“I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture.” John 10:9 (AMP)

Twice in John chapter 10, Jesus Christ refers to Himself as the Door. What does He mean by this metaphor? In verses 7 and 8, He says,

“… I Myself am the Door for the sheep. All others who came before Me are thieves and robbers.”

This was a big hit for the religious leaders around Him. Jesus often referred to people as sheep. In His day, sheep were kept in a community sheepfold where they were kept safe and wouldn’t wander away. They could only enter the sheepfold through the door. When Jesus said that He was the door and all those who came before Him were thieves and robbers, the religious leaders must have felt the sting of His rebuke. They represented the organized religion of their day.  They had failed to care for and feed the sheep. They were self-serving. When Jesus said He was the door of the sheepfold, He was inviting the people into His sheepfold where they would be saved, protected and cared for. In verse 9 He said,

“I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture.”

Jesus is the Door of salvation. When you trust in Christ, you enter into His sheepfold and enjoy the wonderful privilege of going in and out and finding pasture! Through Christ, we can graze in the grace of God! How awesome is that?! Jesus didn’t come to start another religion. He came to offer us life – abundant life! Organized religion emphasizes rules and regulations. Christianity emphasizes relationship – a personal relationship with God through Jesus! He is the door to life! When you enter, He delivers you from bondage and leads you into freedom! That’s what is behind the meaning of “saved” in this passage. You are not only saved from hell to heaven; you are saved from sinful destructive habits and empowered to live a new quality of life that has no other explanation but Christ in you!

Has religion robbed you of an intimate personal relationship with the God that made you? Enter the door of salvation today and receive Christ! You will go in and out and find pasture in the grace of God!

“This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach. It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.” Deut. 30:11-14 (NLT)

Moses’ final words to Israel were a matter of life and death. He had led them faithfully for over 40 years through the wilderness after their exodus from Egypt. He knew he was dying, and he wanted this new generation to make it into the promised land of blessing. This was a deciding moment. In Deuteronomy 30, Moses confronts them with four choices that would enable them to experience the blessing God had for them.  They are as critical for us today.

  1. MAKE THE CHOICE TO LET GOD LOVE YOU WHEN YOU FEEL UNLOVABLE.

  2. MAKE THE CHOICE TO LET GOD HEAL YOU WHEN YOU’RE HURTING.

  3. MAKE THE CHOICE TO FOLLOW GOD INSTEAD OF YOUR FEELINGS.

  4. MAKE THE CHOICE TO SPEAK AND ACT IN FAITH EVEN WHEN YOU CAN’T SEE IT.

In this fourth and final choice, Moses was telling the nation that God’s will for them wasn’t something He was trying to hide. He said it was not too difficult for them to understand, nor was it beyond their reach.

“No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.” Deut. 30:14 (NLT)

The same is true for you and me. Every day, we face doors of decision. We have to choose which door to enter. Those choices can mean the difference between life and death. If we want to make divine choices in the critical moments, we must choose to speak and act in faith even when we can’t see it. This is the mystery of faith. It is what makes the Christian life such an adventure! Our trouble is that we want to see how it will all work out ahead of time and, then, decide to act in faith. We say, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” but faith says, You’ll see it when you believe it!  We dream of a life of blessing and purpose and say, “I would if I could,” but God says, “You could if you would.” Make the choice to speak and act in faith even when you can’t see it. The writer of Hebrews said,

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Begin speaking words of faith thanking God in advance for all that He has designed for you.

“For the LORD is your life…” Deut. 30:20c (NIV)

Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You are my life! I choose to let You love me when I feel unlovable. I choose to let You heal me when I’m hurting. I choose to follow You instead of my feelings and I choose to speak and act in faith even when I can’t see it. You are God and nothing is too difficult for You!

“And you will make a new start, listening obediently to God, keeping all His commandments that I’m commanding you today.” Deuteronomy 30:8 (MSG)

Feelings are powerful. They can control our lives if we let them. They can negatively affect our decisions and even get us on the wrong path. Do you follow God or your feelings? Feelings are important, but what are you going to base the decisions of your life on? When I base my decisions on what the world says or how I feel, it usually leads me the wrong way. There’s another option. I can base my decisions on what God says in His Word. Since my decisions shape my destiny, it’s critical to make wise decisions.

