Last week on vacation, I bought this sign. The obvious reason I bought it? It’s hilarious. But I also found some great wisdom in its words: “Not Today Satan!”
The devil takes all kinds of forms. One sinister form is the negative voices in our heads. The great psychotherapist Carl Jung called these our shadow selves — our weak spots. A voice that says things like you’re not good enough, you’re not important, you’re not loveable. A voice that urges us to be right all the time, to be in control all the time, to think only of ourselves. A voice that steals our grounding, encourages us to make bad decisions or act in destructive ways.
To fight Satan and his corrosive words, I devised a short, sure-fire, three-point plan. It’s quick, easy and it’s simple to remember because the first letters of each step spell P-O-W.
Step #1: P PIVOT – Pivot out of his line of fire
It’s a simple concept. In life, if you see you’re about to get hit, you duck. It’s the same with negative voices. We know our weak spots. The things that drive us crazy, that wear us down. When we see them coming – pivot!
If it’s a person – then pivot and walk away.
If it’s the daily headlines, then pivot and take a news break.
If it’s the crazy people on Facebook… then pivot and get off line!
STEP #2: O – Occupy the light
We get so caught up in the dark shadow of negative messages that sometimes we forget what it feels like to walk in the light. Once we pivot out of that shadow, we have to restore ourselves with positive healing. We must occupy the light. It’s like the book of Philippians teaches: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
When we pivot out of the line of fire, and then occupy the light, the devil has no chance. And that’s where step three come in.
Step #3: W – Whack the devil upside the head
I am reminded of two things here. First, Jesus’ words in the book of Matthew: “Get behind me, Satan!” And second, a quote I recently saw on Pinterest:
“You’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.”
Today I whispered in the devil’s ear,
“I am the storm.”
We can’t afford to let our weak spots weaken us. We can’t afford to burn energy on infighting, and corrosive behavior. There is work to be done. There is life to be lived. So when the shadows come . . . and they will . . . we pivot, stand in the light, and proclaim, “Not Today Satan!”
For the full sermon, check out the YouTube video here!