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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh ye of little faith...

Sometimes trusting that God will be faithful is the hardest part of the day. Having faith that his grace is and will continue to be sufficient. He has proven himself to millions over the centuries, including myself, and still doubt finds its way into my heart like a poison, threatening to take over and destroy me. I have several friends who don't like to talk about Satan. Saying things like, "Now I don't like using the term satan, but..." when the topic can not be avoided. This is an odd concept to me as I was raised to be aware of his presence in our world. To be aware and on guard was necessary for me as a child as I experienced many spiritual attacks growing up. When I moved back to America I realized many people were uncomfortable talking about Satan or spiritual warfare. If I brought it up it was as though I was either talking about dungeons and dragons or the ouija board. From what I can gather, people don't want to give credit to Satan. Maybe it's the independent, self-powered American attitude, or maybe it's that our six-year-olds dress up as him for Halloween. I don't know. I'm not going to lie, I often find myself believing I am safer from Satan's attacks here in the States than when I lived in China. Perhaps it is less obvious, or perhaps I am just less aware, but the fact that I may be experiencing spiritual warfare is often one of the last things on my mind.

Today it hit me. I recently had a break through in my walk with God. Not a everyday-is-sunshine-and-everything-smells-of-roses kind of break through, but a new and unique awakening to his magnificent presence in my daily life. Not long after, I've found myself continuously hounded with discouragement. Whether physical, mental, emotional, or relational, I feel it tearing at my spiritual. It's probably not anymore than usual, but I feel each hit hard, beating me over the head. Bringing up fears, insecurities, and doubts I forgot existed or thought I had overcome. My purse, which contained only my personal and cherished Bible and a book of teachings I was about to start reading, mysteriously disappeared. Seriously, not a trace. Now, I have been known to forget my own birthday, but when it comes to where I put something, I can usually retrace my steps fairly accurately and find it. As far as my purse goes, I don't even have a recollection of steps to retrace. Whether Satan hid my purse, or I am just forgetful, it's discouraging no less. Each day I find myself faced with only two options. Run to God, or run away. My first thought is, run to God of course. But my first instinct is, run away!

It's been awhile since I've found myself physically numb with fear, only able to pray the word Jesus! over and over, knowing that Satan could scare me, but he could not touch me. I now find myself experiencing a different kind of numbing fear. Reading God's word is a struggle, and praying even harder. So I call Jesus! over and over, knowing Satan can scare, belittle, and tease me, but he can not touch me. Really it's not so easy, this call to have faith that God's grace is sufficient.


Caitlin said...

Faith, thank you for these words. Faith is one of my weaknesses, I know God will be faithful, but I find myself coming up with plan Bs and Cs and Ds just in case He doesn't come through--even though I never use them. I have also been going through similar things--trying to read my Bible every morning and write prayers to God. It's been great, but you're right, there feels to be some sort of oppression threatening my joy and contentedness at all angles.
Interestingly enough, I really wasn't aware of spiritual warfare until I came to Montreat. I knew it was there, and I remember as a child being scared and getting my Bible, clutching it close, and repeating "In the name of Jesus, go away!" to Satan. But I never realized the reality of his ability to mess with people, especially people on fire for God.
But, as you are, I'm trying to stand firm and strong in the knowledge that Satan cannot harm me, for I am washed in the blood of the lamb, and that scares Satan more than anything he can plant in my own mind.
To God be the glory, forever and ever.
Praying for you. :)


Sam said...

I'm so encouraged by this entry and Caitlin's comment afterwards. Faith and Caitlin, its odd how I feel like these blogs of ours are connecting us in a beautiful way--they are tools of wisdom, blessing, admonishment, and great reminders.

Today, this first day of a new month, I woke with a new sense of God's provision and faithfulness. Everything around me seems to have a different shade and hue. Its good to be reminded that in times such as these...when the sun is breaking thru in winter (both actually and metaphorically) that the enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. because if he can attack our faith, a battle is lost. The outcome of the war, we know, is victory in the Name of Jesus. but the here and now, the present is so important. Friends and sisters, I lift you both up today in prayer. May The Lord hold your heads above the water. may He guide you to find that which has been lost (or hidden). May He fill you with hope and life renewed in the Son.

Vanessa Washburn said...

I never really acknowledged satan growing up in the episcopal church. It wasn't until I was teaching that I really understood the fear he could evoke and the impact he has on our lives, whether we choose to acknowledge him or not. I had a little girl in my class, 6 years old, her worst fear- the devil. Her mom taught her that whenever she felt attacked she could say "get away from my satan I'm a child of God", a mantra she used often. I think this little girl helped me understand that faith is a powerful tool. She also helped me to start looking in my own life and see where maybe it was satan's hand at work, that helped me overcome obstacles, because I knew that Jesus has already crushed his head.