It’s no surprise to us that the enemy likes to creep around in the dark. Most crimes are committed at night, after the sun has gone down. That’s when we’re the most vulnerable. We can’t see the danger around us and our attackers can sneak around undetected. At the time of day that we are ready to relax, let our guard down, and rest the evil in our world rises from the shadows and attacks. Satan is no different than the common criminal on the street. He preys upon our vulnerability. He waits for us to shut our eyes. That’s when he pounces.
The Bible says that satan blinds the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the Light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4). He doesn’t have that kind of power over those of us who have given our hearts and lives to Jesus but that doesn’t keep him from trying. Satan uses the darkness to his advantage to prey upon the weak but he uses it as a weapon against those who stand strong with the strength of Christ. If we’re not guarded, we may find ourselves covered in a mask of darkness. But don’t worry, Jesus has already overcome the darkness.
How does he use the darkness as a weapon in marriages? First, he blinds us from seeing ourselves. Have you ever been so busy looking at your husband’s faults that you didn’t see your own? When we fail to look at ourselves and examine our own hearts, we miss an opportunity to become more like Jesus. That creates one of those cracks in our character and in our marriages that we talked about last time. When we allow a crack in our marriage, the enemy likes to stick a wedge between us and pry us apart. Second, the enemy blinds us from seeing Christ at work. Have you ever been so fixated on what’s going wrong that you missed what’s going right? For the first three years of my marriage, I stayed fixated on the fact that my husband flat out refused to ever buy me flowers. We went round and round about it and the more I brought it up, the more determined he became to never buy them for me. For three years, I wore blinders that kept me from seeing the amazing things that my husband DID do for me. Finally, one day I realized (with God’s help) that I had been deceived. I had allowed myself to become so hurt by what I chose to look at that I missed the healing that was all around me. Now, when my husband comes home and brings me a Coke from McDonalds, because he knows they’re my favorite, I smile to myself and say, “There’s my flowers.” Or when he turns the electric blanket on for me before I crawl into bed, I smile and think, “There’s my flowers.”
So how do we protect ourselves from this weapon of a mask?
Step #1- Keep your eyes on Jesus. When you stay fixated on the Light, the darkness has no room to creep in.
Step #2- Pray for night vision goggles. Our soldiers use them in the dessert to see the enemy approaching at night. They can launch a counter-attack before the enemy can even get within range of hurting them. Being prepared is key. The best offense is a good defense.
But we all have momentary lapses of doing the right thing, and we turn our eyes elsewhere. So, what do we do?
Step #3- Pray for open eyes. God WANTS us to bring our A-game onto the battlefield. He is more than ready to rip the blinders off for us. We just have to ask Him.
But what do we do when we realize we’ve been stuck in the dark for a long time? Won’t ripping the blinders off hurt?
Step #4- Pray for new eyes. Our God is a God of second chances. And third chances. And five millionth chances. Are you afraid to see what’s in front of you? Are you afraid of the light? Ask Him for new eyes. He’s a merciful God. He will give you eyes that are ready to embrace the light and see the truth in love.
When my husband and I have arguments, I used to pray, “God, please help him to see that he’s wrong.” Then God started working on my heart and I began praying, “God, please just help him to see that I’m right.” God did a little more work in my heart and I began praying, “God, please just help us to see the same thing.” Now I pray, “God, help us to see each other through YOUR eyes.” A dear friend of mine used to say that every morning she would pray for God to give her new eyes to see her husband. I think this is a beautiful prayer and I try to remember to pray it often. When we see our husbands through new eyes, we can more clearly see them the way God intended us to. And seeing the light of God’s truth makes the darkness flee.