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If you don’t protect your relationship with God, your relationship will likely deteriorate. You have an enemy that is doing all he can to destroy you.
The war against the saints is real. The enemy, the devil, wants to create animosity between believers and God. He accomplishes this by convincing believers that God is harmful, evil, or even uncaring.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8 NLT
The devil never ceases to slander humans to God.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:Revelation 12:10 NIV
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
Here are three ways you can protect your relationship from these attacks:
1 – Protect Your Relationship With God by Knowing Jesus’s Audience
The world can be divided into two sets of people: believers and non-believers. When Jesus interacts with people in the Bible, He is usually tough on the people who are against Him and compassionate toward people who are fragile. In the following text, He equates “little ones” or “children” to “those who believe in me.”
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!Matthew 18:6-7 NIV
And, when He references causing people to stumble, He is talking about the evil in the world that wants to harm one of His children. This passage in Matthew doesn’t mean that God wants one of His children to die. This isn’t a message of condemnation for believers. His audience is non-believers, not believers.
2- Protect Your Relationship With God by Asking for the Right Gifts
What you want can be divided into two categories: external (or worldly) blessings and internal blessings. A worldly blessing will expire at the end of this life but a spiritual blessing lasts forever.
You could ask God to improve your finances or health. I want more money. I want a bigger house. These are external changes. God, change my circumstances.
You can also ask God to help you mature. I want a better attitude. I want more patience. These are internal changes. God, change me.
If you ask with the wrong motives, God might not grant your desires (James 4:3). If you don’t get what you want, you might draw the wrong conclusions about God. God is withholding good things from me. God wants to give good gifts, but He is the one to determine what gift is needed and when it is needed.
It’s okay to ask for worldly gifts. However, you will protect your relationship with God if you don’t expect more from Him than He promises.
3- Protect Your Relationship With God by Putting God First
You can interpret your experiences in two different ways. You can focus on the negatives or the positives. To avoid painful misinterpretations, you must trust God more than your experiences.
The enemy will do all he can to create interference between you and God. One of the best ways he can accomplish this is by using your experiences against you.
The enemy wants to elevate your experiences above God. For example, if you lose your job, the enemy could attempt to sow fear into your life by promoting the idea that God isn’t taking care of you. If you agree, you are valuing what happens to you more than God.
All three of these examples will protect you from doubting that God is on your side. Whatever you do, don’t let the enemy gain a foothold in your relationship with God. A weakening loyalty to God will only create an opening for the devil to stir up confusion.
In what ways are you doubting God? Talk to God about your impressions of Him. Do all that you can to restore your sense of allegiance to Him. Protect your relationship with God at all costs (Matthew 18:8-9).
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.