before i understood the enemy’s role in my life, i often felt that i was unlucky or something. i am not quite sure what i even thought back then. it seems so long ago. like a distant world in a foggy haze.
but as i learned things began to change. perspectives shifted. understanding came. hope filled.
i think in that growing phase it is really easy to assume that every bad thing that happens to us is satan. that he is out to get us, which obviously he is, but i think there is more to the story.
there are so many reasons* why i think bad happens in our lives.
*not and exclusive list
this one seems pretty obvious. he comes to steal, kill, and destroy. of course he is one of the reasons bad happens in our lives
2. we live in a broken world.
i think this one is also fairly obvious. we live in a world where things don’t always go as they were created to.
3. we partner with satan.
honestly this was a pretty significant eye opener for me. God set rules in motion and He doesn’t go back on them. one of those was that He gave us dominion and then we gave it to satan. while Christ has come back, the end hasn’t come. we find ourselves in this tension of “now/not yet”. while it is true we are cleansed by Jesus’ blood when we give our lives to Him, there is still opportunity to partner with satan and give him room to move in our lives. i believe that is what 2 corinthians 10 is talking about.
when we agree with his lies or anything that goes against what scripture says about us, we give the enemy a foothold in our lives. we give him entry to wreak havoc. so while some of our battle is walking in authority and enduring a broken world, a big part of battle is repentance. it is through repentance we are able to free ourselves from the legal ground we gave the enemy. but there is still yet one other reason bad happens.
4. God opposes us.
so with this one i don’t think it is actually bad happening but our perception of the circumstances. james 4:6 says God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. it is here in this place of pride that i think we often assume that something bad is happening to us or perhaps God is simply not doing good when the reality is He is actively opposing us because of our pride.
how this has looked in my life took me quite off guard.
my whole life i struggled with weight and image issues. the enemy saw an in and i let him. years ago i lost a bunch of weight and was the fittest i had ever been. i just muscled through it essentially. then in 2013 my life began to spin out of control. continuous pain and loss left me in a dark place. though i had recently learned how to talk with God, i had no idea who i truly was or what to do with what i had. so instead of leaning into God, i turned to food for comfort.
over the course of 2015-2016 there were moments where the sun would shine through the clouds but still didn’t feel like myself. i didn’t want to catch up with people because it sounded like such a daunting task. i had nothing good to tell them. and in those two years i made multiple attempts at losing weight. i tried to muscle my way through like before.
but it never worked.
then one day in 2016 i believe, i was talking to God about it. i was so frustrated. why is the discipline not there that used to be there? why can’t i do this? what is the problem? it was as if He was standing next to me, He turned to face me and with a grin on His face said,
well, that’s not what we’re doing right now?
WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT’S NOT WHAT WE’RE DOING?!
i was floored! i didn’t understand. i am trying to be healthy. i am trying to get my body in shape. but that wasn’t what was happening at all really. i was so prideful to think that i could meet someone who would like me if i lost weight. that my problems and lack of confidence in my image would be solved if i lost some weight.
haha and i had a rude awakening to what it is to have God oppose you.
i look back now and believe that if He had let me lose weight without fixing my heart and my identity, that it would have crushed me. the sweet gift would have been my downfall. but He opposed me not because He wanted to be mean, but because He had such life for me! i am so thankful for that journey to know my beauty and my identity regardless of what a scale things or the culture wants to tell me. i live for an audience of one. while i hope to have a husband at some point i am so happy to be free from the lie that i have to be xyz for him to be happy. i get to be me. and he will be him. AND GOD WILL BE GOD. and that will be enough.
for the first time in maybe a decade i am excited about grocery shopping (it was always my favorite chore because lists!). i was always trying to find the next diet or the next pill. now i am simply eating healthy. the weight will come off when God sees fit, granted i am doing my part and eating less than i am burning.
before you assume that the enemy is out to get you, that there is a devil behind every corner, perhaps consider that there may be another reason. that there may be a role you’re playing. while God is sovereign, we still have choices and those choices matter. sometimes God says not to a good thing so He can bring you a BETTER thing.