Can you imagine a house without windows? Sunshine would never have a chance to dance through your curtains in the morning and kiss you hello. Gentle breezes would never be able to deliver fresh air. And without a way to look outside, how would you ever know if someone was trying to get in?
Every house needs a way to look outside. Windows give us access to what is going on around us. Windows allow us to see beyond our perimeter. If we’re under attack or blindsided by circumstances on a continual basis, it may be because we’ve never looked out the window.
For example, how many times have you ever lamented one of these statements?
- I didn’t see that coming!
- We have the same fight almost every week.
- I keep attracting the same type of men over and over again. Men who take advantage of me. What’s wrong with me?
- I’ve forgiven him so many times, but he never changes.
- I keep repeating the same mistakes over and over. What am I doing wrong?
Here’s the deal. If you can’t see where the enemy is gaining access to your emotions, he’ll keep coming back in the same way. He won’t stop until his plot no longer works. You’ve got to be smarter than he is. Like an investigative reporter, you’ve got to learn what to look for.
The devil has a plan of attack. He has strategized schemes. What works for your friend may not work for you. The way he invades her fortress may be different than the scheme he’s created to vandalize your abode. That’s because we all have unique vulnerabilities based on our personalities, maturity, and life experiences.
Military strategists create detailed plans to infiltrate their enemy’s property. Bank robbers study blueprints to find out where the bank is vulnerable. Football coaches watch video upon video. Frame by frame in slow motion, they study the other team’s plays as well as the weaknesses of their players in order to develop a game plan to outmaneuver or overpower their opponent.
And guess what? You’re no different. Somebody’s watching you. If you don’t know where you are emotionally vulnerable, how will you be able to install reinforcements to protect yourself? How will you guard your emotions? How will you be able to look out?
The enemy loves it when we have no clue how he keeps invading the castle of our emotions. He likes naïve princesses with unguarded castles. He revels when we have no windows to see how he keeps getting in. He wins when we’re blind to his ways.
Without vision, the Bible says we perish (Proverbs 29:18). Without windows, we leave our castles unguarded and susceptible to invasion. When we take the time to figure out the enemy’s plot and protect our weaknesses, however, we can install security in place to defend our emotions from further attacks.
CREATING A LOOKOUT PLAN
I’m not a fan of focusing on the past. Lot’s wife taught me that lesson. She glanced behind her at Sodom even though the angel warned her, “Do not look back!” She loved her lifestyle and didn’t want to leave. Her heart longed for her past. We all know how that worked out.
But there are times when it’s important to look back. And one of those times is when we need to study the strategy of the enemy so we can guard our future. In other words, we don’t look back to go back, we look back to look out.
I’m a Law and Order junkie. When Detectives Stabler and Benson are trying to nail a suspect, they may do a stakeout or launch a surveillance plan. They’ll observe the subject in order to figure out his agenda. Their motive is simple: to arrest the suspect and stop him from committing any more crimes.
I also love the drama of Chicago Fire. When investigators look at fire remains, they study the destruction to determine how the fire started. Whether it was due to arson, faulty wiring, an appliance malfunction, or an explosion, they try to figure out ways to prevent another fire from happening in the future. Studying the evidence helps them prevent future destruction and know what not to do next time.
That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to be detectives and investigators. We’re going to launch a surveillance plan to stop the enemy from committing any more crimes against us. We’ll also study the evidence of our past emotional fires so we can prevent them from happening again.
Our investigative tools are windows. Windows give us an access point, a way to survey the enemy’s plans in order to shut him down. Studying the evidence will help us prevent future demolition!
That’s exactly what we do in Let Go & Thrive, my 8 week online coaching group created to help you leave the past behind and find emotional freedom in relationships. Find out when the next group starts here. The group is a companion study to Free Looks Good on You: Healing the Soul Wounds of Toxic Love, available on Amazon in print, eBook and audio versions.
This post is adapted from chapter 7, Looking Back to Look Out.