It started out like any other Spring morning, me on the sofa with my coffee, iPad and prayer journal, and Josie my loyal Boykin Spaniel curled up on the floor next to me. Just as I was asking the Lord to help me be a servant for him and seek his kingdom first, an intruder buzzed in. Yes, I said “buzzed.” Josie noticed the nuisance first and sprang up towards the sound at the fireplace. Seeing nothing but hearing something, I just assumed that a bee had made its way down the chimney and now was frantically trying to enter the house through the shut glass doors on the fireplace. I was not worried, but Josie wouldn’t relax.
Within seconds the sound appeared louder and we both saw the huge hornet swoop down into our space. How dare it interrupt our quiet time! This was no trapped bee! Jumping into action with unusually quick speed for that time of day, I ran to open the kitchen back door and grabbed the broom out of the pantry. I wasn’t going to kill it, just guide it to the open air so that it could escape. But it didn’t want my help. I gently swatted at it with the hopes of it sensing that fresh air was just around the corner. Just when I thought I had it moving in the right direction, it changed course and made a beeline (yes, I used that word!) towards me. It all happened so fast and this intruder was determined to hit my face! As it reached its target, I screamed and collided with the loveseat, crashing onto the bare hardwood floor. I was bruised, but not knocked out! Sometimes I surprise myself with how quick I can move! My fear had quickly morphed into anger! This winged trespasser had interrupted my quiet time with Jesus! As it buzzed around the room, I dashed to the garage for my new, deadly weapon-a full can of wasp spray.
It. Was. Going. Down!
The den was eerily silent when I returned. But I was no fool. I checked behind the window blinds, not there. I looked out on the screened porch to see if it finally got wise and left the house, not there. Walking back into the den, I spotted it settled on the back of the sofa right behind the cushion where I had been sitting. Its bulging eyes were staring right at me! My immediate thought was “it’s Satan incarnate!” I did not hesitate to start spraying the poison, but it had one last bit of strength and flew towards the windows. It landed on the wooden floor flailing about as it tried to muster enough strength for one more flight. Just for good measure, I unleashed my foaming firearm again until it was completely still.
To protect my dog from the poison and to make sure the enemy would not somehow resurrect, I covered it with a two-gallon bucket and a footstool. I left it there as proof for my husband to see that I had had an eventful morning!
As I returned to the sofa, I could not get those huge, beady eyes out of my mind. I knew at that moment that Satan or one of his many demons had entered my space to distract me from spending time with Jesus. Satan will use anything to keep that from happening, and yet he can’t even come up with his own tools. Did you know that God used hornets as terror to destroy some of the nations living in the Promised Land so that his people, the Israelites, could move in? He even told the Israelites he would send the hornets (Exodus 23:28, Deut. 7:20, Joshua 24:12). Satan is such a copy cat!
Satan would do whatever it took to distract me from this vital part of my day. Satan wants us so busy (fighting flying insects) that we won’t have time to get alone with God. If we are God’s child through faith in Jesus Christ, Satan cannot change that relationship, but he will certainly do all that he can to make us ineffective for God’s kingdom. How do I know this? Jesus promised that no one is able to snatch his sheep out of the Father’s hand and that he and the Father are one. His sheep are his followers; those that God the Father has given to Jesus his son. Jesus also reminded us that the Father is greater than all and that most certainly includes Satan (John 10:29-30)! Although Satan cannot take believers out of God’s hands, he is scheming to distract us because he does not want any of Jesus’ followers to be productive for God’s kingdom. This is one of Satan’s most successful MO’s. Even now as I write this, I am distracted by the dinging notifications on my laptop, the slamming of the neighbors’ car doors and the chiming of my phone timer reminding me to shut off the yard sprinkler. My husband lovingly reminded me this morning that ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) doesn’t come from just his side of the family. In my opinion, Satan is the author of ADD. Lord, help us all!
