There’s more to it than just that… Than just what? Anything – there is more to everything than just what we see, what our perspective is, or even just the way it affects us directly. He made us fearfully and wonderfully. He made us in His image. We live in the earthly realm of a spiritual world.
While you are reading this blog, it is important for you to understand that I’m not writing this to tell you how you should do things or what you are doing wrong. I am writing this because WE are in a battle. I am in the same battle as you, and I have to surrender EVERYDAY – to make sure I allow God’s armor to fight my battles. As you know, the end of the war is written, and GOD WINS. Everyday I have to remind myself that we are not at war with the people we see in front of us.
This means, as much as you think your ex is Satan himself… your ex is not who you are fighting.
I know that is not what any of us want to hear. I too, did not like for anyone to tell me that my ex wasn’t all that bad stuff I thought he was. So in order to keep our friendship, I’m just gonna let God’s word do the talking here…
Yes – that’s right! God’s word tells us the enemy sits around looking for ways to distract us from the plan that God has for our lives!
So let me clarify here… I don’t think, at all, that every little thing is Satan. Example – Satan didn’t make me throw a remote control at my ex-husband’s head – haha! I am to blame for throwing the remote – I did it! But satan did cause enough distraction that I took my eyes and heart off the plan God had for my life and allowed anger and bitterness to fill me from head to toe! And Satan didn’t stop there – his plan to devour my marriage, and yours too, was not about me or you or your ex… THERE’S MORE TO IT THAN JUST THAT!!! We’re gonna get more in depth about spiritual warfare and divorce and division in another blog – I could type or talk for days on this…. but back to this post –
So what if we take a step back and really apply this scripture to our everyday interactions with our ex?
When I say apply this verse to our ex – I don’t mean that our ex is the enemy – haha! I know initially that is how I felt and you prob do or did, at some point, also!
Let me just show you what it looked like the first time I put this scripture to work in my divorce… lol!
“He can’t help that Satan is attacking him”
“He’s the one that is lost, satan is attacking him”
“Bless his heart, he doesn’t know that Satan is using him to carry out evil against one of God’s most precious angels”
And yes, I believed I was now one of God’s most precious angels. (I still do believe that, I just realize now that we are ALL His most precious angels)
I was completely in the mindset that Satan was attacking my ex-husband. WRONG, AGAIN. It took me a long while to really understand how to apply this to myself. We can’t wage a war for someone else’s thoughts. So that battle can’t be one that God intended for us to fight. But we can wage a war on our own thoughts and actions. We can certainly pray for the thoughts of those around us, but even then, I find God usually transforms my thoughts about them…
Eventually, I applied this verse to my interactions more like this…
“Satan is at work and the battle is against the enemy.”
“The enemy is not my ex-husband and Satan isn’t attacking him. Satan is attacking my perception of him and my thoughts regarding interactions with him.”
“Satan is trying to devour our ability to communicate and raise our daughter.”
“Satan is trying to keep us in constant turmoil to distract us from God’s plan.”
Now that looks more like a battle that God wants to help me fight! See, that’s just it. Satan is so nasty and slithery that he even uses our own thoughts to convince us that the problem lies somewhere else. I am not saying our exes our innocent. I AM saying that they are not the cause of everything, they do not decide which thoughts we allow in. We are responsible for our own thoughts…
So in reality, it looks something like this…
My ex calls and says, “I have two tickets to the Alabama Football game on Saturday, I know it’s not my weekend but I’d really like to take Ana to the game… would you mind?”
I can CHOOSE to perceive this in several different ways. I can CHOOSE to have the mind of Christ in this situation, to trust God and align my thoughts with His word. But I can also CHOOSE to allow satan to twist my thoughts and wreak havoc on this situation.
Before we respond to this question, let’s first take a look at the different perceptions and try to decide how God would want us to perceive this (because God’s word does not discriminate against exes or anyone else). We could turn this into many different scenarios but the point is to make sure our thoughts align with the word of God. So here a few different ways we could think – or at least these are different ways I have thought…
1- “He just got tickets to the game because he knew I had planned to take Ana to the movies and he always tries to out-do me. He never gets tickets on his weekend.”
