When I decided to follow Jesus, I had no idea that what that meant was not only would I have a life full of new and different and abundance, but I would also have a target on my back because Satan is not thrilled that I am not on his team.
I think, if I am being honest, that had I known all that has been revealed to me since then I may have been tempted to give in and give up right then. However, God is good about what He allows us to see and when He allows us to see it.
What I know now, is that while God wants my whole heart and my whole everything, there is a battle for control over going on and if not being equipped for the battle, I would give up instead of show up. Before Jesus, the battle was all around me, but I hadn’t yet decided whose team I was signing with.
I have recognized in the past few months, and especially over the last few weeks, that while I am bravely choosing to give Him my everything I am also being tempted to believe lies and being temporarily bombarded with the insanity of not living in each moment as it comes.
Here are some of the things that I have thought about for just a brief moment that maybe you can relate to:
- You don’t know enough to share what you know.
- People will not understand how and why you use “I and me statements.” They will think you are arrogant and prideful, looking for validation and seeking approval.
- You are not going to accomplish anything in this venture.
None of those words sound like they are speaking truth and life. None of those words sound like they are coming from our loving God. None of those words offer hope and freedom.
It sounds like the lies and schemes of satan to distract me, make me afraid, and to shut my mouth. And I know, as much as he would like to believe he can use all of that to win the battle for my everything, that I serve and follow a totally victorious God who has already fought the battle for my everything and won.
And so, here’s the truth that I am taking hold of in the battle for my everything.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
We know that we are in training and in the battle all at the same time. We know that there is an enemy after us, as Jesus followers, we have a target on our back. Believing the word of God takes effort. It takes trust. It takes time. It takes community. It takes training which requires self-control. It takes discipline to be His disciple.
When the battle comes, as He promises it will, we have to choose the truth. We have to choose to believe that we are bold, powerful, self-disciplined and available to be used by God in order to become it. We know is is not our power, but His.
The battle for my everything is my all-in, sold out heart for Jesus and who He is in my life. The all-in of using gifts and talents to serve Him and share Him. The all-in of spending time with Him and His community. The all-in of loving people that are not yet in His community. The all-in of doing things that require courage and discomfort at the same time.
So those little arrows that the enemy has been launching my way? I am protected by truth, and I am committed to giving Him my everything even when it’s hard, uncomfortable and way outside of my control. God used those very thoughts and turned them into training ground and preparation for what’s next. His power, love and discipline lives in each one of us.
Think about it: Are you giving up or showing up?