Distractions are just part of Satan’s plan to keep God’s children off the right path. He has other ungodly tactics such as bringing trouble and persecution, filling our minds with worries of the world, pushing us to seek pleasure through the world’s ways, and deceiving us with dreams of wealth. He even uses good things like family and friends. We must stay in communion with God’s Spirit and meditate on His word to know the difference between God’s plans and Satan’s schemes.
Looking back now I notice how the hornet didn’t just attack me as soon as it entered the room. Its approach was very subtle, with just a low hum at first, then a buzz with whirring activity and eventually moving in for the kill. Satan’s approach can be a lot like this flying insect. His ways are subtle, hoping we will question and doubt God. He did this with Eve in the garden when he slithered up and said, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1b). His goal was to make Eve doubt that God was truthful and wanted the best for her. Satan has not changed! He wants us to doubt God’s love for us and question what He said.
In my battle with the hornet, my first offensive weapon was a broom! I thought if I gently led it in the right direction, it would leave the house. Satan will not leave us alone if we just nicely ask him to leave. First, we must wield the best offensive weapon we have, God’s word, at our enemy. Jesus did this when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). He knew that Satan could not handle the truth of God’s word. It only took three sentences from God’s word to make the devil quit tempting Jesus and leave!
And do not be mistaken, Satan knows God’s word, but he will twist it to suit his desires. There’s a great deal of that going on in the world today and it is no surprise to God. He told us through Paul’s second letter to Timothy that “a time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:3-4).” When we slowly change God’s word to fit our present sinful circumstances, we are listening to the subtle lies of Satan, the father of lies. Beware, Satan has a plan! But be encouraged because “greater is He who is in you (God’s Holy Spirit) than he who is in the world (Satan)” (1 John 4:4 NASB).
The next thing we must do to watch Satan retreat is to submit to God. We submit to God when we draw near to Him, cleanse our sinful hands and purify our double-minded hearts. This means we must confess our sins to God, ask for His forgiveness and change our hearts to a single mindedness, focusing solely on the Lord. This is not always easy, but God’s word promises when we do this and resist the devil he will flee. Another great promise is if we humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord, he will exalt us (James 4:7-10). Satan does not want that to happen, so he will press even harder on anyone who submits to the Lord. Another way to make the devil scram is to put on some praise and worship music and join in!
While trying to guide the hornet toward the outside door, I became fearful the closer it got to me. This resulted in screams and a bruise-producing fall to the floor. When I try to fight Satan with my own ideas and my own strength, fear will get the best of me and I will come crashing down. I must rely solely on the power of the Holy Spirit. When the Israelites were being taunted by their enemies during the rebuilding of the temple, the Lord Almighty spoke to the leader Zerubbabel through the prophet Zechariah saying, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). He encouraged him with truth that God’s Spirit would defeat the enemies and the temple would be rebuilt.
So, just how did that hornet get into my house in the first place? The fireplace doors were closed, but the porch door which stays open a great deal of time during the warmer months was an open invitation to all types of uninvited winged creatures. Every time I allow my eyes to watch or read ungodly things, my ears to listen to ungodly music or speech, I am basically leaving the door open for Satan to enter into my world. The truth is that we live in a fallen world where Satan is still trying hard to stop God’s plans, but this should not be an excuse to roll out the red carpet of our lives for him. Instead, let’s invite Jesus to rule our day before we get out of bed!
Another truth my hornet adventure reminded me was that there is one powerful weapon that has destroyed Satan for good. Just as the wasp spray brought on the demise of the scary hornet, Jesus’ death on the cross has eradicated Satan and death. When Jesus took all the sins of the world on himself on that tree, he said, “It is finished.” We may not understand why God is allowing Satan to roam the earth looking for someone to devour now that Jesus has paid for our sins, but we can rest assured that Satan is finished!
So, when he comes buzzing into your life, tell him that you aren’t afraid of him because he’s as good as dead. Tell him to go back to hell where he came from in Jesus name!