So humble yourself under the mighty power of God and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.
1 Peter 6-9
June 14, 2018
My time with Jesus, this morning, has started out slow! I’m at my desk and feeling quite preoccupied due to anxiety, fear and doubt. I decided that I’d have a bit more peace if I were in my bed. I take with me my Bible and journal. Maybe this would give me the permission I need to submit to God’s plan for the day instead of focusing on my assigned volunteer work, posting a glorifying but yet revealing blog post for Jesus and His Kingdom or even grabbing my phone and opening myself up to the world with my vulnerabilities and weaknesses. My intention is to get intimate with God for direction and guidance, and I can’t seem to do it with the clutter all around me!
As I find a comfortable spot on my bed, the attacks of the enemy, who has been at me all week, are fierce and non-stop:
“Who do you think you are in Christ?”
“Why this sudden priority on discernment and obedience?”
“Do you really think you are hearing the Holy Spirit?”
“I think it’s what you want to hear, and it gives you great pleasure to think you are this close to God.”
“You may be developing split personalities!”
“Your mental state is slowly deteriorating.”
“What do you think your friends and family are saying about you?”
“What is in your future?”
“God doesn’t have big plans for you. There isn’t anything glorious on the other side. You are making all of this up because you are a lonely and sad individual.”
I cry out to God for help. I need a Word from Him. I cannot go through this day without Him. He brings to my mind the victorious breakthrough that I had on Monday morning (June 11, 2018)!
I conquered a huge fear by praying over a friend. I heard the Holy Spirit that morning and even though my first thought was to rationalize it all away, I obeyed!
As I sit here, I meditate on a Word that was given to me during a recent quiet time:
When we make a decision to listen and obey God, there is glory in the event. In doing this, we surge ahead in our spiritual growth, and we advance the Kingdom. God is lifted in praise which allows others to see just how mighty He really is. Satan does not like anything that brings glory to God. He doesn’t want to see us in relationship with our Father. He swoops in to steal and destroy our victory. I believe this is what’s happening to me. I feel prompted to look Satan up in the Concordance of my New Living Translation Study Bible! After all, if we are fighting a battle, we surely need to know who we are up against.
In Job 1:6, 7, a piece of Satan’s plan is revealed:
“Satan considers God as his enemy. He tries to hinder God’s work in people, but he is limited by God’s power and can do only what he is permitted. Satan is our enemy because he is actively looking for people to attack with temptation and because he wants to make people hate God. He does this through lies and temptation. Any person who is committed to God should expect Satan’s attacks. Satan, who hates God also hates God’s people.”
A commitment to God, obedience, and glorifying God are the things that kick up the attacks that Satan imposes on us. I imagine if I weren’t a follower of Christ then the attacks would not be as fierce. Satan would leave me to sink into my own destruction. I believe an open door to any kind of sin can lead to major battles which is where I am right now! My only saving grace is Almighty God. If He’s not in my corner, then I am completely lost without an eternal future.
June 14, 2018/Journal Entry:
Lord…I feel like I’m going crazy! I feel like people look at me like I’ve lost my mind. These thoughts are causing me great distress. I know I’m not supposed to worry about what others say or do, but I’m having trouble fighting this off.
I’m sharing so much of myself, and I’m beginning to feel a bit exposed. Why am I doing this? Remind me! Yes, if this is in your Will, then give me the strength to keep going. Put your shield around me so I’m not looking for anything other than You! Let me find my peace in You.
Did I really hear you whisper that I was to pray over my friend on Monday? Was it you or was it me? I was most certain in that moment, but as I sit here, I wonder if it was me? I’m feeling unsteady and confused this morning–unsure of your plans for me. Light up what it is that you’ve designed me to do. I trust and have faith in you, but it wavers and for this, I am sorry!
Charles Stanley says that it is good to ask for direction.
Lord, I ask for your direction this morning. For my sanity, I need to know! Please, bless me with your encouragement–am I in your Will? I am listening for You, and I want to be obedient. Reveal your plan, Lord, and back it up with Scripture. Speak to my spirit and my heart! Reassure me! I know if I hear your words, I will be okay. I will keep pushing toward your Heavenly Prize. I feel alone. I’m dying for your companionship–all day–every day! Remove these terrible, defeating thoughts from my mind and replace them with your Heavenly ones. I need you today, tomorrow and forever. Sit next to me, Jesus, and fill me with your lovely words. I am coming to You, Father, because I need Your guidance. You see what’s ahead. I do not! Please, help me see it too. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen!
