Venom. Doubt. Temptation. Poison. Lies. Contempt. Hate.
They all seep into our lives at some point. Whether someone else invites them in or you open the door yourself, evil will always find a way to knock you on your butt. I know that we don’t like to think about it. We would like to pretend that the devil has a lot less impact on our daily lives than what God does, but it simply isn’t true. The devil is always in our shadow waiting for a moment of weakness to hit us where it hurts. So what do we do? How do we protect ourselves and fight when we need to? I’m not an expert, but here are my war tactics.
Pray for intercession from St. Michael the Archangel. This is one of my forever favorite prayers. I learned it by heart in the sixth grade and have held it near and dear to my heart ever since. Something about the protection I feel it provides really sets me at ease with my feelings towards those that dislike me.
Center yourself in love. Find people that love you when you feel surrounded by people that don’t. Go to a family reunion or invite your best friend to dinner. Have fun with others instead of letting the venom of your haters destroy you. Don’t let the devil use others to get to you. It is his way of ruining two lives at once, don’t give him the satisfaction.
Let go and let God. Gather all of your poisonous thoughts into a basket in your mind and hand that basket over to Him. Show Him the assortment of thoughts that you feel are weighing you down. Tell Him that you have been trying to drag them with you, but you realize that now it may be His turn to handle them. He is our greatest protector and our fiercest fighter.
Find a church. Sit in the pews and stare at the crucifix hanging before you. Kneel and let your forehead rest against the wooden back of the pew in front of you. Breath deeply in His presence and let the peace of the place fill you up completely. Just relax into the church and become comfortable again. Let the demons you have been hauling around slip away and just allow yourself to be at His feet.
Arm yourself with His love. Look the evil in the eye and tell him you will have nothing to do with him. Stand up and be brave in the face of venom. Don’t let your heart falter. Take courage and know that God is your armor. He is on your side and He is cheering you on. He is proud that you are not willing to submit. He is joyous that you have chosen the right side. He will help you through this low in your life. Because He loves you so.
Resist for three minutes more. Sometimes temptation is just too strong. Sometimes we feel like we really would rather die than remain without. But we can always wait just three more minutes. And at the end of that three minutes, we can wait another three minutes. Make your suffering shorter because goals are what successes are made of. You are strong for those three minutes, now be strong again. And again. And again. Until you are so strong that the demon of temptation has no power over you.
We are powerful in the love of God. The devil will send us demons when we are least prepared, but if we remember our true King and put our armor into place we can be free of it. Of course, we are only human. Sometimes we will lose the battle. Sometimes we will fall right on our butts and the devil will throw a fiesta in the name of our failure. But Jesus will be there to pick us up and pat us on the back when we are ready to accept His help.