Pulling Back the Curtain

I remember watching The Wizard of Oz when I was a little girl and loving the moment when Toto pulled back the curtain to reveal the so-called wizard was nothing more than a man hiding behind a bunch of special effects. Ah. The truth. Don’t you just love it? While I was praying about some […]


I remember watching The Wizard of Oz when I was a little girl and loving the moment when Toto pulled back the curtain to reveal the so-called wizard was nothing more than a man hiding behind a bunch of special effects.

Ah. The truth. Don’t you just love it?

While I was praying about some of the devastating, heartbreaking things happening in the world and in my own life and in the lives of those I love, I thought about that curtain and the man hiding behind it.

Only I realized who’s hiding out and wreaking havoc in our lives today is not a man but our enemy. Satan.

The enemy is hiding, not behind some physical curtain, but behind his schemes, trying to make us turn on each other. He’s trying to discourage and distract us from following God’s calling.

Satan is trying to make such a loud racket in order to steal our focus away from Jesus Christ. The enemy is hoping we’ll get sucked into his “special effects” so we’ll cower in fear. Or lower our heads in discouragement.

We lose hope and that’s just what he wants. He’s trying to veer us off course and aim us straight for a cliff.


Anger. The enemy loves to see us get angry and turn on each other. He tries to fill our minds with hateful thoughts, lies, and rumors, egging us on to spread them like some toxic seed. Actually, rumors are the fuses leading to Satan’s lies and when someone gets too close out of curiosity, it explodes and causes massive destruction to more than just that one person.

Don’t fall for it. Seek the truth in all things and hold onto it.

Satan is trying to take us down one by one, family by family, community by community as he hides in the shadows, laughing at how we’re falling for everything he throws our way – like a bunch of fish with our mouths gaping wide open as we clamp onto his wretched bait.

Satan is our enemy, not each other.

Now more than ever, we need to read God’s Word. Now more than ever, we need to pray and ask God for wisdom and discernment.

And now more than ever, we need to LOVE like never before by being the Christians we’re claiming to be and not giving into hate, anger, deceit, and wickedness.

It’s time we pull back the “curtain,” my friends, and see what’s going on. It’s time we stand strong, united, to shine God’s light into the dark crevices of Satan’s lies and watch as those lies shrink and lose their so-called power.

Please, I’m asking as your Sister in Christ, please read and study God’s Word with me and prepare for battle. The war has already begun. We need to be self-controlled and alert. We need to be watchful.

And we need to stand strong together as a united front on this battleground, dressed and ready as we slice through Satan’s lies with the sword God has given us:

The Word of God.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11 ESV.)

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:12-13 NIV.)

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:17-18 NIV.)

“It [love] is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:5-6 NIV.)

 “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT.)

“Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:8a NIV.)

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14 NLT.)


(Photo from pexels.com.)














I’d just bought groceries and was heading to the car when I noticed a long line of traffic in the parking lot. A truck was stopped as the driver waited for a car to back out of a handicapped spot. Obviously, the driver of the truck couldn’t go anywhere unless he wanted to plow into the car.

But another truck behind that first truck, well, the driver was angry about the wait. He blew his horn, flailing his arms as if this were the most awful thing he’d ever had to endure. This only enraged the driver of the first truck.

Both drivers were now shouting obscenities at each other, loud enough to be heard even at the far end of the parking lot where my car waited.

I got to my car and turned to see what would happen when both men parked their trucks just a few feet away from each other.

There wasn’t a physical confrontation, at least outside the store. But the hateful words they continued to throw at each other like sharp stones sliced through the air as moms pushed their little ones in shopping carts.

My heart sank.  I mean, it really did. I refuse to be desensitized. I refuse to laugh it off as, “Well, that’s the world we live in today.” I refuse to let the violence and language so prevalent in society make me feel like this is the norm and that it’s okay to act this way or witness these things without being disturbed by them.

I refuse to be cold, hard-hearted when I see things like that. I refuse to find humor or any sort of thrill from it.

I think back to my grandpa, the shock on his face when he’d watch the evening news. He had been in WWII and witnessed awful things, and yet, he remained sensitive enough to find violence troubling when it showed up on his television set.

