I wish I could tell you that I’m never quick to anger and never say hurtful things. Unfortunately, it’s not true. Just last night after I had gone to sleep I was awakened by the TV my husband was watching, and I wasn’t happy about it. I said something, he said something, and the tone from either of us wasn’t what you would call sweet. We certainly weren’t bearing with one another in love. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he says, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Eph 4:1-3)
I woke up this morning with regret. I have been praying for my husband to become the spiritual leader of our home. I know the Holy Spirit has a work to do in him, and I have been praying for the Lord to direct my steps, guard my tongue, and allow His love to pour out through me on my husband. In my most vulnerable moments upon being awakened, the devil threw out a dart, and my natural sin nature (and my flaming tongue) took hold. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Last night the devil entangled me with the spirit of offense. I was on my own power, and he managed to get a chink into our relationship. No, last night’s argument wasn’t a deal-breaker for our marriage, but I wasn’t allowing in that moment for God’s love to pour out to my husband through me, which I prayed about just yesterday.
In our Bible study just last week, we talked about the work the Holy Spirit is doing in each of us and prayed that we would each put on the full armor of God to protect us. The devil doesn’t mind if we go to church or if we pray for the Lord to bless us. But he is definitely bothered when we pray fervently and specifically for our loved ones, for our enemies and for God’s love to shine through us. “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8)
Before falling asleep last night I was lazy. I fell asleep without talking to the Lord. We are to continually pray. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:16-18) I must continue to pray fervently, and not get lazy. I must put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and know that the battle is not mine, but the Lord’s (1 Samuel 17:47). On my own, I do not have the power to fight against the devil’s schemes, but thankfully, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Cor. 12:9)
This morning I am thankful that the Holy Spirit has reminded me of my need to continually call upon Jesus Christ. He knows my weaknesses. I’m not to endeavor on my own steam; but instead to invite Him in to face my battles, even those created by my own sinful, selfish self. “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” (1 Chron. 16:11) Please keep my husband and me in your prayers. How can I pray for you?