This past year I encountered many challenges. Challenges can propel us forward or knock us down.
I just recently heard of someone well known denouncing their faith. I wasn’t to that point, but I can see how they may have gotten there. The dark places I had encountered were full of negative thoughts, but not your average kind, half truths about myself and God. These half truths were just enough of a rabbit hole to explore.
I had been humbled about prayer, something I have always enjoyed and felt confident in. This humbling was good because it reminded me who was ultimately in charge, but it went bad when I began to feel insecure about it. God’s purpose was to humble me not lead me to insecurity, that is the dark-sides job.
Insecurity is not humility. Humility is knowing where everything comes from. It is knowing that He is the vine and you are the branches (John15:5). I had begun to feel insecure, and in my insecurity began to see the Bible as a manual and not as a truth.
I learned this lesson from the book, The God Of All Comfort by Hannah Smith. She reminds us that if we see the Bible as a manual then we will try and attain and reach for what the Bible says and in turn we will become worn out Christians sad and bogged down with life; however, if we accept it as truth then our minds can rest in all that God has for us.
It is true. If I read the scriptures as something I must do instead of believing them as truth, I take a different posture and begin to believe I, myself have control over how my life will turn out. I begin to believe I can micro manage God with my prayers, I begin to think I can do all things if I try hard enough. There is a loss of humility in it all and a sense of inferiority that leads to RESENTMENT. Thoughts like…God is only settling me up for failure.
But…If I read the Lord is my Shepard I lack nothing, (Psalms 23:1) from the view of fact it really takes on a mind blowing aspect. From the attainable view I need to measure up or reach for faith I don’t have…but from the view of fact, I rest in the truth with no effort, knowing my God given faith will fill in for me.
I had lost this view. My mind was going to places like…
I had become indifferent to it all, and my mind sat in a pensive blank space lacking hope, and purpose.
Then I met with a friend and confessed my indifference with her. She listened and could relate, but then she told me a story…
The last time I held the position of prayer team, (two women who are designated to pray constantly for a weekend retreat we attend twice a year) I had decided to walk out of the prayer room to take in the beautiful views of the mountaintop. I was only going to stand out there for a moment so I left the door open. I took one look around and all of the sudden a large black snake slithered out from the rocks, passed me, and slithered right up to the threshold door. It stopped in its tracks, looked inside, looked at me, then turned around and retreated back to the direction of the rocks. That is when I heard a voice say: “There is evil all around, this is why you pray.”
The invisible wall of prayer kept the snake out. As I let the story soak in, I realized that in the process of my challenges I had been facing I had let the dark-side silence me. I had quit writing, quit praying and now my house was full of snakes! I was fearful, anxious, hopeless, and insecure, but once my eyes were open I resisted the devil and he fleed from me. (James 4:7) The truth began to flood my mind.
I am a child of God.
I am to use my talents not bury them.
I don’t need to worry about whether my writing will succeed or not, I am just to write what I write.
I don’t need to seek ways I can serve God I just need to be the vessel. He is the spring that overflows onto others.
We must fight for our salvation. We must seek the Bible as truth, believe and rest in it, for in the view of truth the burden is light (Matthew 11:30), we can find rest (Matthew 11:28), comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) , peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7),
The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot.
6The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
7I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;
Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.
8I have set the LORD continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely.
10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
11You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Psalms 16:5-11 NASB
We must rest in Gods words…because if we keep trying to attain what is in the Bible we will get worn out and it won’t be long until we all begin to denounce our faith. Don’t let your house get full of snakes!