Gruesome imagery isn't it? If your a mom, heck if you are human, you have probably had to deal with your share of parasites in life. Those creepy, crawly creatures that make you squirm in your seat. I love blogging, but I must admit there are times when God's sense of humor I do not find funny. Two weeks ago I found a parasite on my daughter. I was mortified that my precious baby girl could have something so... well we will just leave this part blank. LOL. I could have acted in many different ways to this discovery, but I remained calm, rolled up my sleeves and with my husband we took care of the unwanted creatures.
The devil has his own set of parasites he sends our way, but unlike the animal parasites, he has disguised his parasites as something so tempting to the eye we can't resist. There are three very important things to remember when it comes to the devil. One, he has sharp precision. The devil is not some half baked, want to be, fighter. He is ruthless, smart, and unrelenting. When he attacks us, it is not a random arrow pointed at a random part of us. No! It is a deadly arrow aimed straight at our hearts, minds and souls. The mere definition of precision is the quality, condition, or fact of being EXACT and ACCURATE. So he is strategizing to "hit you where it hurts". Second, he loves personalization. As we discussed in attacks against your family regarding our children; the devil knows both our strengths and weaknesses. He is going to personalize these parasites to us specifically. He will make us think that slithering, vile, repulsive parasite is the shiniest, most desirable bit of unclaimed satisfaction we've ever seen. And without a battle plan we will justify embracing the parasite with excuses like, "I've been so stressed with the kids", "I deserve this after what kind of day the kids put me through", "It doesn't hurt the kids if I do it", "They need to learn mommy needs to indulge sometimes". Any of those sounding familiar? Lastly, the devil has perfect persistence. Yeah, this one is a kick to the gut. This one means that even if you can beat him 1 time, 5 times, 10 times IT WONT MATTER! He is going to keep coming after us time and time again, never ceasing, always looking for the in; changing the appearance of the parasite to trick us into embracing it again. He will wait for the right time - the moment when we are most weakened and susceptible to attack. Days when the kids have been fighting, days when there seems to be more vomit stains on the floor then actual clean floor, days when we try and try to see the silver lining in our children's constant demands but grow weary. He will be there waiting to be welcomed in.
Parasites weaken our prayers which in turns weakens our power! The energy given by the Holy Spirit and our prayers to access and generate is cut off, choked out, bottlenecked. We are leaking our power and it will drain from us so that we don't stand a fighting chance. The parasite will start off seeming "normal", with the lie that nobody is getting hurt if we only embrace the parasite from time to time. And then when the damage is done we can't expect to cry out to God with our wrong when we don't do anything to change the environment in which the parasite lurks.
Prayers that have power come from a person in pursuit of righteous living. Purity leads us to fervent prayer, and fervent prayer leads us to purity. Make our victories as mothers become an everyday occurrence, the norm rather than the exception.
The pictures above list just a few things that God wants us to use for good, but if we are not wearing our armor, then the devil will corrupt and turn into personal parasites. God WANTS us full of power and confident as mothers. He wants us free to bless and encourage our children. He wants us to become such powerful warriors for our children and Him, that to the devil we look like sticks of dynamite. We want him so terrified of us that when we put our FIRST foot on the ground in the morning he is running to the pit of hell. So how can we do this?
Step 1: Prayer
When we pray in this area we must leave everything at the feet of Jesus. It's not like we can hide it from Him anyway, but it shows humble obedience when we specifically and individually name our parasites. Unmasking them, bringing them into the light which they HATE! Personally for me, my two biggest ones CURRENTLY are poor eating and compulsive buying. Though a few months ago I would have to say social media was on the list (and I'm sure without a careful eye, it could creep in again).
2 Peter: 2:9 - The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation
Step 2: Read the Word
In order for us to actively fight off parasites that are masked as pleasure we need to read the Bible to decode how to see the temptations the devil sets specifically for us. We need to truly be the stick of dynamite that inside is filled with the Word so that when he tries to mess with us we can fire a blast of our Father's own words right back at him! If prayer is our lifeline, then the Bible is our ammo. Don't be afraid or offended by it. Our Father loved us so much that He gave us a physical, tangible gift to guide us in battle. Light your tongue on fire with those words and let it blow up in the devil's face.
1 Corinthians 10:13 - No temptation has over taken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to ENDURE IT!
Step 3: Fellowship
This war was never meant to be fought by ourselves. It takes us, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. But there is one key tool that we must take advantage of and that is fellowship. Fellowship is more then just a friendship. Fellowship is a friendly association, ESPECIALLY with people who SHARE one's interest. A synonym for fellowship is support. These people should believe in Jesus and our Father. These people are people who we can be transparent with, even about our deepest and darkest secrets. the reason for this is ACCOUNTABILITY! When we have true fellowship, in a world where Satan is usually a lot louder then the whisper of our Father is, it allows us to have someone to hold us accountable when we want to indulge with our parasites. They are our sisters and brothers in Christ. Warriors just like us. They want what is best for us just as God does. Whether it is in a small group, a church, a mommy group, etc. If they know when we are putting our parasites before our children it will in turn makes us stronger to resist because we know they will call us out on it.
Hebrews 10:24-25 - We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.
Step 4: Change The Environment
Almost finished, promise! We know that devil is matriculate in his strategies. We also know that he is patient in waiting for the right moment to strike. So, to mess up his plans and throw him off his game we must be willing to change the environment in which the parasite hides. Back in November of last year, I was drinking way to much. I was using the excuse of my kids to do it. Alcohol had become a parasite for me. So I changed the environment. I stopped buying alcohol and my husband supported me by doing the same. This parasite is no longer welcome in my body and if temptation arises I remove myself from its presence. In strategizing our obedience as diligently as the enemy is strategizing those temptations, we have to be willing to make the sacrifices to keep them out of our home. The flesh is magnetically drawn toward the allure of temptation. So we can NOT simply try to disguise it until we "think" it's a good time to indulge. We need to eliminate it from our daily lives. Gulp! What will happen if we don't? Well we know there will be consequences, and that the consequences are never minimal. The waves of our choices will ripple outward from our hearts, minds and souls to our bodies...and then pass on to our children (Num. 14:18, Exodus 20:5, Deu. 5:9). Our children are watching us, as mothers it is our duty and obligation to protect them, even from ourselves. So tell them your weaknesses, let them help you stay accountable, and watch your bond with your children grow stronger!
Romans 6:12-14 - Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. FOR SIN SHALL NOT BE MASTER OVER YOU, FOR YOU ARE NOT UNDER LAW BUT UNDER GRACE.
***This doesn't mean you'll never fall into temptation again. Even Paul speaks of this in Romans 7:15 when he says, "I do not understand, I am doing the very thing I hate. I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out." But take great comfort in knowing that when God saved us, it was with the understanding that He'd be providing us "sanctification by the Spirit" all along the way; from the inside out, His purity and holiness changing your heart until it comes through as purity and holiness in ACTION (2 Thess. 2:13, Fervent)
Galatians 5:16 - Walk by the Spirit, and you WILL NOT carry out the desire of the flesh ~