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.