I’ve walked the path for more years then I can recall never stopping to count the miles or the number of prayers prayed. Along the way I’ve worried that our Great Big God would get bored with me always repeating myself. I have themes and I am convinced that He never gets tired of hearing my deepest truth. On the path as I lift prayers before the throne I have never been alone. All creations stands with me (Psalm 19:1) Jesus sits at the right hand of God as mediator (Romans 8:34) and the Holy Spirit (John 14:16) is my ever present guide, counselor, truth teller. As I’ve walked on freshly fallen leaves, or newly molted feathers, snow, rain, goose droppings, and dirt I’ve learned a few things about what it is to seek the heart of God and stand firm against the schemes of Satan.
“If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.” Jeremiah 29:13
I’ve learned a few things about the battlefields of flesh and the warfare of the spirit. I’ve paced pleading for things once stolen to be found and restored. My heart knows what it is to seek, stumble, fret and just be still.
For the next few weeks I want to share where I have wandered on the path, what I have learned, and how I’ve battled to find the things that had been stolen. I’d love to have you along for the journey as we retrace my steps. Steps that found joy, peace, promises, purpose, courage, sabbath and love. I want to take you with me. Perhaps you are limping along the way, maybe you have given up, or you are wondering how to take back what has been stolen. There is no reason for you to live in defeat.
Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage ; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33]
The Them in this series could be anyone. It could be your boss, or your friends, your parents, your grandparents, your coworkers, your pastor, even members of your church, the lady in the line at the grocery store, the inconsiderate driver, your siblings, your children, your spouse… the list could be any person you allow to have a voice of importance above God, to frustrate your life, to suck life from you instead of filling you up. This can be easy to recognize and also very difficult. Sometimes the people most hard to pinpoint are those who appear to be spiritual, those who claim the most authority or whose opinion you highly regard. They can also claim to be full of mercy, encouraging or mighty warriors of prayer, but they also have personal guidelines and lists that they expect of you. Beware of any individual or group that places requirements on your life that God doesn’t.
The Them could also be the spiritual forces of evil in this world. We tend to go to either extremes when thinking about the role of Satan and his croonies in our lives: we give too much credit or not enough. If you are completely ignoring the possibility that the Enemy of your soul is wrecking havoc in your life – then you are living blindly and naive. If you believe every puff of smoke, odd dream, negative words or thing that goes bump in the night – are from Satan or his agents, then you are paranoid and need to be careful of encouraging an overactive imagination. You’re paranoia could also have you walking blindly because God could be speaking even negatively into your heart to convict – but you won’t be able to recognize it. Discernment, prayer, and mature godly people are so important in helping to determine fluff from substance.
As you walk beside me over the next few weeks I hope that you will learn to distinguish between “Them.” And as you learn to recognize the source of your struggles – may you learn to stand firm.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore , take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” [Ephesians 6:10-13]
A complete listing of the posts in this series:
Why do you let them steal your heart?