While I loaded groceries into my car, I prayed and asked God to help those men and to help me understand why they both got that angry.

God helped me to see that the enemy was behind it. If Satan can get us to bite and strike out at each other, tearing each other down, he doesn’t have to work as hard to destroy us. We destroy ourselves.

I mean, think about it. I just witnessed a man filled with venom striking out at another man because he had to wait to park his truck. The other man returned the same venom. Can’t you see the enemy in those vehicles, just egging them on to fits of rage, and laughing when they fall for it as he slinks away?

So my question for you is this: Are you letting Satan stir anger within your heart? Are you feeling justified by being angry, that those you’re angry with deserve your wrath?

Satan is on the prowl, my friends. Don’t let anger trip you and cause you to fall into his trap.

“If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:15 NIV.)

“And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT.)

 ”Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.” (Psalm 4:4 NLT.)

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” (James 1:19-20 NLT.)

(Photo from Pexels.)

Ice Cream and Instigators

ice cream and instigators

I did some pretty dumb things when I was a kid. When my brother and I were having ice cream at Grandpa’s, my brother (Mr. Instigator) dared me to take a spoonful and fling at it Grandpa’s face. Yep. Right at those glasses Grandpa was wearing, the ones he peered over as if to warn me of impending doom if I went through with it.  The clock hanging on the kitchen wall ticked, ticked, ticked while I debated, while my brother egged me on.  Grandpa’s glare.  Brother’s snickering.  Which one?  Which one?

Unfortunately, I listened to my brother, did the dirty deed, and watched as Grandpa marched right to the phone and called Dad. I was in trouble. BIG trouble. Suddenly pleasing my brother seemed like an awfully stupid thing to do, especially when I had to abandon my bowl of ice cream for a fun-filled, bottom-spanking walk back home while my brother finished his ice cream with a smug smile on his face.

Why would my brother convince me to do something like that? Maybe he just wanted a good laugh, to get me in trouble, or maybe he wanted my ice cream.  I don’t know. But whatever the reason, I didn’t do the right thing and I had to pay for it.

You know, you and I have to deal with two instigators every day who will get us into loads of trouble by trying to convince us to do the wrong thing, to disobey God.

The first instigator is our flesh; that weakling, whiny little toddler who pouts and stomps her feet until she gets her way. She’ll demand we pay attention to her and make sure she’s comfortable at all times and she certainly won’t part with anything we want to share with someone else.  “That’s mine!” she yells as she folds her arms, sticking out her bottom lip a bit further to show her displeasure.  She will deliberately drag us away from volunteering at the soup kitchen because she wants to go to the fair, insisting she needs cotton candy and a funnel cake. She proudly wears a T-shirt that states, “It’s all about me” and she will point to it anytime we forget.

The second instigator who diligently works at keeping us from obeying God is Satan. He is the enemy of our souls, the father of lies, the accuser, and the thief.  He will work very hard to steal our obedience because he knows if he gets it, he’s rendered us pretty useless for God’s Kingdom.  We’ll just sit in the corner, looking a lot like our fleshly selves, sucking on our thumbs and whimpering about God wanting us to do something that’s too hard or weird.  Satan will try to use our weakling flesh against us, to side with him.  He will creep up beside us, beside our fleshly selves, and pat us on the back, murmuring lies and filling us with doubts:

“What will everyone think if you do that? You know. Everyone is going to think you’re crazy.  Why don’t you just stay put, get comfortable.  You don’t need to do that. You don’t need to do what God tells you to do.  Surely if He’s God He can find someone else to do it.”

But when you hear that last one, you shoot straight up in your chair. Of course God can find someone else, but He chose you. Our Almighty God hand-picked you out of every other person on the face of the planet to do something for Him in this precise moment in time.  Why would you want Him to pass you up and find someone else?

What do you do?  There is no middle ground on this battlefield.  You’re either going to obey God or disobey Him.  Which will you choose?

Let me tell you, there is such joy in obeying God, in stepping out and moving through the fear to meet Him in the moment He ordained for you to be involved in.

And yet, there is such deep remorse, such profound and lingering sadness in disobeying God, in giving into those instigators and their ridiculous thoughts and lies. When you disobey God, you grieve His Holy Spirit who is within you.  It’s a pain you will share with Him, one that is nothing short of excruciating.

