I am not really certain where this particular blog post will go tonight. I so much want to reach out to people, to help them in places where they might be hurting, and to share what I have gone through and have learned along this journey of life. But, for tonight, I have no idea where I am going.
I was spending some time today contemplating some of the struggles and fears that I have gone through and how the Lord has been delivering me from them. But I don’t have one specific topic to speak upon in those areas right now. My brain is in somewhat of a fog because of fatigue and all of the work that I have put into this blog up to this point. So, forgive me if I seem to drag along a bit.
As far as struggling goes, I have done much of that this past year or so. I have struggled with my feelings a lot. For instance, if I was feeling good, then all was right with the world and I believed everything I read in the Word. On the other hand, if I was feeling out of sorts or lonely or bored or afraid, then all of a sudden, I did not have that much faith that God would do the things that He said He would do. I became one “of little faith.”
I struggled much in the battlefield of my mind, because truly, the ultimate battles of life are all waged in the mind and until you learn how to conquer and tame the thoughts that come into your mind (mostly through the suggestion of the enemy (satan) and your own fears, doubts, and insecurities), then you are ripe pickings for satan to sabotage, harrass, and bring to pass many of the fears that we are plagued with. (For fear is faith in reverse. You get precisely what you believe, and if you believe that you will never amount to anything nor have anything or you are going to lose everything, guess what? You are going to get exactly what you say. Don’t believe me? I am living proof of that fact. For instance, I have always been afraid that I was going to lose everything, that I was going to lose my home and be thrown out onto the streets, that I would get sick, that I wouldn’t have any money, that I was going to lose my husband in some way, I was going to lose my car, that I was going to go crazy and end up in an institution. And in the past four years, I have had to live out every single one of those fears. “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” (Job 3:25) Fear is an open door for the thief to steal, to kill, and to destroy. (John 10:10)
So, I struggled. I struggled with not only the ramifications of all that I had lost and suffered, I struggled with fear that even more calamitous things were going to happen to me. I was a victim of almost paralyzing fear. Of all kinds. I feared people because of all the abuse I suffered. I feared the unknown because what WAS known was so tragic and painful for me and it seemed as though the devastating times were never going to end.
I did much praying and seeking God throughout this time. But I must confess that much of my praying was based on fear and not on faith. I begged God to take away my suffering. I questioned Him and asked Him why He had allowed such things to happen to me. In my heart, I began to feel anger towards God because I felt that He was just sitting “up there” watching me suffer and was not doing anything about it. So, I struggled with feelings of dissatisfaction with God and my faith in Him at the same time. On the one hand, I believed that He was good because His Word says that He is good. On the other hand, my feelings were telling me a different story. Telling me that God really did not care about me and had forgotten all about me and that I would never have anything good again. For a long time, I believed the voice of my feelings and the enemy that was planting those thoughts in my mind and my moods and disposition followed those feelings and I was completely miserable. But I kept on crying out to God, asking Him to help me.
The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and reminded me that the “just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) Feelings have NOTHING to do with faith. We must simply believe what the Word of God says. For without faith, it is impossible to please Him. (“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Heb. 11:6) We must not only believe that God IS, but that He rewards those that seek him.
The Holy Spirit began to bring other scriptures about faith to my mind:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)
“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Romans 8:24,25)
“That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Heb. 6:12)
I realized through my struggles, that not only did I need faith, but I also had to have patience so that I could endure, wait on the Lord to fulfill His Word, and also let patience have its work in me so that I would be strong in my faith. (James 1:4)
You see, the Bible isn’t just a collection of stories written for our entertainment. If you apply the Word to your life and live according to its principles and precepts, you WILL receive the benefits recorded in it. (You will also receive the penalties listed therein when you are not obedient to God’s Word. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption (death); but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6: 7,8)
I had to confront those giants of fear. But I could not do it on my own. Without the Word of God (the only thing that satan respects and fears and flees from), prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit, fear will not only consume you, it will rule you. You may think that if you have strong will power and if you confront your fears on your own, that you will have the mastery of them. But that is like going up against a powerful army full of weapons with a bb gun. They will always come back to hound, harrass, and bind you. If you are not living according to the Word of God and Jesus Christ is not your Lord, you are an open and easy target for the enemy and you will not only stay bound to your fears, but you will be tied up by many other things that you will not be able to rid yourself of.
I began to ignore my feelings and resist the devil. “Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) But first, you have to be submitted to God. There is no other way. Otherwise, the enemy will do nothing but taunt you and torture your mind, spirit, and body. But when you are submitted to God, the devil HAS to flee. He has no other choice.
Once I began to listen to what God said more than I listened to my feelings or the enemy, that sucker began to run from me. I continued to pour my heart out to God and he heard me and delivered me. (“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all of my fears.” Psalm 34:4) He delivered me from every last fear. All of them. I’m not saying that it was easy or that it happened overnight. For I had a lot of dragons that needed slaying. But the Lord slew every last one of them because I trusted in Him, believed in His Word, applied the Word (acted on the Word), and praised God no matter what came my way.
I also thanked God for all that He had allowed to transpire in my life, for had He not, I would still be a slave to fear and in bondage to bitterness, anger, and dissatisfaction. “In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thess. 5:18) I had to go through all that I suffered so that I would finally be free from the bondage of fear and from the giants that continuously roared in my face and in my ears on an almost daily basis.
So, if you are going through difficult times, be of good courage. All things will work out for your good if you love God and are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) If you are not a child of God, however, you are not only going to have a tough row to hoe, but you are open game for the enemy of your soul. I encourage you to get on the winning team, which consists of God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. With them, you cannot lose. Without them, you have already lost not only the game, but the war. Get on the winning side. We’re all waiting for you, cheering you on.