When Moses was challenging Israel with the choice between life and death and blessings and curses, he gave them the basis for making wise decisions. In fact, the implication in his challenge was that, even if their past decisions were wrong, they could make a fresh start. That’s good news. Most of us have made some bad decisions and can feel like we’ve blown it. Satan uses our failures to reinforce our inferiority complex and convince us that we can’t begin again. Don’t listen to his voice. Make the choice to follow God instead of your feelings. Moses encouraged his people with this promise:

“And you will make a new start, listening obediently to God, keeping all His commandments that I’m commanding you today.” Deut. 30:8 (MSG)

If I am to hear God’s voice over the voice of the devil or my own feelings I must do two things:

Listen constantly. The problem is not that God is not speaking or that He has not spoken. The problem is that I am not listening. Keep your ear attentive to His voice and your heart open to God. In Isaiah 66:4 the Bible says:

“… For when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened….” 

If we are to hear from God, the Bible says we must belong to Him.

“He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God. John 8:47 (NIV)

If you belong to God, listen for His voice. Tune in His Word and tune out the world.

Obey immediately. As you hear God speak through His Word, His Spirit and others, don’t hesitate to obey what God says. Don’t wait until you feel like obeying to obey. Just obey. Delayed obedience is disobedience. As we obey the truth we know, God will reveal what we need to know.

If you want to experience life and blessing, make the choice to follow God instead of your feelings. Don’t wait for the sensational or spectacular. The Christian life is Christ living the life He lived then, lived now by Him in you! Ian Thomas said it well,

“It is essentially miraculous even though it does not have to be sensational. It is always supernatural….”

Open the door to real life – His life and blessing. How? Make the choice to follow God instead of your feelings.

“God, your God, will cut away the thick calluses on your heart and your children’s hearts freeing you to love God, your God with your whole heart and soul and live, really live.” Deuteronomy 30:6 (MSG)

Our decisions will determine our destiny. When Moses presented two doors for Israel to choose from, he implored them to “choose life, so that they and their children may live….” Deut. 30:19b (NIV) This is the most important door to walk through. It’s the door of salvation. The New Testament tells us that Jesus is the door. When we enter that door, we experience life and blessing! Making that decision involves four basic choices. We looked at the first choice yesterday.

Make the choice to let God love you when you feel unlovable.  

Here’s the second one:

Make the choice to let God heal you when you’re hurting. 

When most of us are hurting, all that we can feel is the pain. It may be a loss, a death, a broken heart, a shattered dream. Whether it’s the result of bad choices we’ve made or life having dealt us a hand we didn’t choose, the pain is deep and the wound doesn’t seem to heal. It could be lost love, lost passion, or lost purpose. What do you do with the broken pieces of a life that’s been shattered by such loss? You have a choice. You can hold onto the hurt and remain a victim, or you can choose to let God heal you when you’re hurting. In Deuteronomy 30:3, Moses challenged the nation to let God pick up the pieces of their brokenness and restore them. If they would make the choice to let God heal them, he said,

“God, your God, will restore everything you lost; He’ll have compassion on you; He’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered.”  

If you read further in the Old Testament, God did restore the nation when their failures and sin led them into exile. They were broken and removed from their own land where they were taken captive. But, when they cried out to God, He heard their cry and brought them back.

Then, God did even more! Much more! Not only would He bring them home, He would heal their broken hearts! In verse 6, Moses said,

“God, your God, will cut away the thick calluses on your heart and your children’s hearts, freeing you to love God, your God with your whole heart and soul and live, really live.” 

Has your heart been broken by loss and sorrow? Do you find yourself just existing from day to day and not really living? Is it a struggle to give your heart to anything or anyone?  The pain you’ve experienced has covered your heart with calluses to protect you from any more pain. C.S. Lewis described it like this:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

If you’ve made that fatal choice and find yourself numb and lifeless, there is hope! Make the choice to let God heal you when you’re hurting. He will cut away those calluses, freeing you to love again with your whole heart and soul! It’s time to live again, really live! Make that choice today!

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the LORD is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30:19, 20 (NIV)

Did you know that we make 35,000 decisions every day according to recent research? The number of choices you have to make, both big and small, can feel overwhelming. What’s more, the trajectory of your life is determined by the choices you make on a daily basis. That’s why God doesn’t want you to make decisions alone. He has a plan for your life and wants the very best for you and your family. His Word shows us how to make divine decisions in the critical moments of life. A great example of that is found in Deuteronomy 30. Moses calls on the nation of Israel with a clear choice of life or death.  He says,

“… I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses….” Deut. 30:19 (NIV)

Have you ever considered that your decisions determine your destiny? In Deuteronomy, Moses gives us four wise choices to make that will offer life and blessing. This week, we will examine each one so we may experience a life of blessing instead of death and curses. Here’s the first choice to make:

Make the choice to let God love you when you feel unlovable!