The choice is yours. Just remember the price to pay for listening to the instigators and disobeying God is far greater than the price of missing out on a bowl of ice cream. You’ll miss out on a blessing, a moment with God Himself.  A moment He chose to share with you.

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” (Galatians 1:10 NLT.)

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” (Galatians 5:17 NASB.)

 “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. (James 4:7-8a MSG.)

 “He [Jesus] replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’” (Luke 11:28 NIV.)

Your Shield


Last week I watched our littlest fur baby suffer before passing away. It was just awful, and I cried out to God asking, “Why don’t you do something?” I realized I was mad at God all over again. (See more here.)

But before I could look back at the past and focus on the other times I’d watched loved ones suffer from cancer or the times we lost other fur babies to sickness and disease, before I could really start questioning God and start pointing my finger at Him (forgive me, Lord), I heard His still, small voice whisper:

“He’s after your faith.”

I’d heard God whisper those very words to me another time in my life when I had too many questions and not enough answers. And when those questions came fast, leaving holes of doubt burning in my heart with no answers to act as salve, I became an easy target.

Satan is after my faith. Perhaps he’s after yours too. He knows if he can get our faith, if he can take our shield of faith, then we’re open to whatever he throws at us. We’ll be exposed and he can pierce our lives with his lies, causing us to pull away from God.

That’s just what Satan wants to do and he will fight as dirty as he needs to so we will turn away from God.  He will attack us when we’re empathizing, when we’re in agony over someone else’s suffering. We feel helpless while we feel their pain. We hurt with them, crying out for mercy, and we wait for it to come. (It’s like holding your breath for too long while you’re under water and your chest starts to burn.)  We’re physically drained and mentally exhausted so we loosen our grip on our faith.  In that very moment Satan strikes with a fierce lie:  God doesn’t care. It’s a poisonous lie from the father of lies that will spread if you don’t see it for the deceptive trash that it is.

My friend, God DOES care. He knows when a sparrow falls. He created everything on this great big planet and knows their intricacies.  Those gossamer wings of a butterfly, the highest peak of a snowcapped mountain, they have His touch.  Your tender heart, the way things move you to tears and hurt you deeply, He created those fragile and delicate areas in you. He knows how to comfort you and love you when you agonize in those places.

I realized something when I fell apart last week: God strengthens our faith and protects us while we’re hurting. When we’re too weak to lift our shield or to carry our faith another step, He doesn’t just walk away, leaving us slumped on the floor alone and in tears.  He comes to us, meets us right there on the floor, and covers us with His arms and reminds us:

“I am your shield.”

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” (Psalm 28:7a NIV.)



Beware of the Maze


Social media is like a maze. Before you go in, you think about what you’re looking for.  You want to see how your far-away family members are doing, who’s having a birthday today, and what time you’re meeting friends for coffee next week.  If you were a mouse, these things would be your cheese.

But what if while scurrying through the maze in search of your cheese you stumble on something else. You notice a few of your friends battling it out in the corner. So you stop and watch as they verbally bash each other.  While standing there, someone comes up behind you and bumps into you.  Then another.  And another.  Before long you’re all standing there gawking at this explosive disagreement in wonder, whispering opinions.  Maybe you even toss in your own word or two.  Before you know it, you’re in the battle and everyone is staring at you.

Or maybe you don’t see such a thing when you journey through the maze. Maybe you come across pictures on the walls; so many happy pictures of your “friends.” But instead of feeling happy for them, you feel a little sad.  Maybe you’re going through a difficult time in your life and you’re really struggling.  You feel pretty helpless and alone and seeing how everyone else’s lives seem to be on track, worry-free, and overflowing with friends and happy faces makes you sink even lower.  You plop down in the corner and cry, feeling worse than before.

Or maybe, just maybe you went into the maze with the intent to get back at someone who’s hurt you. You go in with the most powerful weapon you can bring into the maze, your words, and you’re ready to open fire.  So at the most opportune moment you plan to let ‘em have it.  Oh there are lots of ways to do it, you reason.  You’ve witnessed many battles like this before when you stood back and watched.  And if others do it, why can’t you?

