I get it… No sports on T.V. No hopping in your car and driving to work. No stopping by your favorite restaurant for a bite. We’re starting to feel a little like caged animals. We love our homes. We love our wives and children (or if single, our roommates). But… a man needs space… I read today that: • some cities in China are reporting record-high divorce rates after stay at home orders were lifted (KARE 11 News, Minneapolis). • Pornography consumption rates in the U.S. are up (PsychologyToday.com). • And isolation is challenging those in recovery from other addictions as well (Kaiser Health News). These are some of the “natural” consequences of the new normal we’re all experiencing during this time of restricted movement and interaction with those outside our home. But there’s a “supernatural” element to all of this as well. If we believe the Bible, then we know that our “enemy the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).” Lions are opportunists. They run down the herd, sifting their prey to see which of them will lag behind, show vulnerability, and be an easier kill. You’re being hunted. And the sooner you wake up to that fact, the better chance you’ve got of survival. The rest of that verse reads, “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).” Wake up! We’re all more vulnerable to the enemy right now.
And so are your wives, children or roommates… So, what do we do? How about we flip the script? Instead of acting like helpless zebras running scared – how about the hunted becomes the hunter? Jesus sent the 72 out on a hunting trip: go find the open people and proclaim to them the Kingdom of God (Luke 10:2-9). They came back telling tales of incredible spiritual victories: “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name (vs. 17).” And Jesus looked at them with admiration and approval, saying, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven (vs. 18-20).” Instead of being a vulnerable sitting duck or a zebra running scared, let’s flip the script and be the hunter who sees opportunity in this time of increased time at home. Three ways to do that: (and there are many more)
Dress for battle every morning!
You need the full armor of God if you’re going to have any chance at all against our formidable opponent. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people (Ephesians 6:10-18).” • Be the hero of your family! o Pray daily with your spouse or roommates o Have more family devotionals with your children o Shepherd your household resolve conflicts quickly feed and care for their needs and make sure everyone is getting the time away from each other too that we all need for sanity and replenishment (including yourself) o Be the bastion of faith in this climate of fear o Think: when this is all over, I want them to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that when trouble comes our way, Dad steps up to the plate and leads. • Lead your household in serving others! o Serve others in prayer, like Epaphras (Colossians 4:12) o Serve those you’re reaching out to by setting up virtual Bible studies – people are more open right now than ever! o Serve your House Church by looking for and meeting needs o Serve your community by giving extra clothes and food to the homeless, etc. o Remember: “the best defense is a good offense”. So, get on the offensive! Be creative and think of ways to serve others! Listen! Our Commander Jesus is calling out the very best in us! “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).” Let’s flip the script on that ‘ol lion – let the hunted become the hunters!