Thursday, July 25, 2013

Defeated or Victorious?

I'm being bombarded.

For the past few weeks but especially the past few days God has been chiseling on His pot (me).  He talks to me through prayer, through His word, through Lysa TerKeurst books/blogs, through K-love and through friends.  This pruning hurts.  But I know it must be done.  So I accept it and work through the pain to make the changes that I need to.  It's hard.  Especially when you are a fixer.  (I was in middle school when Dad left and that's when I became a fixer AND a control freak.  The life I knew was spiraling out of control and for whatever reason I felt that I had to do everything in my power to stop it.  Where there was tension, worry, fear or problems, I had to fix the situation so that life would be "normal" again.  I've done it for so long that I will even take on other people's problems...that aren't even mine to fix...whether they ask or not...and I will spend/waste time and energy on trying to fix it.  Then if that person doesn't heed my instruction I get mad.  How dumb is that?!  Just one more area in my character/personality that God is working on...AGAIN.)  But I've always been told that God knows what's best for me.  He knows that what I need is not always what I want.  And that my "wants" are just cheap trinkets compared to what God has in store for me.  I need to quit wanting to be in control and submit to His will for my life.

On the flip side, Satan has raised his nasty head and I feel under attack.  Since I've decided to allow God to change me and I'm working diligently on those areas He wants me to address, Satan makes sure that I run into situations or people that will challenge that growth.  He wants me to fail.  He knows I am hot headed.  He knows I'm a fixer.  He knows I lack self control over my tongue.  And he is using each weakness to cause me to stumble.  He constantly reminds of my failures.  I have ruined my witness many a time with my words or actions.  Sometimes it was due to anger.  Other times it was because I was trying to "fix" the situation.  Either I would lash out at an individual to "put them in their place" since I just knew their actions were the root of all the problems. (How arrogant of me!)  Or I would use racy humor or language to accomplish the task of easing tension or lift moods.  Just recently I've come to find out just what the cost of my lack of self control over my mouth has done to others.  My heart hurts just thinking about it.

I was feeling defeated.  I wondered why God would want to use someone like me.  I make wrong choices.  I fail to model my life after Christ causing people to call me a hypocrite.  While I was wallowing in this pit of shame and guilt, God reminded me of the spiritual battle that is going on.

Ephesians 6 New International Version (NIV)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Satan is alive and well.  1 Peter 5:8 says "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." He will use whatever is needed to make a Christian fail to be an example of Christ.  The more guilt, shame and defeat he can cause to a Christian, the more likely that Christian will give up the fight.  Then there's one less Christian out there trying to win others to Christ.  In times like these I must decide whether I'm going to give up or stand back up, dust myself off and try again.  I've read the Bible.  I know how the story ends.  God is victorious and Satan is defeated.  So on this day I choose to not give up.  On this day I will put on the full armor of God and stand against Satan and his schemes. On this day I resolve to not be a hypocrite.  On this day I will ask for strength, guidance and self control over my words and actions so that I may be a shining example of Christ.

No comments: