Monday, January 25, 2010

Recognize the Symptoms

All the symptoms were there. Headache. Runny nose. Extreme fatigue. The classic cold. I armed myself as if preparing for a fight. I was determined not to give in to this nasty virus. With vitamin C, echinacea, and acai at the ready, I psyched myself up for the battle.

Whenever I feel like I'm coming down with something, I consciously try to eat healthier, get more rest, and just generally take it easy. I eliminate sugar from my diet, and try to eat more vegetables and fruit. I go to bed earlier, and pare down my schedule to include only what has to be done, in order to focus on recuperating.

If I'm fortunate enough to recognize the symptoms of a sickness early on, and make the necessary adjustments, I'm often able to outwit the crafty virus and walk away the victor. Other times, I just ignore the nagging symptoms until it's too late...and I'm in the clutches of a full-blown virus.

Not only does this strategy work when I'm battling those sneaky viruses, but it also allows me to be the victor when temptation comes calling. Do I recognize the tactics of the enemy? If I stay alert and prepare myself properly, I can meet the attack head on, ready against his wiles. It pays to get a peak at his game plan.

Peter gives us the heads up we need, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8; KJV). When I'm sober, I'm characterized by self-control, rather than being out of control. I would be considered 'vigilant,' if I were watchful and alert. My enemy is constantly seeking to derail me. I must be on my guard. What better way to be prepared for battle, than to be intimately acquainted with God's Truth.

When I am wearing the belt of truth, wielding the sword of the Spirit, and holding up the shield of faith, I can defeat any of the fiery darts Satan shoots at me. It's true that by observation, my enemy is aware of my weaknesses. But when I, too, am aware of my weaknesses, I can stock up on the truth in God's word to replace the lies I've believed. I can recognize the difference between a lie and the truth. I am equipped to hold up my shield of faith and put out the enemy's fiery darts of deception.

We all face temptations. Being aware of the schemes of the enemy is important. Perhaps even more important is knowing the truth of God's Word that allows us to refute the lies of Satan. Don't give in to temptation only to find yourself trapped by sin. Allow the Lord to help you. Know your weaknesses, remain watchful and alert, and come out of your next 'battle' victorious!


  1. My husband I were just discussing that this weekend. We concluded that knowing the truth of the Bible helps us to recognize the lies that are out there.

    Thanks and blessings,

  2. Hi Maria -

    Very effective analogy! I also notice when I'm in the Word and prayer, I'm more attuned to potential problems. If I skip a day, I'm more vulnerable.

    Susan :)

  3. Karen - I've found that scripture memorization, and praying God's Word help me to focus on the truth and overcome those sneaky lies. Wonderful to know that we can be victorious! Blessings to you!

    Susan - You're absolutely right! It's always amazing to me that a day without God's word has such a profound affect - and it's not a good one. Just further proof that His Word is alive and active! Thanks for sharing! God bless!

  4. It is so important to be aware and to look out for what's coming. Not in a "find a demon behind every bush" sort of way, but in the way of not being blindsided. This was great! Thanks!

  5. Great analogy! We don't always prepare enough for what lies ahead of us. I've been fighting a battle over here for awhile and have armed myself with reading Scripture daily. It really really helps!

  6. Maria, thank you so much for this. I find that just knowing the Word is not even enough. It's so so so so important to speak it out. The more we speak it out, the more we hear ourselves say what God's word says then the more we actually believe it. Just releasing the word from our tongue changes the atmosphere we're in.
    I also realize that before Peter said to be alert and be of sober mind, he said, "Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you." It helps me to see that if my mind is bogged down with worry I won't be alert and definitely not sober.

    Thank You Jesus for Your life-giving-life-changing Word.

    Thank you for such a beautiful devotion Maria.


  7. I cringe everytime I fall in the puddle. I can hear the evil one giggle. Why, Lord? Why do I keep falling in the same place?

    You nailed it today Maria! Thanks so much. Keep me in your prayers, I am really in a serious battle.

  8. Kristen - You're absolutely right! It pays to be prepared! Praying things are going well for you as you transition into your new position! God bless!

    Terri - I applaud your efforts to arm yourself with the word of God!! I've found the combination of praying His word and speaking it to be so very effective when facing the things that I struggle with. Praying God gives you great victory today!

    Vickie - I can't agree enough with you about the power of the spoken word of God. After all, He spoke the world into existence, and healed people with His spoken word. His word is quick and powerful and the prince of the power of the air (Satan) must flee when we speak the words of our Savior, Jesus! Amen! Thanks for the insight on the verses in the book of Peter. It is so very important to look at things in the context in which they were written. Thank you for sharing! God bless you abundantly and give you a victorious day in Him! :)

    Tamika - Praying for you in a special way today. That the Lord will give you wisdom for the battle that you face, knowing that His grace will be sufficient no matter what it is that you're up against. Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world! You are more than a conqueror through Christ, Tamika! Call me anytime! God bless you!

  9. Thank you Maria, The Word and speaking it out. We have the victory in Jesus' name. xxx

  10. Raymonde - God is so good and His Word is timeless! You're absolutely right that we have the victory in Jesus' name!! Blessings to you!

  11. The youth in my church sing a song about wearing the 'armor of God.' Great post!

  12. Jessie - I'd love to hear the song! I 'put on' this spiritual armor in prayer every day. It's powerful!! Excellent clothing to wear for each day's battles! God bless you and your family! :)

  13. Maria,
    Excellent post! Great analogy!
    Thanks for stopping by my Eternity Cafe 2 weeks ago. Just now catching up with emails/comments.
    My friend calls the armor of God her dress code for the day, and has a sign over her closet as a reminder to start her day donning her armor.
    Many blessings,
    Susan :)