As a young boy, I often would bring out my black cloth bag filled with a whole platoon of little plastic green Army Men, and they would have some of the most epic wars against the plastic tan Army Men. The entire army was there, the machine gun army man, the bazooka army man, and even the flame thrower army man. There was one army man, though, I had no interest in and saw no point for at the time. It was Private Hoover; he was the minesweeper army man. Now that I am much older, I see the extreme value in the minesweeper, he is the one that had the mine detector, and his job was to find all the hidden and unknown land mines that could potentially blow up the rest of the army. In retrospect, he was a vital part of the plastic military.
Life is war, and we are most certainly in a spiritual battle against forces of evil and darkness desiring to destroy, derail and at minimum distract men from their destiny of becoming men of God. The enemy of our soul has strategically laid “landmines” on the paths of our lives and is watching and waiting for us to step on them and blow up our lives. Some of these landmines are labeled lust, pride, power, and yet some are buried more deeply and are labeled anxiety, anger, and depression.
The Bible prompts us to be on our guard and stay awake because the enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion sneaking around to find someone to destroy. If we are not alert, we can at any given moment, step on one of these landmines, if not several, and blow up our lives. The Bible tells us to guard our hearts above all else, for the heart determines the direction of our life. We must be alert and watchful of Satan's schemes so that he may not gain an advantage over us: for we are to be aware of his devices. Some of the devices of the enemy can be hidden traps or triggers.
As a Cognitive Behavioral Coach, I work with clients on becoming aware of and knowing their “triggers,” which can be just about any person, place, or thing that can set you off to think irrational thoughts that ultimately lead to irrational and sinful behaviors. Just as important as it is to be on guard, we must also allow God to reveal those triggers that lead to sin and destruction. We perhaps should pray such a prayer as King David did when he said "Search me, O God, know my heart; and show me if there are any wicked ways within me." So you see that being on guard is so much more than merely knowing where to step and not to step; it is searching deep within and allowing God to expose any trigger that could lead to our downfall. So perhaps good ol’ Private Hoover had his purpose after all in the army of the little green plastic army men. I implore you to be transparent and open to the Holy Spirit to search your life for any landmines laid out to destroy your destiny. Most of all, remember to be on guard and alert, for we are in a war!
1: What are some landmines you are trying to avoid?
2: What or who are some possible triggers for you?
3: What is the one pattern you want to change?