A while back, I wrote about how obedience is hard. It is much easier to disobey the prompts we feel from God on a daily basis than to follow Him. I didn’t realize this when I re-dedicated my life to Christ back in 2014. Witnessing the believers around me, life appeared easy.
It’s not, friend. Jesus never once promised us an easy life. Quite the opposite in fact!
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
In addition to the troubles we will have in life, the apostle Peter warns us against a very real enemy who prowls around waiting to pounce.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8
We as sisters in Christ need to share our experiences and bring to light the dark strategies of the enemy! Let me tell you, friend. Recently, the enemy came at me hard.
I felt an urging from God for a couple of weeks to do a very specific thing. I said I would and began to check my calendar for an acceptable time. Wednesday, September 18 rolls around and first thing in the morning, I feel the urging to do this thing. I try to think of a way out of it, but I can’t. It’s the only day of the week I don’t have anything else going on. I get myself ready and dressed before I take my oldest to school as a show of faith. I’m going to do this, I tell myself.
The closer the time comes to leave, the more anxious I begin to feel. This is stupid, I tell myself. It’s just weird, and it doesn’t make sense. I don’t get it. God continues to push back with His invitation to obedience. I start to pray, telling God that I don’t want to go. I don’t want to do this. I am only doing this because I love Him, and this is kind of a sacrifice. I would have much rather spent my morning walking the dog, cleaning my house, and getting some writing accomplished. I also tell Him that I wish I had someone to hash this out with, and he brought to mind a friend. I sent her a message and told her my thoughts on the way to my date with God.
Oh, the enemy worked hard. He fed me lies that it was silly, I’d look strange, I wasn’t welcome, it was a waste of time, etc. I began to feel panicky and shaky, but I declared that was not from God. I said out loud in the car, “Not today, Satan!” But he kept pushing. The enemy’s way would have been much easier. God wanted me out of my comfort zone. It was a mental struggle the entire drive.
Add to it, traffic was terrible! I recognized soon after I left that I would be late. Y’all, I hate being late. Despise it. I even told God I shouldn’t go because I’m going to be late. He responded with the word “grace” over and over. I reached a stop light and needed to turn left. The turn signal remained red while the rest of the lanes had the go ahead. I sat at that stop sign for two minutes, cementing my late arrival. I laughed, looked up to the Lord and said, “Really, God? You want me to do this, and you are making me late! You know I hate being late! Why wouldn’t you just make this a little easier?” Immediately I felt Him saying to me, “To test you. Will you obey, even when it’s making you more uncomfortable?”
I wanted to turn around. I wanted to go home. I knew this was all about obedience, though. I didn’t go to this place expecting God to do something big, or miraculous, or even to speak to me at all. This was all about my obedience and sacrificing my time for Him.
As soon as I walked through the doors, peace washed over me. I smiled as I sat down and spent 35 minutes in His presence. It was amazing. It wasn’t about me, but what He wanted from me.
The enemy strikes out at us when we are in a position to glorify God. He pounces when we are walking toward God. I knew the attacks I felt driving that morning were of the enemy, but God won. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t comfortable.
But it was glorious once I arrived.
If you find yourself in the middle of a spiritual attack, I’m praying for God to strengthen you. Lean in to Him. It’s not easy. It’s downright hard. God doesn’t want us hanging out in our comfort zone. He pushes us beyond it so we have to rely on His strength alone. Be encouraged, friend. The attacks mean the enemy is scared.