As my time was ending, I hear the reassurance and encouragement that I so desperately need:
“Have I ever led you astray thus far?”
“Haven’t I been with you all along?”
“I understand your questioning but why so heavy now?”
“Remember your past blessings.”
“I will never leave you nor forget you!”
I am hopeful and ready for the day!
June 16, 2018
Again, I find myself in the same spot as a couple of days ago–distant and scattered in all sorts of unproductive thoughts. I get up from my desk and head to the bed, as I did the other morning. I took with me a new devotional from Charles Stanley! I had just received it in the mail and even though it was April’s edition, I knew that meaning would still be found. The reading came from Galatians 3:1-5, and it was exactly what my spirit was in need of!
“The Holy Spirit gives Christians great power to live for God. Some Christians want more than this. They want to live in a state of perpetual excitement. The tedium of everyday living leads them to conclude that something is wrong spiritually. Often the Holy Spirit’s great work is to teach us to persist, to keep doing what is right even when it no longer seems interesting or exciting. The Galatians quickly turned from Paul’s Good News to the teaching of the newest teachers in town; what they needed was the Holy Spirit’s gift of persistence. If the Christian life seems ordinary, you may need the Spirit to stir you up. Every day offers a challenge to live for Christ.
June 16, 2018/Journal Entry:
I don’t know how I feel about this? I like and look forward to that excitement when God shows up and gives me His Word. Perhaps, I shouldn’t be expectant? Maybe it’s haughty, rude and assuming–like a small child crying for an ice cream cone!!
Am I a Christian that relies solely on “excitement” in my walk with Jesus? When that gift does not occur, am I disappointed, and do I immediately begin looking for that spiritual wrong. Did I do this right? Should I have done it this way? What have I done to cause this disconnect? I’ve created this distance in my time with God? How can I fix this? Am I being taught perseverance?
I can’t always have excitement, illumination and revelation in my time with Jesus or can I? I am expectant each time we meet! God is a God of compassion and love. Why would He withhold Himself from me? I don’t like this!!
Charles Stanley says that the Holy Spirit is not concerned about my feelings of excitement, but He is concerned about my understanding of who God is. He is actively helping as I walk this life as a representative for Christ. The overall job of the Holy Spirit is in transforming my life. The Holy Spirit isn’t living in me to bring excitement into my life each day. He is with me to instruct, guide and transform me into the likeness of Jesus Christ. He is a constant reminder that my sinfulness is what caused the separation from God. That without Jesus, I would be sentenced to an eternal life of hell. Others need to hear this Good News. That Jesus did indeed walk this earth, sinless, and He is the ultimate sacrifice. As believers, we are sealed and saved by His blood. I have been given understanding of the cross and my Salvation because of the teachings of the Holy Spirit. His motivation and objectives are to bring us to Christ, bring us up in Christ and to send us out for Christ. Daily excitement and revelations are not the goals of Holy Spirit. He is our Helper with great intention to get us to where God needs us to be.
I am in a change of routine, and I knew that I would be challenged. The feelings that I’ve experienced are somewhat normal, but this time the episodes are different–more intense! I asked Jesus for a Word, for His reassurance and encouragement and He did just that. He backed it all up with Scripture and godly messages. I am at peace. I will persevere and know that I’m not sent into the battlefield without God’s preparation and armor. I did nothing spiritually wrong, so I will not continue to look for it. I will not look for a solution so that I will feel better. My solution is Jesus! Is isn’t something that I can achieve on my own. He has saved me from this battle of conflict. I feel settled and ready to take on the next step in my walk with Christ! Praise be to God!
Jeremiah 1:5 sums it all up:
God has a purpose for each Christian, but some people are appointed by God for specific kinds of work. If God gives you a specific task accept it cheerfully and do it with diligence. If God has not given you a specific call or assignment, then seek to fulfill the mission common to all believers–to love, obey and serve God–until His guidance becomes more clear.
The message I refer to, by Charles Stanley, is called “Our Teacher” and can be found at InTouch Ministries.
If you would like to read more on my “victorious breakthrough,” please refer to my post, “Obedience.”