line and I am enabling the enemy to keep one foot in the door when instead he belongs out in the heat and as far away from my life as he can get.
It’s time to take our focus off the enemy and put it on the Almighty.
I want to go to bed at night feeling like I am victorious, rather than defeated. I want to know that I have fought hard, battled with everything in me and taken down the adversary who tries so hard to steal the joy that I have been given in Christ Jesus. I want to stand-much like Rocky does when he stands at the top of those stairs in complete victory-with my hands help high in praise knowing that God and God alone WILL be victorious when my days on this Earth end. When it’s all said and done, the enemy doesn’t win regardless. Isn’t it time we stop letting the enemy win in the day to day moments? He’s already lost the war…it’s time he starts losing the battle, too.
(feel free to answer in the comments or privately on your own)
Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.