As men and women standing for the restoration of our marriages, we are all too familiar with John 10:10, which says The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. But I wonder if we really understand the significance of that verse and how important it is to NEVER forget it and exactly what Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy. I had a totally different topic in mind for today’s post, but as I started to respond to something shared on the ladies’ private website tonight, I felt strongly led to write about the danger, and it’s a VERY REAL danger, that Satan poses as we stand for the restoration of our marriages.
One of the more interesting aspects of marriage restoration ministry is how much things are so much alike from one situation to the other, despite how different they are. The people are different, and the specific circumstances and situations are all different, but there’s so much that’s practically identical that it’s hard to believe sometimes. For instance, we’re all familiar with the uncanny fact that our spouses all seem to use the same words and phrases to explain why they’re doing what they’re doing. It’s like they’re all reading from the same script, which of course they are, because it all comes from the devil. And since most of us have that in common, we find it easy to relate to each other and even find comfort in knowing that we weren’t the only ones to have that experience.
But now as we see more and more restorations and even more significant breakthroughs, as one of our ladies shared today, an even more important similarity that we need to be aware of is becoming apparent. Everyone standing for marriage restoration is very much aware of how the devil attacks; how he does his wicked best to deceive us, often leading to doubt and discouragement, which usually leads to disobedience. But the pattern revealed by our most recent restorations and significant breakthroughs is how the level of attack by the devil really increases and intensifies just before (and even after) they take place. So that means we really have to take 1 Peter 5:6-9 to heart, because it says Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
There’s no way to overstate the importance of humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God and casting all of our anxieties on Him, because we can be almost certain that something will come up when we are very close to restoration to cause us great anxiety or for our pride to rear its ugly head as we give way to our natural inclination to protect and defend ourselves. But we’re warned in Proverbs 16:18 that Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. And then Proverbs 13:10 (AMP) says By pride and insolence comes only contention, but with the well-advised is skillful and godly Wisdom. So it is by no means a big surprise that the devil most often uses pride to bring about the destruction he has planned for us as he does his wicked best to steal, kill and destroy our marriages and families. After all that’s one sin he is quite familiar with, since it’s what got him kicked out of heaven!
Fortunately, recognizing Satan’s method of operation is probably our best defense against it, because we know to be on the alert and to watch for it. And since we know that stalking lions always look for the weakest prey or one that’s injured or separated from the rest of the pack, it’s important to guard against making ourselves more vulnerable to Satan’s attack by forsaking the fellowship of others who help support and encourage us and keep us accountable. So when we feel doubt and discouragement, even though it is our natural reaction, we can’t withdraw from fellowship with others. In fact, it’s very important to have at least one person we can bounce our thoughts off of when we struggle to take them captive and make them obedient to Christ and the Word, because the chances are pretty good that that person will not be operating under the same force of deception Satan is using against us and can help shed the light of God’s truth on the matter, which sets us free. And NONE of us should think we are above falling into Satan’s trap, because as 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NASB) warns Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
Obviously, if Satan is more likely to intensify his attacks when we are closest to our breakthroughs, it’s vitally important for us to beware and always keep in mind that he only comes to kill, steal and destroy; and that when we find ourselves fretting, doubtful, discouraged, angry, and defensive or confused, he’s probably behind it. And one thing I’ve seen over and over again in this ministry is that it is in those moments that marriage restorations are won and lost, made and broken, and when the devil is either defeated or triumphant. And when we keep in mind that he wants to kill, steal and destroy the restoration of our marriages and families for God’s glory, we can probably figure out when he’s involved by whether or not the thought, emotion or action we’re contemplating, experiencing or considering makes our restoration more or less likely. So the next time Satan attacks, just remember that the restoration of your marriage could be soon and be blessed and encouraged!