Hello, how are you, g’day and welcome to you! This post is part of a series I’m working my way through in the month of October, called Swim Your Own Race. If you’d like to start at the beginning (it is a very good place to start, after all) you can do so, right here. You can also find a link to all the posts in this series on the Day One. I hope you enjoy diving in!


If there’s one thing that’s not a super popular discussion-starter, it’s the part where we talk about the enemy of our souls. The fact that we have an enemy that doesn’t want us to succeed is just not a happy thought. The truth is, however, we do have an enemy, as Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians “for we are not ignorant of his devices.” {2 Cor. 2:11b}

But the tough thing is we are (at least a little bit) ignorant of his devices. We forget that Satan “prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” We forget the calling to “resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” {1 Peter 5:8}

So in case no one ever has before, let me pull back the curtain on a couple of areas where some of us might be ignorant of his devices. Because the truth is, he sees you, he knows you’re running this race, and it’s not a stretch to think that his leagues of minions are involved in doing the work of defeating you, so that your race is not the gloriously incredible story God created it to be.



The greatest lie the enemy of our souls will ever put forth is to believe that he doesn’t exist, or perhaps just that if he does, that his existence has no bearing on our lives whatsoever. If we believe that, we are deceived. If we believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, then we cannot simultaneously believe that 1) we don’t actually have an enemy or 2) his movements have no bearing on our lives.

Deception can come in many forms. We might be deceived into believing our husband or wife no longer loves or cares for us, when they actually love us just as much today as they did yesterday. We might be deceived into believing that something we’re working toward is too hard for us, and we’re meeting too much resistance, so we’re not supposed to do it. Some wonderful thoughts are whispers that come from the voice of God, some of our thoughts are our own, but some, unfortunately, are whispers from the enemy. If you can be deceived, you can perhaps be sidetracked from swimming your race.


Similarly, the enemy of our souls loves to discourage us. One example — that we’re trying to do something we’re not capable of doing. I sensed the Lord directing me to write for 31 Days again this year. As the month has progressed, I’ve sensed the enemy of my soul just whispering — you can’t finish or you shouldn’t keep going. Or other similarly discouraging things.

Satan loves to fool us into thinking we’re disqualified when we’re not. We spoke earlier this month about disqualification, and the truth that we are all now qualified because Jesus swam the race that qualified us all to become the children of God, rightly-related to Him by way of the forgiveness paid for with the cross. But we are often discouraged or deceived, to think that we haven’t done enough, haven’t earned it yet, or we’re just not good enough to be eligible for that forgiveness and reconciliation. We believe we’re disqualified, when in truth, the very fact that we’re sinners is what qualifies us!


Oh how the enemy of our souls loves division! God desires His body to have many parts, but be one whole. He wants us to show the world that we are Christians by our love for one another. But we fall so short, and sometimes that’s because there’s a wolf in the sheepfold. Perhaps Satan whispers that we deserve some placement or position we feel we’re not getting in our church. Perhaps, like Paul discussed with the Corinthians, we are offended by something and choose to hold onto unforgiveness. Instead of letting it go and forgiving, we allow the enemy a foothold to our very souls where all sorts of bitterness, anger and resentment can begin to grow and bear fruit.

We think that division comes over significant issues of the faith, but often it comes because we are human and simply couldn’t learn to forgive, to find compromise and learn to get along. We want to be preferred and we feel entitled to — I’ll just stop dancing around the most important word for all this — we’re prideful. We are so prideful.

And from the beginning, pride was the tool the enemy used to pull the children of God away from right relationship with God.

Remember what the serpent said to Eve? {See Genesis 3 for the whole story.}

“Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree in the garden’?”

And she said, “We can eat the fruit of the trees in the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'”

And pay close attention to the serpent’s response... Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good from evil.”

When Satan fell, why did he fall? Pride. He wanted to be like God.

When Adam & Eve fell, why did they fall? Pride. They wanted to be like God. They didn’t believe that God knew what was best for them. They were deceived into believing that God was withholding something good from them. They thought they knew better, so they ate the fruit, and found out how deceived they really were.

Friends, I think this discussion will continue tomorrow, but here’s what I want to conclude with for now. Please know that the enemy of your souls is prowling about. He wants to deceive you in so many ways. He wants you to believe you are somehow not good enough to swim an amazing race for the glory of God. He wants you to be deceived about the goodness and the trustworthiness of God, and instead to believe that God is withholding good things from you.

Your greatest weapon in this battle is the same weapon Jesus used in His confrontation with the enemy in the wilderness: the Word of God. Before those whispers come, and come they do, dig deep into the Word of God, store it up in your heart, and make sure the truth of God is telling you how to swim your race. If the enemy has anything to say about it, he’ll have you swimming in the wrong lane, headed in the wrong direction, but God has a plan for your race. He has a vision for your story, to be a part of His story, and it is the greatest story that has ever or will ever be told.

So swim your race today friends, not ignorant, but mindful that there’s an enemy interested in sidetracking you today and every day. Remember that the God who takes residence in your heart by way of the Holy Spirit is greater than our enemy in the world. Victory is yours because of Him!