The past year has been a real struggle for me both emotionally and mentally. At times it has truly felt like a war was being waged inside of my mind and heart, which, the Bible tells us WILL happen.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you WILL have trouble….” John 16:33
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
During this time, it has honestly felt like Satan is throwing everything he has at me: doubt, worry, fear, anxiety, depression, physical sickness, lust, even a kitchen sink! (No, really, it was a source of contention between my husband and myself about whether or not to replace the kitchen sink in a house we are trying to sell!) I have many days, most in fact, where I feel like I am on an emotional/mental roller coaster! Satan hits me with one fear and just as I begin to think I have reigned it in he hits me with another…I swear Satan has ADD!
But, that’s what he does, he keeps us in a state of confusion to distract us from the glory and grace of our most amazing Father in heaven.
Growing up, I don’t remember talking about Satan in church or at home (once I was old enough to truly understand, anyways). It’s almost as though his name was viewed like the name of Voldemort from the Harry Potter series…just saying his name was a no-no! But, with my on-going spiritual growth, I’ve come to truly believe in this thing called spiritual warfare.
Satan is intentionally deceptive, i.e. a liar! He wants to make us feel defeated and alone or unique in our struggles. Let me assure you right now…if you struggle with anxiety, depression, self-worth, doubt, or fear, and you feel like no one else in the entire world may stand up with you and admit this, I will…so I say again, you are not alone! Other issues are not singular either…divorce, gambling addiction, drug abuse, etc. It’s common to all of God’s children. But, Satan wants us to think it only applies us…that way we feel isolated and alone. Why is that important to Satan? Because it’s easier to take down a lone lamb than an entire flock. That’s why the body of Christ is so critical and communing together is so vital…it actually makes us stronger! I use to attend church out of obligation, but now I want to go to praise God, and build relationships with my brothers and sisters in Christ. No man is an island!
Satan also tries constantly to make us doubt our God, ourselves and others. Now, doubt isn’t always a bad thing in life. It actually keeps us safe sometimes, like when we doubt whether or not a rope swing will hold us, or if jumping off a cliff into a river is a good idea or not. Doubt when it comes to the Word of God is not all bad, it is human nature after all. Doubt challenges us in our thinking or rethinking, it forces us to do our own research and dive even deeper into the Word, and can actually strengthen our faith when brought to the Father. But, we must ask for discernment from the Holy Spirit when facing doubt, so as to not allow it to transform into disbelief.
When you have doubts, seek a friend, or pastor, or someone you trust who can give perspective and help you think through things without fear of judgment.
Let us look back to the rest of the first verse from above…
“But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Spiritual warfare is happening all around us, and will continue to happen, but take heart, in other words, be courageous, brave, steadfast, assured…Jesus has overcome these troubles. While it may feel like we will not overcome them, we will. We will have the ultimate victory over our enemy because of what Christ Jesus has done for us when he became the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. So tell Satan to get to stepping because you are the righteousness of God through Christ!