Post prompted by what God is doing in my life currently and it happens to fit in with this week's Sunday Scribblings "I would never write. . ." Coincidence? (I don't believe in them)
Normally I avoid writing anything that would reveal the "ugly" side of me. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and a bit of a people pleaser to be perfectly honest. I understand nobody likes to show off their bad traits, so I'm really not any different than anyone else, but I feel God prompting me to write about what He has been revealing to me lately. In order to do that, I have to show you my "ugly" side. My dark side if you will.
Don't get too excited, I'm not opening the closet wide enough for you to walk in and fully explore the skeletons inside. Just a peek. Some things will just stay between me and God.
I've always believed in a spiritual world that is playing out all around us, but to which we are for the most part blind and deaf. However, the Lord has been revealing a bit more of this to me recently and showing me that whether we see or feel it, whether we want to admit it or not, we are all part of a spiritual battle. In a sense we are the center of it. On one side we are greatly loved (so much so that a life has been given for us) and on the other side we are just a pawn. A means to an end. It is funny how we so often choose the side that is just using us.
However, I've always thought of this struggle in the spiritual world and also within us, to be a power struggle. I've come to realize it is really a truth struggle. (Read The Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson for more on this) You see, it is only a power struggle when two opposing sides are fighting to determine who is stronger, who is going to win. However, in this case the battle is already won. Jesus is the victor.
Even though Satan has been thoroughly defeated though, he is determined to take down as many as possible when he falls. Because of this he does everything in his power to deceive us into thinking the battle is not already won. That he is on the winning side or that we must do something to determine the winner. This is what we are struggling with in our lives. We can not win this war and we do not have to because it is already done. As a Christian, Satan does not really have any power over us. He just doesn't want us to know that!
I've prayed in the past that the Lord give me strength to resist temptations and the devil. While this is a good prayer (He is strong in our weakness) I've started to change my prayers. They are now that the Lord reveals the lies of the devil to me. To shine his holy light on the lies Satan tries to feed me everyday so I can know the Truth.
You see, I have voices in my head. Not "crazy" voices. It is actually my voice, but it is a destructive voice. It is the voice that tells me although God does love me I am not worthy yet to be used by him. I'm not good enough, I don't pray enough, I don't read my Bible enough. The voice that puts me down all the time and tells me my life is a lie. That I don't really love God and my motives are impure. The voice that tells me everyone else can see through my mask and knows I'm not truely God's child.
Although this is my voice I'm hearing it is not of God. It is of Satan. God is working to heal me right now and to reveal these lies to me for what they are. The devil tells me these things to hinder my effectiveness for God.
During this process God is not only revealing the lies being whispered to me by the evil one, but He is also revealing things in my life that I've not been willing to face. These are the things that are keeping me from identifying the lies of the evil one. That is where the shame and anger comes in. I've had people in my life hurt me, we all have. But God is revealing to me that I've bottled this anger up and worse yet, held onto it for dear life. I've continued to feed it over the years. It is called unforgiveness. It does not hurt the person who hurt you. It just hurts you more. It keeps me from living my life fully as God intended.
I wish I could say God revealed this to me, I said a prayer and it is gone. No more pent up anger and shame due to unforgiveness in my life. Nope, it is a process. Everyday I ask God to help me, to reveal these things to me. Everyday He does and for the most part things get easier. I have some days I catch myself holding on though, it gives me some perverse pleasure to wallow in the anger. But those days are fewer and farther between now.
The key I'm realizing is to ask God to reveal His Truth in my life, be open to those Truths and embrace them. I must believe, embrace and live the Truth one day at a time.
I recently had someone speak prophecy over me. Of all the encouraging words she gave me, one was that God was going to restore the lost years. Originally I thought she was referring to the eight years just after high school when I turned my back on God. But now I am realizing she is meaning all this time that I've been an ineffective Christian, because I was believing the lies of the enemy and wallowing in self pity, shame and pent up anger. The Lord is revealing his Truth to me and restoring those lost years so I can become the person He intends me to be. One day at a time.