So you enter the maze and see the one you’re after, the one you want to intentionally hurt.  Maybe you’ll throw some heavy words at him, bricks that will tarnish the wall behind him so everyone can see.  Or maybe you’ll be a little sneaky, really go in for the punch by purposely leaving him out of something.  How can you be sure he’ll find out?  By hanging a picture of course.  That should get everyone talking.  And that’s a more subtle way to hurt him so you’ll look totally innocent in the matter.

Yes. It probably will hurt him.  You’ll be able to snicker to yourself and keep moving on.

But while you’re carrying on, the same thing happens to you. Someone hits you with a heavy brick for all to see and someone else hangs up a picture and you feel deeply wounded that you weren’t included in it.  Now you’re hurt and anger begins to burn you from the inside out.

But even worse than that: When you entered the maze and became so distracted, you missed what you should have been doing with your valuable, limited time.  Perhaps there is someone who needs a physical hug today (not just a wink).  Maybe someone needs to hear your voice on the phone or desperately craves a handwritten card of encouragement from you.  But you never made that call and you never sent the card.  You were stuck in the maze.

And while you were lost wandering around and around looking at walls and trying to find your way out, you also failed to see how dark the maze became. It wasn’t the drama that blocked the light but the one who wants to stand between you and God.

Satan is lurking in the maze and has been whispering lies to distract you ever since you got here. He loves tricking you into staying just long enough that you lose your way and just long enough to do some damage.

That way you’re so busy doing his job that you fail to do the job God created you to do.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV.)

Lose the Earbuds and Hear the Music

ear buds

Do you have a constant swarm of negative thoughts hitting you? Are you “hearing” over and over again what a failure you are?  Maybe the thoughts are more like:

You’re totally lost.

You’ve really blown it this time.

You can’t do anything right.

Do you really think you can do this?

Just who do you think you are?

You’re not good enough.

You’re not smart enough.

You are a failure and nothing is going to change that.

No one really cares about you.

You’re alone. Get used to it.

That ugly list could go on and on but I’m stopping there because I don’t want those lies to repeat any longer. That’s all they are.  Lies.

Satan is trying to poison your thoughts by lying to you. It’s as if while you weren’t looking he slipped a pair of earbuds into your ears so you can hear nothing BUT lies.


He wants to render you useless. He wants to hit you in such a sneaky way that you’ll feel deeply discouraged but not understand why.  You’ll lose your joy.  You’ll want to give up.  You’ll want to quit what God has called you to do.  That’s right.  The enemy of your soul is trying to lead you away from the path you’re on with God, so you’ll wander off thinking awful things about yourself and that God is far away and isn’t coming to look for you.

Again, more lies.

The truth is God cares for you more than you know. He is the only One who has been with you since day one and will be there when you take your final breath.  He loves you unconditionally.  You don’t have to be perfect or do or say all the right things all the time.  He knows you better than you know you.  He knows your heart.  He loves you inside and out.

God loves how you look in the morning when you crawl out of bed with a sleepy smile and hair all messy. He loves you before you put on your brave face, before you brush your teeth, and yes, even before your first cup of coffee.  (And for me that’s saying a lot!)

So lose the earbuds, my friends. How else will you hear your Heavenly Father singing over you?  That’s the music you don’t want to miss.

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV.)

A Distracting Itch


Have you ever been so eager to do something or desperate for change that you feel antsy, even itchy in your own skin?  It’s enough to drive you crazy.

Or enough to distract you.

Distract you from what?

Well if God has called you to do something but you’ve been pulled away by the “itch,” then perhaps you’re distracted from God and His will for your life.

Let me give you an example:

Like so many bloggers out there, I’ve written a book.  Correction: God and I have written a book.  It’s in the final revision process and it’s not going to go anywhere until I submit it, which I can’t do until it’s ready.  So I need to get to work.

Along comes fall, an extremely antsy time of year for me, and I’m ready to start something new and I want it to be big.  I’m ready to start a business, ready to find a job, ready to have an income to help my husband who’s been carrying the load for far too long.

So I look online at jobs and inquire about an opening I stumbled on while out running errands. I go to the library and search for hours for the right “business.”  I research online sales, craft, and baking ideas.

