The most special time of my day is the time I spend every morning in my study. It is there I spend time in prayer, Bible reading, and meditation. Each night before I go to bed I spend time thinking about the next morning and how God will minister to my heart in that place. Yet something strange happens every morning as soon as my alarm goes off… I begin to struggle! It’s a struggle to get out of the bed. It’s a struggle to keep my eyes open as I walk up the stairs to my study. It’s a struggle to keep my mind focused as I read the Scriptures. It’s a struggle to keep my spirit focused as I try to pray. It seems that every moment in my study I am fighting, wrestling, and struggling. What am I struggling with? Every time I go into my study it seems that Satan goes with me. He is there to steal, kill, and destroy those precious moments I spend with my Savior as I try to draw strength from the word of God and prayer. This may be something that other pastors and ministers don’t struggle with, but as the struggle is real within me.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of the time spent with the Master in the study. It is there I draw strength for the day ahead. It is there I feed my soul on the milk and meat of the word of God. It is there God ministers to my soul that I might minister his word to his people. So when Satan is in the study overwhelming me, it’s fair to say that trouble is on the horizon
These are some helpful tools I have found to help me to overcome Satan in the study:
1. Don’t give in
This is what the devil wants. If he can get you to shut your Bible and go about your day without seeking the Lord’s face and drawing strength from the presence of God then he has won. We are feeble creatures in need of the Holy Spirit’s touch. We need the Holy Spirit to guide every thought, every desire, and every plan. Yet if Satan can take us out of the study and about our day in our own power then our defeat is certain but, if we stay in the study then the breakthrough could come if will only be faithful. Remember the one and only requirement that God requires of his stewards is they be found faithful.
2. Eliminate as many distractions as possible
I know many people find it helpful to take computers, iPads and iPhones into the study to use to read their Bible on, but for me I have found these things to be more of a distraction than a help. I find that when I’m reading my Bible on these devices, the emails pop up, messages alert me, or at that moment Satan brings to my mind something I didn’t accomplish the day before and he chooses that very moment to remind me. But when I go into my study in that quiet place where there is little noise and all I have in front of me is a physical copy of the word of God I am able to focus on that without being distracted by all of the technology that so easily distracts me
3. Pray for grace
Do you think it’s any surprise to God that we are easily distracted? Surely our all-knowing God knows how easily dissuaded we are in that private time. He knows exactly how the enemy attempts to destroy us. It’s not a surprise to God when Satan goes into the study with us, therefore God gave us one up to trump the Devil… He’s called the Holy Spirit. Abiding within us is the third person of the Trinity. The omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omni-benevolent Holy Spirit. He is our comforter. He is our guide. He is our teacher. He is our strength-giver. Do you think it bothers God before you start in the study you stop and pray saying, “Lord you know how weak I am and you know how easily distracted I am and I need your help to stay focused on you and to concentrate on what you desire to speak to me today.” This is what it means to walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. It means to concentrate and rely on the Holy Spirit of God.
It is true that our enemy Satan is more powerful than we are. We are no match for him. But we must remember that he is no match for our God. The truth of first John still remains, “Greater is he that is in me then he that is in the world!”