While I was attending a men’s retreat, one of the brothers shared an interesting idea regarding the strategies the Devil uses against us. He suggested there are only two: inoculation or isolation.
- Inoculation is when we come to the sense that either we are completely helpless to affect any change or forward movement or else when we think that we are the ultimate answer to the problem and no one else can do the job. We are either immobilized, or we move forward on our own strength, rather than in Christ’s.
- Isolation, on the other hand is characterized by the idea that we are alone. There is no one else around who can or will help us, so why even reach out? We must solve this on our own.
Neither of these states are healthy, and we can find ourselves in them quite suddenly. Satan will be using the weapons of deceit, fear or violence to push us into them. Our first step of defense must be to remember truth and claim it: We are capable in Christ (Php. 4:13) and only in Christ can we be effective (Jn. 15:5). We are never alone, either (Mat. 28:20b). Christ has made us part of His body (1Co. 12:12-14) and so we can reach out to our brothers and sisters for help. It is pride or shame that keeps us from doing so, but Christ has erased our shame and given us honor. I experienced this earlier this year when I felt very alone, and no one reached out. It was not I was willing to call for help that people came; and they came in droves! Our weakness gives God’s strength the opportunity to shine (2Co. 12:9-10), so let’s not succumb to the Devil’s schemes and make sure that we keep ourselves from being either inoculated or isolated.
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