No matter how unlovable you feel or how badly you have behaved, the Bible teaches us that God loves you! His love is not based on our performance like human love. His love is unconditional! His love is relentless! His love pursues you and me and will never let us go! He doesn’t love you more when you are good nor love you less when you are bad.  There’s nothing we could do to make Him love us more! Consider that for a moment and relax – just let God love you! To a wayward nation, God said,

“No matter how far away you end up, God, your God will get you out of there and bring you back….” Deut. 30:4 (MSG)

Have you drifted away from God? Are you feeling unlovable? Unworthy of His love? The devil will tell you that you can’t come back. You’ve gone too far! You aren’t good enough.  God can’t use you again. Lies! God said,

“No matter how far away you end up, God, your God will get you out of there and bring you back!” How does He do it? How do we make the choice to let God love us when we feel so unlovable? There are two ways we let God love us:

Forgiveness – I love the way the Living Bible paraphrases 1 John 1:9. It says,  

“But if we confess our sins to Him, He can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. [And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.]” 

We let God love us when we admit our failures and sins and ask His forgiveness.  Sin is serious and it makes us feel guilty and unlovable and separates us from God. Jesus died on the cross for our sins to demonstrate God’s love for us so that we could be forgiven!

Focus – You choose to let God love you when you focus on what His Word says instead of what the world says. The world says you’re not worth it. No one would love you. God says you’re worth dying for and He loves you!

Forgiveness and focus are what I call “spiritual breathing”. When you confess your sins, you exhale the guilt and pain to God and, when you focus on what God has done for you in Christ, you inhale His forgiveness and love! Do you ever just let God love you? Practice spiritual breathing right now. Exhale the negative hurt and pain you feel and inhale the truth of God’s Word – YOU ARE LOVED!  

“GOD (says), ‘I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!’” Jeremiah 31:3 (MSG)

The is the first and most important door of decision to walk through. Jesus is the door.  When you step through this door, you experience God’s love and are assured of His presence and direction as you learn to follow Him. The door is open! Come on in and experience God’s love!

“… if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin.” 1 John 1:7 (TLB)

To turn our conflicts into deeper connections instead of disconnecting from our relationships, we must know the difference between a fight and fellowship. What is a fellowship? Maybe you’ve heard the simple answer: “Fellowship is two people in the same ship.” I like to look at fellowship as two people on the same side of a struggle. You know what they call two people on the opposite side of a struggle? A Fight! (or Democrats and Republicans!) I hoped you laughed at that! It was a joke…. Lighten up already!

Seriously, though, when you are convinced the other person is wrong and you are right, it’s easy to lose your fellowship with them and your joy in the relationship. But, what do you value more – your opinion or your relationship? Learn to fight for the relationship instead of with one another. How do you do that? Get on the same side of the struggle!

Your real enemy is not your spouse or friend. We’ve already learned who our real enemy is in this cosmic conflict in which we are engaged. But, how do you maintain fellowship when you’re in a conflict? In 1 John 1:7, an aging apostle offers wise counsel. If we want to have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, John says we must live in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does. Do you practice the presence of God in your life?  How consciously aware are you that, as a Christ follower, Jesus came by the Holy Spirit to indwell you 24/7? He promised never to leave us or forsake us. He said,

“I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20 TLB)

As we cultivate the presence of God, His Spirit enables us to experience fellowship and joy with others. That fellowship and joy flows out of a common denominator. It’s not that we agree on everything but that we are both sinners in need of forgiveness. What enables us to have wonderful fellowship and joy with one another is the fact that the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin. We may not connect in agreement on every issue, but we find our deepest connection in Christ. And, the blood He shed that our faults, failures and sins could be forgiven. His sacrifice builds the bridge that reconciles our lives with God and one another.

If you find yourself out of fellowship with others, ask yourself if you are walking in the light of God’s presence as Christ does. What portion of the conflict do you need to own and confess? Then, celebrate the joy of forgiveness and get on the same side of the struggle!

