Copied from my email devotional from Joni Eareckson Tada. (Is this legal to copy?) This devotional goes right along with my most recent post and comments on the Ephesians passage on putting on the whole armor of God.
Who's the Enemy?
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
-1 Peter 5:8
You've had it happen. You read a book on marriage with your spouse, set goals, make promises, and six months later the situation is the same. The same unmet expectations and hurt feelings. Your marriage could move forward if only your partner would shape up.
Or maybe it's the family. If they would just be more sensitive, more careful with the way they ask for things, you wouldn't get so down. You wouldn't feel stepped on or demoralized. If they would say "thanks" once in a while, depression would be a thing of the past.
Perhaps it's your friends. If only they would make the first move to plan a luncheon date instead of your always calling. If they would show a bit more consideration, they would be real friends.
But wait. Remember who your problem person really is. Because Christians have, in fact, only one enemy. The enemy is not your spouse. It isn't your children or your friends. The Devil is your only enemy. And he would love to keep your spouse spiritually retarded. Your kids, a bunch of selfish ingrates. Your friends, thoughtless and insensitive. This is exactly why you need to shower extra love and abundant prayer on these very people!
Remember who your support person is. Jesus Christ is your help and shield. He is the one who has called you to love your spouse, nurture your children, and lay down your life for your friends. It's the best way to defeat the Enemy in your life ... and in the lives of those you love.
Today, Lord, I ask You to enrich the lives of those whom You've placed near to me. Where there is contention, please sow Your love. Where there is disappointment, give hope. Use me to touch others with Your love.
Joni and Friends
Taken from Diamonds in the Dust. Copyright © 1993 by Joni Eareckson Tada. Used by permission. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530