I don’t do well with time frames, guys. As I’m sure you can tell seeing as how two of the three Fervent posts so far have been late. It’s not that I don’t try to get these up on time, but sometimes when the good Lord is doing work in an area of your life, you have to just stop and listen.
Last week, I had an identity crisis.
What I’m learning right now is this:
When I’m praying and studying and working on bettering an area of my life, THAT area is the one that the enemy is going to attack.
I’ve already shared a very honest look at my depression battle here on my blog. No shame in that game, guys. Depression is real and so is anxiety. The longer we pretend it isn’t, the more people who need help are going to keep pretending that they don’t. But, that’s a whole different post.
Last week, I felt myself begin to slip slowly back into that pit. Nothing in particular set that off; no one did or said anything that brought it on. I woke up one morning, something I saw on Facebook or Instagram set me off, and that was that. I spent the rest of the week wallowing in my self-pity. I didn’t even bother to pick up the book until Thursday evening while everyone [hence my husband and our oldest] was at football practice and the littlest boy was sleeping.
When I did, I realized something invaluable…I was under attack.
You see, the enemy is clever. He’s sneaky and he knows just how to make us doubt ourselves and who we are. He knows that there are things in my life that leave me hesitating…dancing around in fear. Mediocrity is my greatest fear and he knows that. He also knows how to make me feel like I’ve become all the things that I never wanted to be.
We all have lists. Things we want. Things we don’t want. Things we need. Things we’d like to accomplish. Things we have already accomplished. Things we want for our children. Things we fear. Things we hope to never encounter. Habits we don’t want to fall into and characteristics we never want to portray.
I probably live mostly by that last list. The qualities and characteristics that I don’t want to represent or be described as:
I’m sure there are others, but all of the negative that I hope not to be, seems wrapped up in those words. And last week, I was pretty much all of them.
I looked upon the success of others whose work I admire greatly and found myself feeling not only envy, but anger at their success. I found myself bitter because of my own lack of success in areas that I know deep down are not areas that I was ever meant to thrive in. I found myself doubtful of God’s goodness and His power because I wasn’t getting/accomplishing/doing/being all of the things that I think I need to be. I found myself with “greener pastures” syndrome and wondering if I was missing more because of where I am.
And all the while the enemy was kicked back in his chair, eating popcorn and watching as my little world felt like it was crumbling. He was doing to me, exactly what he did to Eve all of those thousands of years ago…”Did God really say…”Only he was whispering to me…”Did you really think that you weren’t those things.
[pullquote]He was doing to me, exactly what he did to Eve all of those years ago…”Did God really say…”Only he was whispering to me…”Did you really think that you weren’t those things.[/pullquote]
And I was buying into it.
I pulled away from my prayer time. I felt so depressed and sorry for myself that I pulled away from my scripture time. I turned off my alarm in the mornings and rolled over until I absolutely had to get out of bed. My poor husband couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. And, quite honestly, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.
For whatever reason, Thursday night, I picked up our book and couldn’t help but laugh at what the week was about. Even though I already knew what the week covered, actually seeing it and having it register made me chuckle. As I read, I found myself nodding and praying and saying YES! to my quite house.
Then, I did what Elizabeth does in War Room…I called the enemy out. I started yelling at him. Telling him to get OUT of my house, get out of my head, and go back to Hell where he belonged.
Never in my nearly 30 years of life have I ever prayed like that. NEVER have I denounced the devil with such assertiveness and know how. I did it. And afterward? I felt like my old self.
I say this friends to hopefully reiterate the importance of prayer. To really drive home the fact that we are living in a world that is overrun with the enemy. With his demons doing their damage and wanting nothing more than to take you with them. I hope and I pray that you won’t let them.
I sat down and wrote out some of my absolute favorite verses on who I am in Christ and then turned them into a prayer, written on an index card and hung on my computer for me to read over and over again throughout the day when I start to doubt…
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do all of the good works that I was intended to do…works that were prepared long before I was ever thought of to do. I am a new creation! All of my mistakes are gone and have passed away and He has made me whole once again. I am God’s temple, filled with His Holy Spirit…having been joined to the Lord in one spirit! I have been bought for a price and my name is written in the palm of Christ’s hands. Paid for in blood and sealed with eternal glory! I have been fearfully and wonderfully made (src).
The enemy wants us to feel like we are a mistake. Like we aren’t good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or accomplished enough or WHATEVER enough to do the works of the Lord. And when he wins? When we let him get the upper hand? When we start to believe those lies? He gets exactly what he wants. He makes us weak and bitter and depressed. And when we are those things, we can’t accomplish anything for the kingdom.
So my challenge for you this week, even though we are moving into strategy four is this:
Don’t give the enemy the upper hand.
Remember who you are.
Embrace the promises that He gives us through His Word and cast that negativity out! You’re better than that and the only reason the enemy is attacking you is because he KNOWS that you are meant to do great things for the Kingdom of God.
Stay firmly planted in your identity and GO DO THEM.
Things to ponder for this week: Did you ever stop to think that your self-esteem issues or insecurities might not be “in your head” the way that people would have you think? That maybe, just maybe, they were a blatant and intentional attack on your identity by a very real enemy?