Today I am reminded as I come back once again to this task, this ministry, of the conversation I had last night at the new Bible study, for lack of a more accurate term (it’s a good bit more than simply a Bible study), that I started attending the night before I last wrote here. We are working our way through Romans with a Max Lucado Life Lessons study guide. It’s interesting, and more it requires some serious self-reflection. One of the questions from last week’s study that we covered last night was in what subtle ways does Satan corrode my relationship with Christ? I answered truthfully that one of the primary ways right now is distraction from doing what I am supposed to do. I set out with a plan this month, that came after a lot of prayer, so I am pretty sure that plan was in God’s will. Yet, here it is two weeks since last time I wrote (daily was the plan). I haven’t begun on the business venture, nor made progress on the essay I am supposed to be writing for a contest that has to be submitted in a week.
I think I would also add to that another subtle attack that I hadn’t really noticed, because I haven’t really struggled with it in forever. I am suddenly concerned with what people think of me. Not in a hugely overwhelming way or anything. Not in a way that as of yet is changing how I act, or making me hide who I am. But there is for the first time in quite a long while that little voice in the back of my head asking, what if they think I’m nuts? What if I talked too much? Did I come off as too pushy? What if who I am, how I am, what I am gets in the way of being a good servant of God and my fellow man in this new place He seems to have brought me to? They aren’t clamoring thoughts right now. And they certainly aren’t justified by the attitudes or behavior of anyone I’ve met and interacted with. They are also thoughts that are typically quite foreign to my personality. Those thoughts, in essence, are a lie. Because I can’t know the answer, and more importantly, God is God. If He brought me here, He prepared a place for me and work for me to do when His timing is right. If He didn’t prepare that place and work, then He has graced me with the chance to rest and recharge among a group of His children seeking His face. Either way, I am blessed, and the outcome is in His hands.
We also talked last night about how we combat these subtle tricks and attacks of the devil. It is so interesting to know how far God has brought me from where I used to be. There was a time in my life where I likely would have denied that Satan ever interfered with my life. There was a time where I likely would have struggled with the very notion of that. There was a time where I would have acknowledged and understood the presence of the enemy, but I would not have known what to do about it, other than to trust in God. Today, as I think about jotting down my answers to that, I realize that God has been so gracious to me to open my eyes to the tools He provides His children. Prayer was on my list several times (apparently my mind thought I needed that reminder). Praise, in word and song, was on my list. Reading Scriptures was high on my list, right after prayer. There were a few others, but lastly, surrounding myself with others seeking God who will correct me, rebuke me when needed, encourage me, uplift me. And though it did not get written in that sentence, those who will pray for me, and who I can do all those things for too.
The year so far is that God is doing a new thing, and I am apparently out of shape so sometimes I’m having trouble keeping up with Him. The year so far is the reminder that sometimes I fail. The year so far is the reminder that when I fail, God lovingly shows me where and how and invites me to repent and seek forgiveness, then He lifts me back onto my feet and helps me keep walking after Him. The year so far is that as He makes final some of my endings, He provides the people, places and mission I need to continue on the journey, to run the race well, to be a part of His glorious plan to reveal Himself in a world that so desperately needs Him. All I can do is shout hallelujah and praise the One, who in this new year, is making all things new.
Be blessed and be a blessing.