My grandchildren and I take many walks around my neighborhood.
Sometimes we encounter a sign that reads: Warning: This yard is protected by an invisible fence.
The homeowner has placed this fence around his yard to restrict his dog from roaming the streets. Often a compliant dog sits or runs within that yard, but it never approaches us.
Those are not the only invisible fences I encounter.
The most restrictive invisible fences are erected by your enemy and mine, Satan.
Satan often erects invisible fences inside our minds. Here are some of his fences I have encountered.
- Warning: You are not good enough to have a relationship with God. Stop expecting one.
- Warning: You have nothing of value to contribute to the world. Stop trying to be a giver.
- Warning: You are a woefully flawed wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Stop sharing your life with others.
- Warning: God lets bad things happen to good people. Stop trusting His plan for your life.
More than once those fences and others like it have stopped me in my spiritual tracks. Sometimes I remain stuck there much too long.
I remain stuck until I recall some of the things Scripture tells me about Satan. These include:
- When he [Satan] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
- Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
- Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
- The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fullest (John 10:10).
Why would I allow such a one to dictate to me what I should and should not do?
But sometimes I do listen to Satan’s lies because there is usually an element of truth in what he whispers to me.
- I am not good enough to have a relationship with God, but God, out of His infinite grace and great love, offers it anyway.
- Through my own efforts, I cannot offer anything of value to the world, but God graciously works through me to accomplish His good purposes.
- I am a flawed wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, but God has put me in those relationships. He will bless me with the ability to function well in them.
- God does allow seemingly bad things to happen to good people. But God’s wisdom is higher than our wisdom. He is always working to bring about what is ultimately good for us. He asks us to trust Him, even when situations don’t make sense to us.
If we allow him, Satan will steal all the joy Christians are meant to experience. He will kill our hope of attaining eternal life. He will destroy any witness we can offer the world.
Satan relentlessly attempts to “fence us in.” God, on the other hand, offers us lives of freedom in Christ.