One thing I’ve noticed as I have gotten older is how much I value peace. I used to let the least little thing get me upset, but now I have come to realize how the enemy uses that to get me out of peace. I am studying Fervent by Priscilla Shirer in a ladies’ Bible study. As we read and discuss each week about the spiritual battle we are in, God is opening my eyes more and more to the devil’s tactics. While I realize that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, I don’t always clearly see the strategies that Satan uses against me.
For instance, I may realize when my husband and I aren’t getting along that the enemy is attempting to drive a wedge between us. But that realization may not come until we’ve already shared some words, you know what I mean? I would rather see the attack coming beforehand so I can stay in the spirit and not get in the flesh. One way the Lord has helped me with that is to see when the enemy is setting me up to get me upset. He knows that if I get upset, I will react in ways that cause strife, and the devil LOVES strife.
“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife” (Proverbs 17:1, NIV).
The enemy knows exactly what it takes to upset me; therefore, he is ready at any time to put those problems in my path. My job is to stop reacting to the upset setup. I have learned lately that I can react in the right way! Who knew?
First, as soon as a problem comes along that I am tempted to get upset about, I have to stop and ask myself if this is something I can control. Usually, it’s something I can’t control. That’s why I get upset! I like to be in control of my circumstances. I am learning to see that when something is beyond my control, I don’t need to let it steal my peace. Why waste time being upset about something I can’t do anything about? That has been my default mode for a long time, but I am tired of being baited by Satan. I’d rather just stay in peace.
“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33).
If the problem is that which I can do something about (apologize or change an attitude or behavior), then I need to recognize the fact and respond accordingly. Sometimes the fault lies with me and I need to correct the problem. I can do so while maintaining a peaceful countenance.
“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14).
Second, once I determine that the problem is out of my control, I confess the Word of God over me and my situation. To confess means to agree with and say so. When the devil comes roaring like a lion, looking to devour relationships in my family, I can get upset and start stewing and fussing, or I can seek the Lord in prayer and in His Word. I can confess God’s Word over my family and take spiritual authority over the enemy. This home is not his playground; it belongs to the Almighty because we belong to Him.
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
I am not responsible for how others react, but I am responsible for how I react. I don’t know about you, but the strife and upset and confusion just aren’t worth it. Being right is highly overrated. I used to argue until I could prove I was right. Now I just don’t care as much. I’d rather be wrong and peaceful than right and stressful.
Is the enemy using the upset setup in your life? Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Draw near to Him, confess His Word, and maintain your peace.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way” (1 Thessalonians 3:16).