God loves to give us new beginnings, and the day we are born again is the greatest new beginning of all. But truth be told, new beginnings are a part of life and come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re like most, you probably embraced a new beginning on January 1st. It’s a fresh start… a chance to start over in an area of your life that needs it. Unfortunately, the enemy hates our new beginnings. Chances are good that if God gives you a fresh start, the enemy will try to steal it away as quickly as possible. Here are three ways he will try to steal your new beginning and what you can do to combat his tactics.
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Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
The enemy will try to deceive you into believing no real change has occurred.
Perhaps the first thing the enemy will do to steal your new beginning is to deceive you into thinking it never happened. “You didn’t really change.” “You’re still the same person you always were.” “What makes you think anything is different now?” These are the lies the enemy will use to convince you that nothing is different. And if you believe that nothing has changed, it’s easy to deny your own new beginning and go back to the way you once were.
The enemy will remind you of your past failures.
If he can’t convince you that your new beginning isn’t real, he will come at you with the next best thing… your past. Shame and guilt have always had a way of robbing us of our fresh starts. When we are constantly dwelling on what we used to be, it’s hard to embrace and become who God is transforming us to be in Him.
“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:18-19
The enemy will use small failures to make you feel like you should give up.
If all else fails, the enemy will watch and wait for YOU to fail. Think about it this way… If you decide to start watching your sugar intake and you have a major slip up with your new diet, how easy is it for you to mess up again? Chances are pretty good that the one mistake will lead to another… and another… You begin to justify your slip ups until eventually you’re completely off the wagon.
Now, I know we’re not talking about dieting here, but the process is very similar. The enemy will use our slip ups to make us feel like we should just give up entirely. If he can make us FEEL like we aren’t growing in Christ, we will find ourselves NOT growing in Christ.
Even when the enemy tries to steal your new beginning, continue to walk in it and stand firm against his schemes.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.