How is everyone doing? We are in the second quarter of the year and I can still remember, like yesterday, when we all gathered somewhere, at church or at home, to congratulate one another on crossing over to a new year. Those that made new year resolutions, how is that going? I must confess that I am falling waaaaaaaaaaay behind on the resolutions I made for this year. If you belong in this category, just know that it’s okay to fall behind, as long as you make sure to pick up the pace and get to your destination.
When we haven’t been in some situations, it can be very easy to conclude that we know exactly how we will act if we are ever in that same situation. We tend to speak a lot about things that we only know from the outside without ever taking the time to find out the deeper things that surrounds that seemingly simple situation. I have a confession, and this might seem like a small thing to someone out there, but it really is a big deal to me. I am a Christian, that’s my identity. The first thing I think of when I’m asked to describe myself is that I am a child of God. I am proud of who I am and how far God has brought me. But lately, I’ve been finding it very difficult to communicate with God. Not because He’s not there, but because I just feel some typa way. The resolution for this year that I made is to finish my one year bible reading plan, but I’ve fallen behind big time on that.
The distance that I created between me and God allowed me to let the devil whisper to my ears just for a second. If you are familiar with Shakespeare’s Othello then you would know that the way Iago was successful in poisoning Othello’s mind is by poisoning his ears. After that, Othello spirals out of control and starts to do things he normally would not do. That is exactly what the devil does- he whispers. Not because he’s as gentle as the Holy Spirit, but because he is powerless and a coward. he is not bold enough to talk to you because you have more power than he does. However, he knows when to strike because he’s always at alert, which is why the Bible tells us to keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” (Matthew 26:41).
Well, I started to believe what he was saying, which was absolutely, positively wrong. I started to believe the lie that I was sick and nothing could be done, when God proves to me everyday that He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). I also started to wonder what God has in store for me concerning my future even though my favorite verse says, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). When I started to read the news and see sad things happening, I remembered God’s Words to me that If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment (Job 36:11). I watched some movies and saw that things happen to people and they are just hated for no fault of their own and God reminded me that, When a person’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7).
You know the funny thing? When God started to remind me of these things, the devil came back and reminded me that I have been distant from God and have no rights to these things. For a moment there, I almost believed him. I started to define myself by my mistakes and not by who God has called me to be. You see, God told me that I am a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that I may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Hmmmm, as if that wasn’t enough, God reminded me of what my pastor says in church. You see, where you worship is very important and should not be taken lightly.That is why the Bible says, and let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near (Hebrews 10:25).
If the pastor you’re under does not say anything that will help in your time of need, then you should really pray about that covering. My pastor says something that help me shut the devil up once and for all. He says that, when the devil comes to remind you of your past, talk to him about his future. And boom, that was it. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who brought that to my remembrance. The devil has been condemned for eternity; I still have a chance to redeem myself before God. The saying, “misery loves company,” applies perfectly to the devil. He just wants people who will be condemned forever like him, and I am determined not to be one of them.
I’m back to my father and I’m grateful that God has opened up His arms to accept my very many flaws. You see, we get so busy doing other things rather than check in with the Person who gave us the life or the job to begin with. Having a relationship with God helps you to know your identity. Defining yourself by who God has called you to be and not by your circumstances, or those mentors or people around you who can’t seem to see past your situations, is the best thing you can ever do.
P.S: That song has been giving me life for days and reminding me of how much God loves me. Did I happen to mention just how much I love Jonathan McReynolds?