Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Did I Really Ask for This?

Lesson 2

    The second lesson I have learned on this faith journey (and I will be more specific as to exactly WHAT our faith journey is later in the future) is that Satan will not attack us hard if we are living a life of comfort. He will, however, attack us as soon as we take a step of faith.  If we are living a life of comfort, Satan has us right where he wants us.  Jesus has already won the eternal battle, so now it is Satan's goal to keep Christ followers from being bold, reaching out, and changing lives.  He wants us to be comfortable.  It's when we take a bold step of faith that his attack will begin.  It will come in any arena--tithing, attending church, witnessing to a neighbor, or any other step that God is calling us to take.  That's how we know we are on the right path, God's path.  So, be prepared for battle when you step out--it won't be easy.
     Last week on one of my walks, I actually joked with God, "Did I really mean it when I prayed to be a stronger, more effective Christian?"  Did I really want to grow stronger in my faith and walk with Christ?  I asked that question because, when we do, He will always call us to walk in faith and take a step that is far beyond our comfort zone and Satan will always attack when we decide to follow God's call.
     Recently, I have been rereading the story of Job in my daily time with God.  Before I started reading it this time, I prayed that God would show me something I had never seen before in that story.  When I got to chapter 3, verse 25, the verse practically jumped out at me.  It was the nugget I had never seen before and it helped me understand Satan's attacks so much more.  Job was a righteous man who was attacked by Satan.  He lived a life of active faith & Satan knew it.  Satan took everything Job owned, then physically afflicted Job.  When Job finally summoned the strength to speak about his losses and his discouragement, he admitted (in verse 25) that what he feared finally happened.  He says to his friend, "What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me."  Satan knows our fears and he will attack us where he knows we're scared.  Job's fear was that he would "have no peace, no quietness;...no rest, but only turmoil" (v. 26).  Satan knew Job was scared of that, so he made that happen in hopes that it would cause Job to abandon his faith and his walk with God.
     The only fear we should experience is the reverent fear of God.  "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).  If we are Christ-followers, we are on the winning side--nothing can hurt us.  We literally have nothing to fear.  Our flesh, though, is weak, so we do occasionally fear something, but then we go to God in prayer and get in His Word and we use our weapons to fight against Satan's arrows and attacks.  God is all we need.  Ever.  Consequently, we have nothing to fear in life.  We've already won.  We just have to keep taking those small steps of faith, because when we look back, God will have created a pathway of righteousness.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Battle Begins...

     It has only been a week since my husband and I decided to take the step of faith for our family we feel God is calling us to take and Satan has already been throwing his darts at us.  While we have already made the decision to follow God's call on our lives no matter what, it won't actually take effect until later into the future.  However, Satan has wasted no time in trying to throw us off course, which is just further confirmation that we're following God's will.  You see, we have already won the battle.  Jesus has won the victory.  I believe that everything that happens on this earth is part of the spiritual battle we fight as it is described in Ephesians 6:12: "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."  Satan is trying to win as many souls from following Jesus Christ as possible and he will do whatever it takes to accomplish his goal.
   Deciding to follow God's will is equal to initiating Satan's darts.  He doesn't want us to do anything that will further God's kingdom.  I have learned in this short time of walking by faith and not by sight that we have to continually stay in the Word and in prayer to protect us from Satan's weapons.  I believe the reason why my husband and I have led such a comfortable life already (a life with very little spiritual struggles) is because we weren't walking by faith.  We were living in our own little world of false security.  We looked for security in the things of this world instead of clinging to God with our every breath and every step.  We need Him; without Him, we are nothing and we have nothing.  A life of faith means taking risks.  A life of faith means stepping out, even when we don't have the answer or see the light at the end of the tunnel.  That's where faith comes in--when Jesus is driving and we are the passengers.  We must trust Him with everything, even the breath in our lungs, which He put there in the first place.  He can do amazing things & it's great that it's our job to just sit back and watch Him work.  He is faithful!