2-”He only wants to take her to do fun stuff when I have her so she will want to be with him instead of me.”
3- “I’m glad he thought to ask Ana to the game, that’s one of her favorite things to do.”
4- “He really misses Ana, and thought it might be fun to take her to see her favorite team.”
Those are all completely, logical thought processes. It is not wrong to have any of those thoughts. But we must CHOOSE which thoughts to listen to and act on. Sure it’s possible that there was some kind of vindictive nature behind his request. It’s also just as likely that there wasn’t. This is what I call satan’s playground. The enemy would love nothing more than for you to fixate on the first two perceptions. Then he can lead you down the slippery slope that leads to nowhere but constant struggling and emotional torture.
CHOOSING to align our thoughts with Christ does not mean we always have to respond with a “yes” or allow our exes to have what they are asking for. It simply means we do not act on or analyze thoughts from satan. We do not allow the enemy to convince us of our exes intentions. Unless, your ex shares with you their intentions, there is NO WAY we could possibly understand their motives. We shut those thoughts down as soon as we recognize them. We choose to focus only on the thoughts that align with what Christ says about us and calls us to be. The reality of the situation could be a million different things. The only facts we have are the ones that were given in the call and the Word of God.
The facts in this situation are :
-My ex has tickets to a football game.
-He wants to take my daughter.
-Its my weekend, I would need to give up or trade out time with her.
This is actually an example of one of the first interactions that I CHOSE to see my ex and his intentions as Christ called me to do. Mind you- that what Christ called me to believe and carry out, was not at all what I felt like doing. But our feelings can lead us so far from reality that in hindsight, those first two thought processes seem pretty far-fetched.
You may be thinking, “that’s not far-fetched for my ex”, he really does that… And that may be true, he may have crooked intentions. But it is definitely far-fetched from the joy that Christ intended for us to live in. And we can’t live in His victory while fixating on thoughts that are tempted by satan. We have to CHOOSE to hone-in on Christ-like thoughts. Even if you choose to fixate on one of the first two perceptions, you would be fixating on a “possibility” that satan threw into your thoughts as bait. Just because you CHOOSE to fixate on that possibility doesn’t make it true, it just causes you anguish.
In this particular situation, my ex had a friend that won tickets to the football game but he and his family had plans to be out of town that weekend. So his friend thought he might want to take our daughter. Truly, there was no way for John to know that I had planned to take her to a movie that day. But I promise if I wanted to, I could have convinced myself he did know. Instead, for the first time – I CHOSE not to. And the freedom that came with CHOOSING to align my thoughts with the word of God was amazing. I decided to let her go with her dad to the football game, I could take her to the movie anytime.
For the first time, I wasn’t worried that she would have more fun with him than she would with me, I wasn’t worried that he was somehow winning because he got to take her somewhere instead, I wasn’t worried about comparing myself to him or anyone else. For the first-time since my divorce, I had made a decision that wasn’t based on any twisted or construed thoughts. I wasn’t riding my feelings through my decision like a broken roller coaster – through God, I had taken complete control of my thoughts, aligned them with the word, and finally made a decision based only on the facts and what was best for our daughter. And for the first-time, I had made the right decision. There was no guilt or worry tied to that decision.
Wow! That seems like a lot of steps to get to an easy “yes or no”. But rotten thoughts become such a habit that we literally have to re-learn how to think the way God intended for us to think. I had to pray, pray, pray – and I still do!
“Our problems look smaller from our knees”
There is more to every interaction we have than just what we see. There is more to the above interaction than just a football game. See satan intended to use me to further his turmoil and keep distraction and division alive – not to make ME miserable – there’s still more to it than just that! Satan isn’t trying to devour just me, not even just my children – but he is trying to consume generations… He is at work scheming to interrupt the plans God has for our lives. If we don’t walk closely with God and stay in His word, its easy to get mixed up in our thoughts. Its not a battle we win once and have victory over. It’s a battle we must fight daily on earth – but God’s already won the war!