Thank God for allowing me to make it to a new year! The months of November and December have been difficult spiritually—the enemy was whispering various lies in my ear and as a result of not having God’s word/truth rooted in me, I started questioning and doubting my salvation. I even questioned God’s character because I thought He was instructing me to do one thing (He would tell me to “stand up” against the lies and deception) and then saying I should do something else (the words “sit down” constantly came to me, especially when I would use His word to come against the lies that were hurled at me. Wasn’t I supposed to fight with His word? Was I supposed to be completely passive and wait on Him to do everything?).
The Lord had revealed to me that my heart was far from Him and He was right. Sometimes I’d look back and couldn’t understand how I’d gotten to this point, but it happened because I had stopped spending or didn’t spend enough time with Him. One day, I looked back at my blessings journals (when I first came to Christ) and saw how I constantly prayed for Him to guide me to something to read. And He did! Not only that but I saw how if I was worried or upset about something, I’d bring it to Him and ask for help. Lately, I hadn’t been doing that; I’d been stuffing my feelings inside and trying to deal with it myself. I guess I only wanted to get through the day and put the problem on the back burner.
I realized that I needed to spend time with Him in the word like I used to and trust Him, which I hadn’t been doing (I tend to be a worrier). The Lord also revealed that I needed to change my thoughts because I was constantly thinking negatively. I started getting back to His word and giving Him praise but then “sit down,” “turn back,” and other thoughts would constantly come to me that seemed say, “You’re not moving fast enough,” “You’re not trying hard enough,” or “You’re doing too much.” I became angry because I felt like my efforts didn’t mean anything to God and I was troubled by the thoughts that kept coming to me. Was I on thin ice, destined for hell? Was I trying to change myself instead of allowing Him to do it? Couldn’t He see that I was trying? My emotions were all over the place and I was constantly frustrated, worried, fearful, and felt hopeless. I thought, “You know what God? I’m done! This is too much!” I just felt like my faith was broken and there was no hope of having it restored. I wondered what it would be like to not be a Christian anymore and not have to deal with this.
The Lord kept reminding me that I’m included in His family and that I’m saved. He also reminded me that He will make the necessary changes in me and of course I will continue to do my part by reading His word and using scripture against negative thoughts. Correction is also a part of this spiritual process (I haven’t always been obedient) and the Lord revealed that the enemy was deceiving me.
I’ve been continuing to study God’s word and use it against the enemy whenever those negative or fearful thoughts arise.
On Sunday, I read Nehemiah 6 which refers to how Nehemiah’s enemies tried several tactics to prevent him from rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall. Nehemiah had asked the king for permission to go and help repair it, but there were a few people who were not happy about that—Tobiah and Sanballat would taunt and harass the workers in order to discourage them. In Nehemiah 6, these 2 knuckleheads tried various methods to stop the repairs. First, they sent a letter to Nehemiah requesting to meet with them, but he knew that it was a plot to harm him and didn’t go. He said, “Why should I meet with you?” They sent the same request 4 more times.
Next, they sent a messenger to Nehemiah with a written statement, saying that they knew he was planning to rebel and wanted to become king. The letter also said that this information would be taken back to the king. Nehemiah knew it was a lie and told them so. He prayed to God to give him strength to continue repairing the wall. Finally, Tobias and Sanballat sent a prophet to instruct Nehemiah to run and hide in the Temple because his enemies were going to kill him. He knew that the prophet was not of God and that his enemies wanted him to sin against God (give in to fear) and he refused. Once the wall was repaired, Nehemiah’s enemies were disappointed because they couldn’t stop God’s plan.
Looking back at this story helps me to see how the enemy uses various methods to discourage us, make us fearful, frustrate us, etc. I admire how Nehemiah’s faith was so strong and how he continued to focus on the goal before him; he didn’t get distracted by his enemies nor did he worry about what they thought because his faith was in God.
I thank God for still standing by me and opening my eyes to what has been occurring behind the scenes. I pray that He will comfort you, strengthen you, and guide you no matter what kind of struggles you’re facing. Welcome to 2019! We made it and He will continue to see us through, so hang in there.