March has been a really rough month spiritually. My faith has been so unstable—one moment I felt like I was starting to trust God (I’ve been working on learning to trust Him more), then the next moment I felt frustrated and angry at God. But it turned out that I was only being confused and deceived by the enemy.
There’s been times when the Lord has told me to stay home and I believe it was to protect me. Sometimes I’ve had dreams or visions about being involved in a car accident and other times I may have had an uneasy feeling. Well, since the beginning of this month, the words “stay home” or “go home” has come to my mind whenever I wanted to go somewhere on the weekend or go somewhere after work. Because I thought God was warning me about something bad happening, I would go straight home or not go out. There were a couple of times when I went somewhere anyway and nothing bad happened. But I was still confused and thought that God was protecting me somehow. One evening, I started to feel frustrated and felt like I couldn’t go anywhere. Was I being ungrateful for God’s protection? Why was this happening? Did the devil have a demonic assignment on my life? Was a fatal car crash or another catastrophe waiting me for outside around every corner? Did God expect me to stay in the house/not go anywhere until He said it was safe to do so?
I prayed for answers and clarity but felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was so desperate, I asked my mom to pray for me and even submitted an anonymous prayer request online. The next day, I felt calmer and less upset. The Lord revealed that the enemy had been messing with my mind. As I thought about everything, I realized that none of this made sense. Of course there are times when God warns me about various things, but He doesn’t expect me to stay in the house 24/7. The Lord also led me Psalm 91, which talks about how God is our protector, refuge, and defender. Psalm 91:11 says “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” He protects me wherever I go; I don’t have to stay in the house in order for Him to protect me.
I was angry and frustrated with God a few times this month because I felt confused and didn’t understand things He was trying to show me. I’m aware of some of the issues I struggle with (i.e. my wavering faith, desiring the wrong things, etc.) and have prayed to God for help with them. However, I was still worrying and not completely trusting Him to help me; there’s that part of me that has to analyze everything, figure things out, and come up with my own solution. For instance, the Lord revealed that I was bitter; He had revealed the bitterness to me before, but I wasn’t trying to hear it. How could I be bitter? I wasn’t trying to plot against anyone or get even with someone who had wronged me. He also revealed that I hadn’t been truly desiring Him, which was true. I was focused on self-reliance and a crush on someone at my job.
But then God helped me realize that every time I was discouraged about something, I blamed Him, was nasty to Him (via my thoughts and grumbling) and was annoyed with Him. I prayed for forgiveness and repented but I felt like I was led to Psalms that would mention how forgiving God was but His patience ran out (i.e. Psalm 78 and other psalms). Not only that but “Saul” kept coming to my mind. Was God saying that I’d end up like Saul (in the book of Samuel, Saul lost his favor with God for being disobedient) or the Israelites because they grumbled and complained despite how God provided for them? I certainly didn’t want to end up like either one of them.
I felt disgusted and mortified by my behavior and asked God to forgive me. But yet, this fear was in the back of my mind—what if I get angry at God again and end up turning away from him? What if He gets tired of me and His patience runs out? And then I heard the Holy Spirit say, “I believe in you.” I couldn’t do anything but cry. How could He still believe in me after how I acted towards Him? He really is AMAZING! That’s a true example of His forgiveness and love.
More frustration reared its ugly head because I was trying to accept God’s forgiveness and appreciating what His son Jesus did for me on the cross but yet, different things would come to my mind—the past sins that I’d been forgiven of (see my blog post about pride) were being thrown back in my face. I started getting back to my bible more and tried to ask the Lord to help me with different things instead of trying to deal with them myself. The word “desperate” kept coming to me and I’ve heard the phrase “we need to be desperate for God” in churches, songs, and online articles. But what did that look like? Was I supposed to be miserable, rolling around on the floor as if I were at the end of my rope?
I looked up the word desperate, which also means “desire.” I know that God wants us to truly desire Him, which is what he revealed to me earlier. But the word “desperate” was coming to me whenever I was praying to God or giving Him praise. I got angry because I thought God was saying that I wasn’t desperate enough; what I was doing wasn’t enough. I started thinking, “What’s the point of all this? I can’t meet all of these expectations! Doesn’t He care that I’m trying? I’m just trying to get through one day at a time!” As a result, I started thinking that perhaps God isn’t as loving as I thought.
Once again, the Lord revealed that the devil had been attacking my mind. I realized that God isn’t standing nearby with a tally sheet—“your thoughts have been on such-and-such 5 times today; you’re not desperate enough” or “you’re not doing this or that enough.” He doesn’t work like that. God is confident and knows what He’s doing—He doesn’t have to beg or bully anyone into following Him. The more I learn about Him, the more I admire His qualities and I want to continue to learn more about Him. I want to learn how to truly appreciate and love Him.
Here’s what you need to remember:
- The devil loves to attack our minds and wants us to turn away from God; he hates that we want to be close to God and wants us to have the wrong view of Him. Make sure you study the Word, get to know the Lord for yourself, and seek His guidance in everything you do.
- God will give us wisdom if we ask (“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”—James 1:5); don’t always assume that every thought or sense/feeling is always from you or the Holy Spirit.
- Think back to the times that God has helped you and answered your prayers. You’ll see that God has been faithful, consistent and doesn’t change (of course, the enemy wants us to think that God can’t or won’t help us, which isn’t true).
- Whatever you’re struggling with, you’re a work in progress. The Lord doesn’t expect for you to change overnight or even the next day. He will help you every step of the way if you allow Him. “…God, who began the good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ”—Philippians 1:6. The devil is the one who condemns and accuses and will make us think that God is harassing us.