Your strength is under attack.
For some of us this might be old news and for some it might sound like a joke but every day of your life you will encounter something that has the potential to diminish your strength. Some of these encounters may be personal and some may not be but I categorize all such experiences as “attacks.” It’s essential that we stay aware of the fact of attack. If we are oblivious, in denial, or just too prideful to show any concern then we are easy prey.
Attacks on our strength can come in all shapes and sizes. Every time someone speaks about you in a way that tears you down that is an attack. Every time your inner voice tears you down that is an attack. When you’re tempted by porn or the innocent-seeming magazine covers in the checkout line you’re under attack. When someone tries to convince you that what you know is wrong is right that is an attack. One of the most common sources of attack is media. Everything from TV shows to music to movies–even commercials–are constantly sending messages which, if believed, leave you a weaker man for it.
There are four kinds of attack:
- Impersonal Attack–when something circumstantial has the potential of weakening you. For example, you’re rock climbing, a rock you grab breaks off and you take a serious fall and injure yourself. This creates the opportunity for fear to take a hold of you preventing you from enjoying the sport in the future.
- Attack from Within–when your own fears or beliefs weaken you. These are lies you tell yourself.
- Personal Attack–when someone else tries to bring you down. Maybe you’re dad tells you you’re not good enough, maybe someone sees you fail and derides you for it.
- Spiritual Attack–when Satan, you’re spiritual adversary, attacks you. Don’t be mistaken, you have a spiritual enemy. A lie from the enemy might feel like it’s just your own thoughts but if you pay attention and ask “Whose voice is this?” you’ll be able to discern the source and pray accordingly.
Attacks are infinite in variety but they all have a similar effect when they succeed. You’re left weaker. Once you have succumbed to an attack on your strength you are more likely to do so again when the same attack comes. It’s just as if a robber had kicked your front door in. Now that the lock and door frame are busted he’ll have an even easier go of breaking in next time.
Realizing that your strength is almost constantly under attack is thet first step. Nothing could make you more susceptible to an attack than being ignorant that such a thing is even possible. We all live in a world at war and many of us have no idea what’s happening. It’s as if you were in your house and bullets started flying through your window. If you were totally ignorant that you were under attack you’d just sit there watching TV, not protecting or defending yourself. That’s exactly how absurd ignoring the fact of attack is.
The surprising thing is that once we accept the reality that we are under attack we don’t become paranoid or freaked out all the time–we become more confident. The element of surprise or vague unease is removed from the equation. The hits we take in life are removed from the chaos of meaningless suffering and put into a context that makes sense and enables you to respond. The confidence of awareness is far better than the bliss of ignorance and will keep you from going the way of the dodo.