“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. Stand firm then….” Ephesians 6:13-14a (NIV)

If we want to win the relationship in a conflict and experience a deeper connection, then we must not only be aware of who the real enemy is but we must be aware of the outcome as well. This is the best part, and it so powerful and positive because the Bible says we don’t have to fight the devil – we just have to stand! That’s the point of what Paul is saying in Ephesians 6:13-14. Three times, he uses the word stand. He doesn’t say to fight because Satan is a defeated enemy! Jesus has already defeated the devil! We just have to stand in the victory Christ won on the cross! I love the way the Living Bible paraphrases Colossians 2:15. It says,

“In this way God took away Satan’s power to accuse you of sin, and God openly displayed to the whole world Christ’s triumph at the cross where your sins were all taken away.” 

Days of evil will come, and we will experience conflict. But, the good news is that, in those days, we don’t need to fight the devil. We just need to enter the ring and take our stand in Christ who has already won the battle in this cosmic conflict at the cross! Knowing the outcome ahead of time gives us confidence and courage to act as we stand. How do we stand? What actions do we take?

First, Praise! Satan feeds on negativity but is repelled by praise! Why? Because the Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people. David’s song in 2 Samuel 22:4 illustrates our part and God’s part as we take our stand against the enemy.

“I called on the Lord who is worthy of praise (this is my part), and He saved me from my enemies. (this is God’s part)”

We can praise God for the truth that sets us free. As we stand, Paul tells us to,

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place….” Ephesians 6:14 (NIV)

God has given you and me the championship belt in this cosmic conflict. It is the belt of truth. When Satan tries to deceive us with his lies, we can turn to the truth of God’s Word. It is one of the two offensive weapons that God has given us in the armor of God.  He calls it the sword of the Spirit. As we unleash that sword, we can take the second action…

Second, Proclaim! What do we proclaim? Look at Ephesians 6:15-17

“… with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”  

We proclaim the gospel of peace. It’s knowing the outcome and proclaiming the gospel of peace that enables us to get into the ring and take our stand. Rather than responding with our feelings of hurt or pain, we take up the shield of faith that protects us from bitterness or revenge, trusting God to bring peace and deeper connection from our conflict. We can do that because He has given us a protective helmet, the helmet of salvation, to guard our thoughts and keep our minds in the truth of His Word.

The final action is Pray! Too often, we lose the conflicts and the relationships because we simply fail to pray. In Ephesians 6:18 the Bible says,

“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 saints.”  

Notice how many times Paul uses the word all. Pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests for all the saints. We pray to the Prince of Peace that He will bring peace in our relationships and praise Him for defeating the devil at the cross. We proclaim the truth of God’s Word in our prayers.

One of the great benefits of a community of faith is that we can pray with other Christ followers. Are you facing a conflict in a relationship? Are you at a loss as to what to do?  Why not ask a Christ follower in your community of faith to pray with you this weekend at church?

“Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.” 1 Peter 5:8 (CEV)

Since the serpent entered the Garden of Eden, Satan has followed a consistent battle plan in his strategy to bring chaos, confusion, disconnection and destruction. He implements the same plan today in our relationships to divide and conquer. In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul said,

“I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming.”  

So, how does the devil attack us? What is the devil’s battle plan?

Step 1 is deception. Just as he did with Eve in the Garden, Satan uses deception to convince us of something that is not true. Jesus calls him a liar in John 8:44:

“From the very beginning (the devil) was a murderer and has never been on the side of truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is only doing what is natural to him, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” 

Satan will use cyber-attacks on your mind to infect you with a virus and corrupt your thinking. He will try to convince you that you are no good, no one will ever love you, God can’t use you, God doesn’t really care, this isn’t that big a sin or any number of other lies to prevent you from trusting God and doing His will. He convinced Eve that God was holding out on her. Satan will lie to you about who you are and who God is, and he will lie to you about sin. When you hear his lies, it’s critical to turn to God’s Word and find the truth so you won’t fall prey to his deception.

Step 2 is distraction. The devil wants to distract you from the real problem and from God’s purpose. He will even substitute something good to distract you from the best that God desires for your life. How do you know when you’re being distracted by the devil?  The Bible says,

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace….” 1 Cor. 14:33 (KJV)

Satan uses confusion to distract you.  His distractions lead to step three.

