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We often think of the enemy as Hollywood has characterized him as. An ugly guy with red horns. But that isn’t how he is. He can be something so beautiful that will make people think “Could this be from God?”. He’s the father of lies (John 8:44) and by looking beautiful is how he tricks us. I’m speaking from experience here. I have learned a lot more than I have ever before. It is so important to back everything up with scriptures to not fall into the same messy pit as I just came out of.
Two months before my last YWAM trip, I met someone. In my eyes, he could have been sent from God to me and I honestly believed it. I thought I saw the red-flags but I really didn’t. I ignored them and tried to justify them or even make excuses for them. I was so enticed by this person that I let it drive friends away and even put a wedge between my family. I started to backtrack from all the progress I made with God. I started to lie and become someone I was never suppose to be. I turned into someone completely other than me. I wasn’t following God or being who He called me to be, and I had put Him on the back burner. I was trying to be my own god. Even on the YWAM trip, many told me that this person could not possibly be what God wanted for me, but I didn’t listen. Instead, I would get angry and ignore their words. The grip that the enemy had on me, everyone could see but me. Hindsight is 20-20, right?
While on the YWAM trip, I had a God-switch. During ministry, I would turn the God-switch on and put aside the distraction and what not. But outside of ministry, in my own time, I didn’t spend time with God. I didn’t focus on God. Instead, I focused on this relationship that was giving me anxiety and slowly breaking my heart. I was so wrapped up with the issues that was in the relationship and ignored the soft, tender words of God saying to “Let him go.”.
For 7 months, I was living in disobedience.
Let me tell you, the biggest thing I have ever learned is to just listen to God and even when it seems like His ‘No’ is unfair or the worst thing ever, it’s not. His “No”s are actually good. They save us from destruction, heartbreak, confusion and breakdowns. God is not against us, although we like to think He is sometimes, His plans and intentions for us are good.
I honestly thought that this person was amazing. I trusted myself more than I trusted God. I used my free-will to not listen to God and to not trust that His “no” would actually be beneficial for me. But God always proves himself to be trustworthy. The person turned out to be the exact opposite of everything I thought of them, and I was left heartbroken and confused. God was trying to save me from that very thing and yet I didn’t let Him. We often blame God for our problems and troubles, but have we stopped to reflect on is we were actually listening to God in the first place? There’s a difference between hearing God and listening to God. Hearing can be passive but when you are listening, you are engaged with the speaker and taking in what they are saying. I was merely hearing God when He warned me not to live on my own. I didn’t take His word to heart, as I should have.
Don’t underestimate the power of Satan, but don’t give him too much power either. Ultimately God is the most powerful. But I gave Satan too little credit and he showed me otherwise. He enticed me with something that looked beautiful on the outside and he knew my weakness. He showed me something that looked really good. It made me not want to even listen to God. Back EVERYTHING up with scripture. I know it sounds hyper-christian, but it’s not. It’s having your guard up against the enemy and not allowing him an opportunity. Don’t give the devil an opportunity!! It’s easy to become a lukewarm Christian and be enticed by the enemy, as I have learned. Next time that I am unsure of a circumstance or have questions or when everything seems to be against whatever it is I’m trying to do, I’m going to humble myself and take it to God for His perspective.
It could be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen but that doesn’t mean it’s from God.
In the middle of it all, I pushed God away, told Him “I’ve got this”, and basically tried living a life without Him in it. I NEVER WANT THAT AGAIN. Being my own god is the most stupid thing I could have possibly done. There is no good apart from God. When we try to do it on our own, we dig our graves. We continuously try to fill the God-shaped hole in our heart with worldly things but nothing measures up to it and nothing ever will. The only way to fill it if we allow God to be in control and be our everything.
I feel like the parodical son. I ran away from God (yes even on a mission trip) and wanted nothing to do with Him. But when my world finally came crashing down on me and I had no where to turn, God was there. He was and is always there. He truly never leaves us even when we tell him too. His love in unconditional. I can’t stress any of this enough. God keeps His promises even when we don’t. God doesn’t say, “I told you so” when we humble ourselves to Him. He says “It’s okay. I love you”. That was the hardest to accept for me. I was scared to go to God because of my pride and honestly, because the Devil didn’t want me to go back to God. But when I did go to God, there was only peace, joy, comfort, love, and above all, grace. Nothing like I was expecting. This whole christianity thing really isn’t religion. Religion says “You have to be good enough for me to accept you” but God says “I’m good enough to accept you”. It’s really not about what we do, it’s about what Christ already did. We need to fully accept Christ and be transformed to His likeness. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to enter into our live and flow through us.
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