Recently it occurred to me that I hardly wear the color red anymore. Not that red is bad, or unseemly, or representative of something sinister – it had just lost its appeal.
Back in my bar days in the 90’s, I was a billboard for anything bold and eye catching – the redder the better. Fitted crimson blazers, V-neck t-shirts in scarlet, and cherry-red mini dresses.
It was not just a coincidence that my years of binge drinking were interwoven with reds and blacks. The murky hues were representative of a time in my life where I sought the dark and clamored to snuff out the light. Dark barrooms, smoky clubs, and heavy drapes drawn to keep out the sun were my reality. The enemy smiled as my distance from God led me closer to the things of this world.
C.S. Lewis once said this in his famed Christian apologetic novel The Screwtape Letters:
“The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
The Christian needs to walk a precarious tight rope between giving the devil too much attention and ignoring him completely. The enemy of our souls would love for people to believe he does not exist, that he really is just a guy in a red suit with horns or a tipsy lady dressed up on Halloween. He would be overjoyed if you went about life believing the adversary was something “only really bad people” needed to worry about.
The Bible tells us otherwise. In 1 Peter 5:8, we are told,
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Being alert means vigilance and awareness of surroundings and circumstances. This is your secret weapon – along with calling upon the name of Jesus to protect you from the enemy, to make you aware of his fiery darts, and to offer wisdom and discernment for effective fighting here on earth in the devil’s playground.
Your mind is a fertile battleground for the devil, and he’ll often attack this terrain first by implanting thoughts, wonderings, conclusions, and interpretations designed to move you away from Jesus and His ultimate plan for your life. He will parade the worst moments of your past through your consciousness on a regular basis, remind you of how you’ve failed, and do his best to convince you that your best days are long gone. Jesus wants your sins forgotten because he paid the price for you completely and in full. The devil will do his best to make you question that salvation could possibly be so easy.
Thank God the Kingdom of Heaven is NOW! We have ready access to Jesus 24/7, as long as we can remember to call on Him for help and have faith in His ability to rescue us from each of the devil’s landmines.
While guarding our thoughts, we need to protect our feelings as well. The devil often uses the triple D’s of doubt, discouragement, and defeat in an attempt to convince us we are flawed, unworthy and hopeless. When we are alert and vigilant, we are better aware of the enemy’s tricks and can quickly hold up the shield of faith against them.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.” Ephesians 6:12
It really is as simple of shifting your focus from what the devil has used to snag you – to the presence of the Lord and His promises.
Wearing red is not the problem but losing sight of the enemy of your soul is a real cause for concern. The old saying goes, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
Don’t forget WHOSE you are and do you best to honor Him in all that you do. It is the condition of your heart that matters, not the color of your wardrobe. Back in my red days, I had a sinful heart and selfish mind. Now I do my best to live like Jesus – whether it is with a bouquet or red roses or a handful of dandelions.
“Whatever you do, work at it with your whole heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23