It’s funny (well not funny really…actually more on the level of terrifying), how Satan knows our weak points…our ‘chink’ in our armor so to speak. For a very long time, I thought that Satan could read my mind and knew my inner most thoughts and therefore was always one step ahead of me. Inadvertently I was giving Satan power, not real power mind you, but by thinking on these things rather than on the truth of the matter, like a deer in the headlights of a car…I’d freeze! And this made me ineffective and I was focused on that rather than the things and worship of God. I’ve been struggling a lot with worthiness lately…am I a good father and worthy of the love of my children? Am I worthy of Lisa’s love? Am I deserving of the blessings and love that God bestows on me? These issues will crop up, come to a head or maybe even a mini-crisis, a breakthrough is made, things calm down and the issue is normalized…until something triggers it and the whole cycle starts over again. I’ve really taken notice of this and have wondered why? Why is this continuing to happen time and time again? I believe I’ve dealt with feelings of not being worthy since my childhood and because of this, I feel it is a stronghold. I take it to the cross to lay it down, only to pick it up again…almost as if getting rid of it is more threatening than the pain of carrying it. So, I was praying about this the other day and asking God why I can’t get rid of this…and He drew me to the book of Joshua where in chapter 1 it says in verses 8 and 9, ‘Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.’ Wow…it was true! I’ve been neglecting my time with the Lord and my time in His word. Sure, I’ve been reading devotionals and a short verse, but that’s just not the same. After reading these verses, the image of the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) came to mind. I have been leaving myself open and not fully protected to the attacks of an enemy that hated me and was unrelenting in his assault. How could I cut through the lies and half-truths, if I didn’t arm myself with the sword of truth? There I was, an anointed, declared heir of the Most High King and I’d been allowing myself to be ‘rolled over’ by the court fool. Satan is a liar, a murderer and a thief. I’ve listened to his lies and in doing so, allowed him to steal my joy and make me ineffective. But God showed me it doesn't have to be that way...doesn't have to remain that way. And so I praise God for His faithfulness! Even in the midst of my senseless floundering in my own forgetfulness, He remains faithful and is a beacon welcoming the lost and weary. He is the Good Shepherd who is not willing to let even one of His own be taken from Him!
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace…