The old adage says, “The devil is in the details” and it is so with adoption. Give me a big problem or hurdle, and shockingly, I do just fine (while holding onto God’s hand, that is!). But I do “sweat the small stuff.” Ask me to chase around little details, and then have something go wrong? That’s a recipe for disaster, and the area Satan knows is best if he wants to trip me up … and you know that’s exactly what he wants!
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Tell me the adoption is being contested, and somehow I actually manage to smile and be civil. I can plan an elaborate one-week stay in a rural local, replete with car-rental, hotel stays, and multiple flight layovers. I can communicate with the credit card company to advise them that there will be unusual activity. I can scour the internet for hours at a time to find the best deals in travel.
But … have the washing machine go all wonky? Have an ant uprising in the entryway? Forget it … I melt like butter on homemade popcorn! Hello, Marie! Satan is paying a house-call!
My mind is completely focused on the big task at hand … so when these “little” issues come, it’s more than my overloaded brain can absorb! So, today’s message (like most of what I write) is for me to sit down and soak in. What to do? Well, I am reminded of a few passages that, if I will allow myself to dwell on them, will help.
It is written: Stay in the word. Study! When Jesus was tempted, His answer to all of Satan’s tricks was, “It is written …” God’s word provides comfort, solace, direction, peace and refuge.
Keep your eyes on Jesus:
Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:28-31).
When he wasn’t looking at the storm raging around him, and just narrowed his focus on the Lord, Peter was able to walk on water! But, when he took his eyes off of Jesus, and looked at the wind, he became afraid. Which leads us to our next point …
Peace be still: The Jesus who created the world, also controls it:
And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. (Matthew 8:24-26).
I’m struck by many things in this passage, but first and foremost is that the Lord was able to sleep! This indicates a calm mind and trust in God. I’ve been having a hard time shutting my brain off, and just tapping into that inner resource that Jesus had. Secondly, this passage makes me realize that Satan may have a job to do, but ultimately, God controls my life! If I will but listen to Him, I can have that same confidence that allowed the Lord to sleep amidst the raging storm.
I think we underestimate Satan. I hate talking about him or giving him any press, but face it – he’s supernatural and he does try to trip us up. He knows our weaknesses and uses those against us. So, if he knows our weaknesses, it behooves us to always be on the alert. Right now, I know I’m in the danger zone, because I know that little things trip me up, and all I’m dealing with lately, are the little things. Knowing this, I can take the time to read, pray, and meditate on the word. Secondly, and sadly, sometimes I think we underestimate God. Our God made this world just by speaking it into existence! With just a few words, Jesus was able to calm to storm. God is powerful! Our opening verses tell us Satan is on the prowl. But, in closing, let’s look at the key to the victory over him that God gives us in the verses preceding it:
Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
Give it all to God in prayer, and He’ll take care of the “devil in the details.” ----- Marie Stroughter