“While you are serving the Lord, you are in a posture
to hear from Him most clearly and be tempted
by Satan the most intensely.”
My friend spoke this truth to me a few days ago. Her words have resonated with me and have been echoed in the scriptures I have read.
“When I want to do what is good, evil is with me.
For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law.
But I see a different law in the parts of my body. “
At some point the excitement of a new adventure wears off and it just becomes real and raw. Anyone can “play Christian” if even for a little while. It is in these moments you decide where your focus will be. If you take your eyes off of Him you are most certain to feel exposed, vulnerable and breathless.
When you feel too comfortable, like you’ve got a handle on things, your guard is down and all kinds of crazy can get in. The neglect of your primary relationship with the Father causes you to forget why you are here, what you have learned, and where your hope should lie. You start to go through the motions of life again and things just become….alright. In biblical terms you start to live in the flesh and not the spirit, and we all know that road is a one-way path to death. It is never a leap in the opposite direction; it is always one step at a time.
Searching for some type of normalcy, something that seems to make sense, but everywhere you look there is no sign of familiarity. There is this chaos inside of you that you can’t quite get a handle on. You fill your time with empty things, stress and worry, because it would simply be too hard to sit down and pray; to reconfigure your mission and deal with the environment. You refuse to see how far away from Him you’ve gotten because you still think you have it all under control. You’ve played this game before but for some reason can’t remember why this course of action never works out well.
This is me. This is my reaction to the rawness of life, a life that may not always head in the direction I pictured. In and of myself it is not natural that I run to the Lord when I get scared, or I am unsure. I run away from Him for some ridiculous reason. It is my way of taking control of my own life. A tug of war if you will with the great I AM.
I justify my wandering because I’m still going to church. I pretend that doing ministry is going to suffice for ignoring intimacy with the Father. I “run out of time” to sit down and talk to Him. I assume I’ve prayed enough about a situation and I stop asking Him for guidance. I mean, I can handle this after all, right? I allow the distractions of life, not all of which are bad, to become my reason for living. I worship the created, and not the creator.
“For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice
the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not
want, I am no longer the one doing it,
but it is the sin that lives in me.”
I wish that 23-year-old Sarah could talk to 15-year-old Sarah about the disciplines she should be practicing in her young years, so that she would be prepared for the enemy’s attacks.
Today I’m feeling honest. Life is hard, no matter where you are. It is hard serving the Lord; it is hard running away from Him. It was never intended to be a picnic. I mean our Savior was crucified on a cross, why do we think this is supposed to be easy? I may be the only person in the world who falls prey to this arrogance. I may be the only one who feels the chaos in her heart, or the only one who runs away even when I know where help lies. However, I don’t for a second believe that is true, I know that my God would still fight for me, even if I was the only one.
Because somewhere in the midst of the chaos you can hear Him calling again. Your minor melt down is interrupted by a whisper in prayer, a worship song, a stern scolding from a friend, or a random bible verse that popped up on your phone. Sometimes it takes days to hear Him calling, or even months, and yes it could even take years. But you hit a wall and realize that you’ve taken a very unnecessary detour back to His throne room.
For me, all of these things have happened at some point in my life. Luckily lately it hasn’t taken Him long to get my attention. I have been reminded who I am, and whose I am. I know where my peace must lie; because His arms are the only place I have ever found it. I know that, because I’ve experienced it.
The truth of the matter is, if you are His than He desires for you to rest in Him. He has designed us that way. We can’t fight our demons on our own, whether they seem small or large. Only His Spirit can do that. We must place our hope in Him and a will that we don’t understand.
“Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope,
because who hopes for what he sees.”
We must remind ourselves and each other who we are. We are redeemed. We may slip, we may fall, but we will never lose our citizenship with Christ. We are co-heirs with the Darling of Heaven and have been promised the love of the Father until time stops.
“For I am persuaded that not even death or life,
angels or rulers, things present or things to come,
hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing,
will have the power to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”