Why?  Because the itch to “do” is constant and won’t go away.

Meanwhile, the book lies dormant within my laptop.

And God is waiting on me.

I have a choice to make.  I can either abandon the task God has given me for a quick fix or I can go the long haul and finish what He and I have started.  Perhaps a blessing will come from the finished book.  Or perhaps the blessing will simply come from obeying Him.  Either way, I have to ignore that antsy feeling, forget about going my own way, and finish the book.

Satan would love it if you and I would never finish our God-given tasks because we’re too focused on the itch of our flesh.  The enemy will use whatever he can to distract us and lead us astray (read The Monster in the Closet ).  Remember, he’s at the head of the line when it comes to rebelling against God.

Are you feeling antsy, impatient in your spirt because the task God has given you is taking way too long?  Is your flesh itching to do something else and you’re not sure what to do about it?

Friend, pray about those antsy feelings and hold on tight to God’s hand.

It would be a real shame for you to let go of Him now just to scratch that annoying itch.  You may just miss what you’ve been praying for.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16 NASB.)

When Your Defenses Are Down


If you’re fighting the flu, it’s hard to fight off other infections.  Your physical defenses are down.

The same is true when your spiritual defenses are down. You haven’t been praying, pushing God off to the side thinking you’ll talk to Him later, and reading the Bible?  Well you’re too busy for that.

Until something hits you hard. Maybe not a tragedy but something comes along and aggravates you and your patience melts like an ice cube on a hot sidewalk leaving you foaming at the mouth in anger and narrowing your focus to the problem and the impossibility of fixing it or figuring it out.

You’ve just been caught in a trap, my friend. Remember the cartoon where a loop of rope is hidden under a pile of leaves to catch the unsuspecting rabbit?

Well here you are, the rabbit, hanging upside down from a tree just kicking and flailing and totally stuck. Before long you run out of kick and you just dangle there.  You’re plumb tuckered out.  The blood is rushing to your head and now you’re forced to hang there and think about what just happened.  If you would have paid attention, you would have seen those sneaky eyes peeking out from behind the tree watching you and waiting in the darkness to pounce on you when your defenses were down.  But you were too busy.  Too busy for God and too busy to be alert.

Of course the enemy comes out from hiding, smiling at you and laughing this sickening laugh that makes your skin want to peel off and crumble. He’ll start talking to you while you’re hanging there, telling you you’re defeated, and he’s got you now.  He’ll remind you of the fit of rage you just had, and he’ll smirk when he tells you he caused that whole situation.  He’ll laugh when he tells you how this time, you really messed up and it’s too late to turn back to God now.  Yes, he’ll even remind you how you were pushing God away because you were too busy.  And he’ll ask you why you think God would want anything to do with you now.

My friend, it’s time to cut through those lies with the truth of God’s word that’s hidden in your heart:

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5 NIV.)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  (1 John 1:9 NIV.)

“I have loved you with an everlasting love…”  (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV.)

Speak His Word with authority from the core of your spirit and watch as those words slice right through that rope like the sword that it is. And don’t worry about the fall.  That pile of leaves?  Satan may have used them to disguise his trap, but God will use them to cushion your fall.

So stand up, brush those leaves off, and turn your back on that lying enemy, and press on. And after you thank God for that rescue, ask Him to forgive you for pushing Him aside and ask Him to help you make Him your number one priority.  When you do, everything else will fall into place.  And you’ll know the next time there’s a trap up ahead.

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11 NIV.)


Picking Up Arrows


If you were in a war and you saw an arrow stuck in the ground, would you pick it up and hand it to your fellow soldier to use? You wouldn’t if you knew the arrow itself was poisonous to touch.

The truth is, you are in a war, a spiritual war, and there will be flaming arrows coming at you from the enemy.  But God has provided you with the shield of faith to extinguish those arrows.

But what if you’ve lowered your shield because the arrow isn’t blazing at you from the enemy but is handed to you from someone on your side fighting with you?  You reach out, take the arrow, and realize only then that it was a trap.  You’ve been struck; the poison the enemy conjured up to specifically harm you has found its way directly to you.  No, it’s not the same as the enemy himself hitting you.  It’s much worse.  The enemy used someone you trust to inflict harm, and now the poison has entered your bloodstream.

