Yesterday evening, I was in a serious funk. I had been busy all day until about 4, so as soon as I had a chance to come home and think, My thoughts were instantly invaded by The Enemy. I wholeheartedly believe that our minds are spiritual battle grounds. Just look at Ephesians 6:12 -
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Yikes. That verse always sends a chill down my spine. So if the battle is not against flesh and blood, where does the attack take place?? In our minds.
And it's usually a sneak attack, too. Last week, our pastor showed a video of Troy Polamalu's testimony (somewhat begrudgingly. He IS a Pittsburgh Steeler, after all :-P). I thought Troy hit the nail on the head when he said,
"It's like the really big things that are really easy to run away from. It's the accumulation of like the really small things....You know, people know adultery's bad, and murder's bad. I'm not gonna go out and, you know, sleep with the first girl I see. I'm not gonna go out and beat up and murder the first guy I see. But when you're eyes start wandering.... And your eyes start wandering a little bit more, and you start becoming a little more jealous, envious, you know...and these passions start to come really rising up inside of you, that's when it gets really dangerous. Because the devil doesn't work that way. His strategy's always to be very subtle, and just continue to build on top of that evil seed that he planted."
Well said, Troy, Well said. Joyce Meyer wrote an entire book on this subject, called "The Battlefield of the Mind." I've mentioned it on the blog before, because it is one of the best, most life-changing things I've ever read. Go read it!
Anyway, I see my life going a certain way. And, as I've written before, God does not see it the same way, and His plans are not my plans. As painful as that is, I know He has something so much better for me. But lately I've let myself start to take things into my own hands again, a little at a time, and I let false hope rise again in my heart.
I won't go into specifics, but let's just say last night my false hopes came to a crashing halt when once again it became obvious to me that what I want to happen, simply is not going to happen. The Enemy has been working on me day and night for weeks, and things finally came to a head last night. I was all alone at home, and I ended up lying on the floor, absolutely bawling my eyes out, in one, defeated heap. Please tell me I am not the only one who has been here? I stayed that way for a good 45 minutes or so. I just could not get ahold of myself.
(Maybe I shouldn't be so honest on my blog, but I feel like my situations and experiences can help other people, or at least give you someone to identify with.)
Finally as I was lying there on the floor, I realized that I don't HAVE to feel that way. I know that if I had kept my eyes on the Lord (kept a "vertical viewpoint" instead of a "horizontal viewpoint" as my pastor likes to say) I would have avoided an extremely painful evening. I know that God has a plan for my life that is so much better than the one I have for myself.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11
But sometimes, we are human, and Satan plans a sneak attack, and we don't even realize it's happening until it all blows up in our faces.
However, God is going to win the battle every single time if we go to Him. And after my breakdown last night, I felt the comfort and peace of the Lord in a very strong way. Like I said, I knew I didn't have to feel the way I did. I could look to the future with hope and excitement instead of dread and jealousy of those who get to live the life I pictured for myself.
I believe that it is in those moments of complete defeatedness that God can come through for us in a way like never before. And after my breakdown last night, I had the best night ever. I felt at peace, I knew God had been there for me, and I had such an excitement and hopefulness about my future.
And this morning when I woke up, and the sun was streaming through my bedroom window, and my sweet cat Ellie was cuddling up beside me, I felt even better. I knew that I wasn't going to waste this day. I'm going to let God use me in it, and I'm going to see all of His blessings for what they're worth. I'm praising God this morning.
"...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." ~Psalm 30:5b