My family stepped out in faith big-time this week. Like, ‘life-changing decision’ kind of stepping out in faith (and I’m sure you’ll hear more about that at some point!). But I hadn’t quite twigged that this put us on the front line. That stepping out in obedience to God is like sticking your tongue out at Satan.
I thank God that I have a godly mother who, when I questioned why I was having one of the worst weeks of this year, calmly said: “Pray about it. It’s probably spiritual.”
It’s probably spiritual.
I forget so often that God’s call wasn’t to an easy life.
Sitting back, pretending everything is alright with the world – yeah, that would be the quickest way to a less stressful life, I suspect. Because if we’re not fighting, why would Satan need to bother us? He can leave us safely cocooned in our nice comfy church life and know we’re nothing to worry about.
But stepping out…well, that’s different.
That was lesson no.1 this week – obedience to God raises opposition.
On to lesson no.2…
I’m so grateful for the example of fighting Christ gave us in the Bible: when we get attacked, fight with the Word. I was reminded during one of my “why am I so low? what’s gone wrong?” sessions of 2 Corinithians 10v.5:
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of.” (KJV)
Or in the Message:
“We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.”
Reminder: I do NOT have to give control to Satan.
I do NOT have to give him control of my emotions.
I do NOT have to give him control of my thoughts.
I do NOT have to give him control of my relationships.
I do NOT have to give him control of my reactions.
This week turned rough. Nothing major, in fact, mainly stupidly little things but it was wearing me down.
Smashing one of my favourite vases, breaking a favourite necklace, tearing six nails, dropping a pile of neatly ordered paperwork, losing my handbag five seconds before leaving for work…I’m not saying they’re all Satan-directed but when I flunked the right reaction, they certainly weren’t giving God glory and they were tearing me down.
Niggles in relationships – doubts, fears, misunderstandings. Nothing big but enough to make me uneasy.
Inability to concentrate on a very important paper due next week.
Distractions every time I had nearly solved a maths question so that I had to go back to the beginning again.
Deadlines and appointments been thrown into this week that I hadn’t planned for.
Minor things but they prick and it was tempting to lash out. One little thing and you can brush it off. But a little thing every minute – even as you’re telling yourself it’s stupid – that starts shredding the peace you’ve been given. The God-given peace you’ve been given. I never had any doubt we made the right step of faith. That issue wasn’t a doubt in my mind at all. It was just everything else that I doubted!
Mum’s comment: is it spiritual? If it was, then praying about it would surely help? But it meant praying and claiming God’s power:
“I know I’m in the right place in this relationship, Lord. I know You called and led me into this. Therefore I will not allow Satan to tear it from my grasp. I’m casting down these doubts – they’re not from You, I know that. This confusion and worry is not Your plan, therefore – I’m letting it go. I don’t have to live under condemnation – I’m Yours. You’ve said in Your word that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. I’m in Christ – I’m standing under His grace and I’m going to live today under that grace.”
It’s not a magic spell.
It does not mean every niggle has been sorted or that when I let my guard down, I’m not bombarded with the doubts. It means I know what to do with those doubts when they come.
Lesson no.2 this week – God gave me the power, through Christ, His Spirit and the Word, to fight back. I’m not a sitting duck.
I’m sure there will be more lessons. I’m sure there will be more practicals on these lessons. But we’re God’s. No matter how messed up we get, how messed up our lives get – we’re His.
I’m clinging to that unashamedly. I can’t fight this on my own. I tried. I sunk. But fortunately, I don’t have to fight it on my own. He gave me Himself. He gave me more than enough. I’ll think on that – not the doubts. I’ll remember His goodness this week – the huge walls He’s broken down in the past fortnight or so – and I’ll remember He promised to never leave or forsake me.