Renee felt like her relationship with God was “golden.” That is, until she met Clay. She shared her story with me over email.
It was my prayer when I first started this job that I could be God’s light at my new workplace. Then I met Clay. He was the site technician at work, and I thought he was cute. He was older than me so I made sure to check for a wedding ring, and there was none.
At first I ran toward God and kept praying over and over, “Please don’t let me be attracted to Clay if it’s not Your will for us to be together.” I intentionally didn’t make any moves or advances toward him, because I told God if this was right, I wanted to be pursued.
Well, sure enough, Clay kept chatting with me whenever he got the chance, and eventually we exchanged numbers so we could chat more. Right after that he confessed he had a fifteen-month-old daughter and was married.
I was shocked, but under the pretense of not being judgmental I accepted it and decided to be a good friend to him. We both couldn’t deny the mutual attraction though, and he eventually invited me over to his house and we hung out. Alone. Bad things happened, and I was left reeling. I knew this didn’t feel right, but at the same time everything seemed to work out. He pursued me. We were a great personality match.
We had this faux relationship for a little while where I poured out my heart to him and almost decided to get rid of my faith altogether so I could be with him guilt-free. Eventually I went back to God and confessed things were messed up and the fling ended, but I was left in loneliness, despair, confusion, and felt broken beyond repair.
Renee continued, “I’m having trouble trusting God will protect me from another situation like this because even though I asked Him to, He didn’t.”
Protection in a Suit?
Can you relate? My heart aches for Renee, and I want you to be protected from the same mistake. But girls, throwing up a quick prayer for God to protect you just won’t cut it.
I don’t know if Renee thought Clay was a Christian (I doubt it), but I do know at the very least, Renee should have run the other direction as soon as Clay told her he was married to another woman. And she certainly never should have agreed to go to his house alone. These weren’t wise decisions, and God isn’t to blame for her choices.
Fact is, God has already provided for Renee’s protection and yours by giving you a whole suit of armor. No, you can’t purchase it at your nearest Christian bookstore—but the armor of God is an analogy for six very real ways to protect yourself from your enemies. Just before the armor is showcased, we’re told this:
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm (Eph. 6:10–13).
How Unprotected Are You?
Let’s break this down a bit:
- You’ve probably heard the story of young David taking on the fearsome warrior-giant Goliath. Goliath was decked out in a hard-core suit of armor, but he left one place unprotected—his forehead—and that’s how David destroyed him. Unlike Goliath, we need to put on the whole armor of God and not leave a single place unprotected.
- Our fight is described as a wrestling match. This isn’t long-distance shooting but up-close-and-personal struggling. The devil has schemes or strategies that play on your weaknesses.
- In Renee’s story, Clay isn’t the enemy. Ephesians 6 tells us our fight isn’t against flesh and blood, or humans—it’s against rulers, authorities, powers, and spiritual forces of evil. Renee’s enemies—and yours and mine—are unseen.
- Over and over in Ephesians 6 we’re told to stand against Satan. In any battle, those who are standing still have a shot at winning. Are you down on the ground? Are you lounging on the couch? Stand and fight. I love how Matthew Henry says it:
Satan is the wicked one, and his kingdom is the kingdom of sin: to stand against Satan is to strive against sin (emphasis added).
- It sounds more exciting to take on Satan than to beat down sin, but in choosing not to sin, you’re really conquering Satan! While Satan, the world, and self are all separate, they usually work together to cause us to fall. We’re usually not taking on one at a time but all three.
- If you’re not up for that kind of fight (I know I’m not!), Ephesians 6:10 holds great news. Our strength doesn’t come from ourselves—God offers us His strength. So come back next week to pick up each piece of God’s armor, dust it off, and put it on with me.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear . . . what have you been trusting in to protect you from evil?