And it hurts. You drop to your knees and wonder what in the world just happened?  Perhaps the one who handed it to you has already moved on in battle and didn’t realize you’ve hit the ground.  So you stop fighting, you stop gaining ground, and you stop obeying the command to press on because you’re hurt and confused.  You tend to your injury the best you can, unaware of what antidote to use because you’re not sure what poison has entered your system.  You just know the poison reached your heart the moment you realized it came from your own side.

Maybe you survive, take some time to recover, and return to fight the enemy. And maybe you don’t.  Maybe you spend the rest of your days a frail shell of the warrior you once were, wondering:  If only my fellow soldier wouldn’t have picked up that arrow. If only I wouldn’t have taken it.

 Satan shoots flaming arrows of doubt, worthlessness, and a number of lies at each one of us to destroy us, to annihilate our faith; hence the reason God provides the shield of faith. (Thank you, Lord.) But we can’t assume the arrows, the lies, have disappeared when we block them and they fall to the ground.  The lies are still there, waiting to inflict harm, waiting to poison someone’s faith.  And when it happens, the heart that once surged with total devotion to God now slows to a deadly beat.

The antidote?

For the injured soul who is battling against the enemy and has been handed an arrow and the poison is coursing through your veins and heading to your heart, God has provided a powerful antidote: His Word.  It is full of truth.  Drink it in deeply.  And remember if someone tries to hand you an arrow again, a lie, don’t touch it. Don’t let it enter your mind. Hold tight to every piece of your armor, especially the sword of the Spirit you carry, and press on.

And to those who may be unaware, if you see an arrow sticking out of the ground, a juicy piece of gossip, a morsel of a half-truth about someone, don’t pick it up. In fact, don’t even touch it.  You see, the poison may have been meant for another, but it will also hurt you:  You’ll be fighting on the wrong side.

“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.”  (Psalm 34:13 NIV.)

Who’s Pushing Your Buttons?


Is someone pushing your buttons today?

You know, a certain person comes around and “pushes your buttons” and makes you lose control. You think it’s that person’s fault, right?  Or maybe you blame yourself for the whole mess, that you’ve allowed them to get under your skin.

But what if there’s more going on behind the scenes?  What if someone has been studying you; watching and listening to what drives you crazy, what gets on your nerves, what pushes you to the edge of yourself so you jump right over the line and stop being “you?”

It’s not just about the buttons that set you off, my friend, but the one pushing them.  And I’m not talking about the person you might be thinking about who can sometimes be difficult…we all can be a little rough around the edges at times.

Satan, however, loves to be sneaky. If he can hide behind a big keyboard full of keys and buttons, knowing which one will set you off at precisely the right moment, he will.  You see, when he does that he stops you from noticing whatever God had for you in that very moment or from being a part of God’s plan to bless someone else.  Either way, Satan just destroyed the moment.

I imagine him leaning over a keyboard, rubbing his hands together, watching you as you’re running late to a doctor’s appointment or work. Satan waits, deciding which button to push.  And when someone pulls out in front of you, drives dangerously slow, and then pulls off without a turn signal, he knows exactly which button to push:  Anger.  Oh he leans on it hard until it becomes this irritating, aggravating pitch in your head that lingers with you for the rest of the day.  See there, he has stolen your joy too.  Remember, Satan is also a thief.

Or maybe you’re struggling with money and after you pick up just a few essentials at the grocery store, your car won’t start. You didn’t even have enough money to buy a full gallon of milk and now this?  Discouragement.  That’s the label above the key Satan just pushed.  You see, if he can get you thinking thoughts like, “I will never get ahead” or “This is impossible” then Satan wins.  You break down worse than your car.  He just killed your hope and you become someone manipulated by your emotions instead of being led by God.  (Remember, God has a great plan for YOU and Satan does not want you to get anywhere near it.)

What do we do then? We go to God every time and ask Him to help us see behind the scenes; discernment.  We shine the light of God’s truth on Satan like Jesus did in the desert and watch as the enemy slinks out of the dark corner and away from that keyboard he’s been hiding behind.  And we refuse to be played by a liar, thief, and murderer.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  (John 10:10 NIV.)