You’re outside on your patio enjoying a warm breeze, a snack, and a good book. Suddenly, a fly starts circling around you and buzzing loudly past your ear. Your citronella candle is lit and you repeatedly try to smack the fly with your swatter but it keeps getting away. It’s quiet for a couple of minutes but the pesky fly returns, determined to ruin your evening.
I’ve been going through some trials in my journey with Christ for the past few months. The words “sin” and “pride” kept coming to me on a daily basis (even several times a day as well) and I thought God was telling me that I was still being prideful (see my other post where God revealed this sin to me). Every time I thought about helping someone, got angry, felt happy, or became annoyed, etc., I’d hear “pride.” I started to feel like I couldn’t do anything right and wondered if God was keeping a tally of my thoughts, emotions, and reactions. What kind of God am I serving? There were times when I was so angry with God, I wouldn’t talk to Him or want to hear what He had to say. If He had truly forgiven my sins, why did He keep throwing them up in my face?
God led me to a couple of Psalms (85 and 32) which state that our sins are forgiven. I realized that it was the devil—not God—who was condemning and accusing me. God is the one who wants to cleanse us, renew us, and make us whole again.
1 Peter 5:8 (KJV) says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan is a sneaky, repetitive, ruthless bully. He throws your past issues and mistakes up in your face in order to worry you; he wants you to ruminate and overthink about these things so you can beat yourself up and feel negatively about yourself. Satan wants you to ignorant of who you truly are and how he truly operates. Frustrating events will happen and he’ll try to make you angry at God by putting negative thoughts in your head: “God will never forgive you” or “Praying isn’t working so you might as well give up.” The devil will try to make God seem like a liar but he’s the one who loves to hurt and deceive people.
Recently, I’ve wondered if I’m fighting correctly. I keep hearing God say “stand up.” I told Satan what I thought of him, ignored him, used scripture, and even pleaded the blood of Jesus. Sometimes he stops, but other times he would continue harassing me. There are several articles online that mention James 4:7: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” I’m learning that it’s not that cut and dry; the devil will return (like that annoying fly in the beginning of this post) to bother you again so you must always be ready.
My advice to you is to simply keep fighting; do NOT give up or turn away from God because that’s what the devil wants you to do. He wants to rule you and hates that you have a relationship with God. When you go through this, remember that you’re not alone. Talk to God and someone you trust about your feelings and frustrations.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13). Everything we go through isn’t fun or desirable but when we look back at these experiences, we can see that the experience helped us to become stronger.