Step 3 is disconnection. Satan wants to put blinders over our eyes that prevent us from seeing the cosmic conflict going on behind the scenes in our relationships so he can push us toward disconnection. God always pushes us toward connection. He created us to live in community, to love one another and serve one another. He even uses conflict to create deeper connection. Satan wants us to see our mates as the enemy and fight with one another instead of for one another. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, the Bible says,

“Satan who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” 

Step 4 is destruction. Disconnection leads to destruction. Satan pushes us toward disconnection to destroy our relationships and our lives. This is his ultimate goal. Jesus said,

“The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy….” John 10:10a (NIV) 

Satan will try to steal your joy, kill your passion and destroy your relationships. 

Knowing the devil’s battle plan, Peter warns us:

“Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.” 1 Peter 5:8 (CEV)

Awareness is half the battle. Next comes action! Tomorrow, we’ll examine the action we must take to defeat the devil’s plan.

“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15 (NIV)

One of my favorite lines in the movie Patton was when General Patton won a decisive victory in a North African tank battle, defeating Erwin Rommell. Upon his victory, Patton says how he won the battle, “I read your (Rommel’s) book!” Although there is question as to whether that actually happened in history, knowing your enemy’s strategies is key to winning the battle.

When we find ourselves engaged in a conflict, it’s easy for us to forget who the real enemy is and what the point of the conflict is. The Bible tells us that our real struggle is not against flesh and blood. There is a cosmic conflict going on behind the scenes. Our real enemy is exposed in Isaiah 14:12-15.

“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.” 

Did you notice how many times Satan says, “I…”  Five times in four verses! Satan has an “I” problem! He is blinded by pride. And, if we’re honest, most of our conflicts result from an “I” problem as well. Look again at the verse and see where Satan is carrying out his mission –  on earth.  While many think Satan is in hell, he’s not. He’s been cast down to the earth. One day, he will be cast into hell forever and ever; but, for now, he is our ultimate enemy! But, take heart! Although Satan is a formidable foe, he is not a god. There is only one God.  Satan is a created and fallen being. He is not all-knowing, all-present, nor all-powerful.  In fact, Satan is a defeated foe. Still, he exists in our world and operates with his minions in a fallen world to create chaos, death, disease and destruction. We are told in Scripture not to be ignorant of Satan’s schemes so that he will not outwit us.

If you’re engaged in a conflict, step back for a minute and reconsider who the real enemy is. When we are aware of our real enemy and his battle plan, we have already won half the battle against him.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  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.” Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)

When you enter the ring of conflict, are you tempted to run, jump out of the ring and avoid the conflict altogether? For years, I thought conflict was a bad thing, something to be avoided. Through the years, though, I discovered that conflict is really a good thing. In fact, God uses conflicts to take our relationships to a whole new level of connection, deeper than we even thought imaginable. Yes, conflict is messy. Conflict is painful and feels awkward, but it can produce connection if we learn how to fight fair and discover what is ultimately going on in the conflict. While God wants to use the conflict to create deeper connection, we have an unseen enemy who seeks just the opposite. The Bible says there is a cosmic conflict going on behind the scenes. That battle has been going on since creation.

In Ephesians 6, the Bible tells us that the real battle is a cosmic conflict between God and Satan, between good and evil. In verse 12, the Bible says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood ….” That means that your mate is not your enemy! Then who is? Our real struggle the Bible says is “… against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Awareness of this cosmic conflict is half the battle! Satan’s desire is to turn our conflicts into chaos, confusion and disconnection so that he can ultimately destroy our relationships and our lives. When you begin to understand this cosmic conflict, there are two extremes to avoid. One is to blame the devil for everything. That’s an unhealthy view that escapes personal responsibility. Another extreme is to be oblivious of Satan’s schemes. That’s why awareness is half the battle.

We need to be aware of the real enemy so that we can stand against his schemes. Have you ever been in a conflict with your mate and, during a heated argument, you both began to wonder, “What is really going on here?” Satan cleverly disguises himself to pit us against one another and use our conflicts or our differences for disconnection. Our conflicts will either lead to connection or chaos. When we are aware of the real enemy and his battle plan, we can use our conflicts for deeper connection. In 2 Corinthians 2:11, the Bible says,

“I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming.” 

This week, we are going to examine the devils battle plan and how we can protect ourselves from Satan’s schemes as we study this passage in Ephesians 6. Take some time now and begin to meditate on Ephesians 6:10-18. Ask God to give you wisdom in applying these truths in your conflicts so that He can create deeper connection in your relationships.