Jen’s Gem: Protect your territory!
A couple of years ago, we welcomed two new additions into the fold. They were named King and Queen. They had to live separately or they’d kill each other because apparently that’s what betta fish do. They are extremely territorial and woe to anyone who crosses their path.
Since my daughter is away at college, the task of feeding them has fallen on me. Shocker! Every day at noon, my phone dings reminding me to drop a few tiny pellets into their respective tanks. Neither flocks to the top to grab their tasty treats and my hunch is they are growing bored of eating the same thing every day.
I typically find one of the fishes lying at the bottom of the tank which prompts me to tap on the side relentlessly until it moves. When it does, I breathe a sigh of relief. No phone call to college today!
I’ve no idea why this fish continues to “play dead.” Perhaps it gets some satisfaction out of raising my blood pressure each day. Maybe he’s bored. Perhaps he’s a night owl and does all of his swimming in the wee hours. Whatever the reason, the behavior seems to be the antithesis of what his species is known for – fighting.
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them dominion over all the earth. The word “dominion” comes from the Latin word “dominus,” which means ‘lord, master’. So this dynamic duo ruled the Garden of Eden and had the authority from God to fight for their right to be there. Sadly, they caved under the pressure and well, they got booted out of paradise.
Now living as commoners without a one-on-one relationship with God, they had to face everyday challenges a bit differently. God no longer stopped by in the “cool of the day” to chat with them. There were no more “How was your day, Dear” conversations since Adam and Eve chose to hand over their authority to the enemy, Satan.
The couple should’ve taken a lesson from my buddies, the betta fish, and fought to the death for their territory. Instead they chose to ‘play dead,’ forgetting about the authority God had given them. They forgot who they were and why they were created.
It took over 2000 years for people to begin to remember. In order to jog people’s memories, God had to send His only Son to pay a huge price so that we’d stop playing dead and stand up to protect our territory. Yet we still forget at times. I know I do.
Feelings of inadequacy, frustration, and overwhelm will do their best to create amnesia in me about who I am in God’s eyes. Social media feeds and news programs will try to instill fear in me. Every day, I have to remember to fight back, to use the weapons that God has given me to regain my status.
Just like my tapping on the tank awakens Mr. Betta Fish, I have to tap on my own tank to ‘snap out of it.’ How do I do this? Simple. I declare the promises of God. I use my mouth to speak and take back my territory. I remind myself that the negative stuff I see or feel is not from God, it’s from the same enemy who tricked Adam and Eve into giving up their birthright.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
As a mother, I’m pretty protective of my kids. They will say I’m overprotective, but that’s ok. They have no idea of the struggles I went through to conceive them and there’s no way I’m going to “play dead” and watch them make poor decisions and get kicked out of their garden that God created just for them.
I speak life over them. I declare the promises of God over them. I send them Scriptures to say for themselves. I call upon my prayer warriors at church to agree with me in prayer when big challenges come our way.
How do you fight back? What are your weapons? How are you facing the challenges of this cray cray world? Are you rolling over and playing dead? Or, like me, are you ready to fight for your right to be here and live victoriously? I pray it’s the latter.
The Pastor of my church handed out confession cards last week. Bold statements taken from Scripture that are meant to be spoken aloud every day – every minute if needed – to help us fight back. I have them on my refrigerator. They serve as that “tap on the tank” that wakes me up out of my sleep and gives me the strength to reclaim my territory.
If you’re ready to fight, email me. I’ll send you a copy of these confessions. I guarantee you that no matter what comes your way, the enemy will never find you playing dead.