By: Allie Joy Kapus
Outwitting the Devil
In one of his letters to the Church at Corinth, Paul charges the believers there to forgive and restore those who have sinned, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Satan is crafty, observant, and will do whatever he can to take us down. He knows our weaknesses, and he attacks with all of his might especially in those areas where we are most vulnerable, the areas where we are most prone to stumble, fail to trust God, and look to ourselves or other things instead of Jesus.
My New Vulnerability
In less than two months, I will be a married woman. As I have said before and love to discuss, marriage is a beautiful gift that God created. Marriage reflects the unconditional love and selfless sacrifice between Jesus and His Bride, the Church.
As my mentor recently told me, “Your marriage is the most refining thing in your life.” This relationship will teach me and mold me like no other earthly relationship will. My future husband will know me more intimately than any other person does. He will see my strengths and my flaws at a magnified level, and he will have the responsibility to affirm me where I am strong and to reprove me where I am weak. And I am called to do the same for him. Together, we will become more like Christ.
This is a good and God-honoring thing, and Satan does not want our marriage to happen or to succeed. So, as Michael and I are preparing our hearts to become one, Satan is attacking in any way that he can. Especially over these past few weeks, he has been specifically feeding my brain with many twisted thoughts about sex
Exposing Three Schemes
Sex itself is a beautiful blessing, and it is a very important and meaningful expression of love within the context of the marriage covenant. Again, Satan’s goal is to destroy. If there is anything that will foster a spirit of intimacy and selflessness, his aim is to fill our minds with lies and fears that can distort our perspective of it. I’m going to explore some of these things below to expose them and bring them into the light:
- There are times when I think about my wedding night, and I feel terrified. It’s very normal to be nervous and to have (realistic) expectations that this experience will be very different, uncomfortable, and strange, but Satan likes to grab hold of those feelings and turn them into something else – something darker and isolating. When I feel afraid, I begin to lose my gaze on the Lord.T hough the thought or practice of intimacy and vulnerability in this capacity can at times feel overwhelming and uncomfortable, the sexual relationship fosters a mutual closeness and satisfaction between husband and wife. This, in turn, honors, obeys, and worships God.
- “I need sex now. I can’t wait any longer.” Again, when I take my focus off of God and start to slip into the thought pattern that I am strong enough to do things on my own, it becomes much easier to stop battling for purity and to justify thoughts or actions that do not honor God. Please hear me – being excited about sharing this part of myself with the person I love most is a GOOD thing. But also hear that when Satan takes this desire and makes me doubt that God provides a way out of every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13) or that the Spirit allows us to practice self-control (Galatians 5:23, 2 Timothy 1:7), I need to be on my guard all the more.
- Sometimes I go back and forth between these two thought patterns and then I find myself stuck. When either one of these types of attacks dominates in my mind, Satan is pleased because, in that moment, I have put up an idol in place of God.
Idols of Intimacy and a Vulnerable Savior
I believe that recognizing some of the enemy’s tactics helps us to be better prepared to battle against him.
Let me invite and challenge you to examine your own life as I examine mine. What are some ways that you’re terrified about intimacy and holding yourself back from others, not just physically but emotionally? How have you made an idol out of physical intimacy? How can you find contentment in the season of life where you are right now? What are some scenarios and thought patterns that end up trapping you in the dark schemes of evil?
As we seek to be vulnerable and to live a life of purity, we can look to Jesus as our guide. He emptied Himself of His divine glory and came to live a humble life as a human. He is intimately familiar with our temptations and struggles. Jesus knew exhaustion, hurt, betrayal, and wrongful accusation, yet He still gave of Himself, faithfully obeying His Father and making eternal, life-changing investments into the souls of those He created. He calls and equips us to live a life of purity, of vulnerability, and of victory in Him.
And in Jesus, it is absolutely assured that we already have this victory. The Lord is stronger than the world, the flesh, and Satan and his forces. In Jesus, none of these attacks or lies or idols has any power. May we cling to Him and embrace the victory and grace that He has lavished upon us.
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Allie Joy Kapus is first and foremost a daughter of the King. She graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and minors in Spanish and Psychology. Allie completed her Senior Honors Thesis on the presentation of postmodern sexuality in short fiction and has also been published in two of Liberty University’s other onl