Our Enemy Prowls

This past week has been a rollercoaster for me. Our enemy prowls like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. I’m afraid I have felt the pressure. The spring holy day season is nearly upon us. We have only a month before Passover. The enemy always seems to step things up a notch before holy day seasons. So let me confide in you, my friends.

Struggles: I am not strong enough to give you details, but I will tell you that I have a new struggle that I’ve never had to deal with before. (Please, try not to let your imaginations run away with you. It’s not good, but what sin is?) Typically, I struggle with only my mind. This time, it’s a habit that I keep walking into. Knowing all sin starts in the mind, I’m battling with my thoughts yet again. It has been a few weeks of war and battles. Some days I win, some days I lose. Then Yahweh provided me with a very useful tool – an audio book from the library. Joyce Meyer talks about how to handle temptation. A lot of what I’ve heard so far isn’t really revolutionary, but to hear them put in this way, at this time, is huge. She’s talking about how we need to recognize where we are tempted. She mentions that we are tempted with impatience, with overeating, with being lazy, with sexual desires, and the list continues. She proposes that we pray before temptation and also pray that God reveals to us where we are deceived. We typically know when we’re going to walk into a tempting situation. We’re going to a large dinner and know we will be tempted to overeat, for example. One other thing that she talks about is the phrase “entering into temptation”. We are to pray that we enter not into temptation, not that we will never be tempted. Am I the only one who finds this revelation mind-blowing? Looking at it in this way seems to imply that unless we act on those temptations, we haven’t entered temptation. Whoa.

Work: I have been feeling lost. My jobs are incredible. I adore and treasure them. The truth is, there’s no real room for growth there. Plus, what about Jehovah wanting me in Michigan? Has that time past? I don’t believe so. I want to be so much more involved with the church. Yet, I don’t see how that’s possible. Even if I make it back to Michigan, I’ll have to work more to make ends meet. I have the time while I’m here and not there. What is it God is accomplishing? I can’t tell. I’m utterly lost and confused. I only want to know His truth.

Exercise: I have been doing Insanity for almost a month. Three times before, I have tried to finish the program. Each time, I’ve gotten the flu about a month or a month and a week into it. I’m getting paranoid about where I’m at, but I’m rejoicing in the strength I feel flowing through my veins. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Relationship: Struggles put strain on any relationship. Unfortunately, mine is no different. I have been striving so hard for growth that I don’t seem to know how to encourage another person in it. This life is hard. These struggles are real.

How are all of you doing?

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If Only

How many times have you told yourself, “If only …” For me, it seems to come out as, “If only I knew what God wanted me to do!” While reading about Gideon, I realized that even when it was made crystal clear what God wanted, Gideon struggled to do it. He was afraid. He reminds me of myself. What if I confidently tried to do what I believe God’s calling me to do? If I’m wrong and must change my course, what if I did so boldly? What if I stopped trying to be like someone else? What if I was simply myself?

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Wreckage

My last post, I talked about being cut down and budding again. Well, my friends, I do believe that just happened to me. My sister and I planned a trip to North Carolina for this weekend. We’d be gone about a week. 2am Thursday, I totaled my car half way through our journey. This has humbled me and I can only praise God. He saved my sister and I – completely unharmed. It could’ve been so much worse. Thankfully we weren’t too far from friends in Ohio (where we crashed) and our dad drove to come get us from their house as soon as he found out. All I can say is that God is gracious and merciful! Yes, there is much that’s gone wrong. Yes, I’m still emotional about it. But you know the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. He let me and my sister live. Not only that but He didn’t allow us to be hurt. Not even a bruise.
May God be praised! May you all enjoy this Sabbath day.

You Can Do This!

While reading in the book of Joshua today, I was encouraged. God fought for Israel. He fights for us now too. He made their enemies flee from them. While the enemy ran, God threw down large stones from heaven. “There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword.” Think about this, for every enemy/sin we strike down, God will have struck down more. Remember, Israel still had to fight. They still killed with the sword. God will not leave you without responsibility. All the same, with God, nothing is impossible. You can win. You can do this!

Words I Hear

The book of Joshua has always been a comfort to me. It has always held strength, courage, and encouragement to act boldly. For those of us who are weak, uncertain, and quaking in our boots, this is what we need. 
Time and again we hear about Joshua’s battles; how he would talk to God and boldly obey with the Israelites. They would fight for what was to be theirs. 
Our lives are the same. We too must fight a spiritual battle. We’re told it is not with flesh and blood that we struggle. It is with powers, world forces of this darkness, and spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places. We’re also told, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” To me, that means we must battle certain thoughts; we must take every thought captive. 
Knowing this, when I struggle, I hear God’s words. “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.” In my case, it’s usually not a man, but a thought that shall not stand. Not one negative thought shall stand before you. Not one lying word shall stand. Not one doubt will be left. 
Do you hear these words too?