Don’t you just love how God can reach out and smack you in the head sometimes? I don’t know about you, but I need it on occasion, and today was one of those occasions.
Yesterday afternoon, the hubby and I were sitting at our kitchen table discussing Bible studies. I was lamenting how I was really wanting a good, beyond surface level study to do during my quiet time. Not a book on spiritual formation, or a feel-good 2 minute study, but a real “dig in” kind of study. He told me to go out and find one. (I love him and his simplistic answers.)
Background: A few months ago, a friend from seminary posted on facebook that she was seeking some accountability as she wanted to go through Beth Moore’s 90 Day Journey with Paul. I had the book already, so I said sure. We formed a little group on fb and got started. Shortly after this, we were called to a new church and the task of moving began. As much as I tried to keep up studying, I failed, and Paul got packed away with everything else.
I got so far behind everyone else, I thought to myself, why bother picking it back up. Catching up isn’t going to happen. You know, I was really rather embarrassed to let the other ladies in the group know how far behind I was.
Back to Yesterday: I mentioned to my hubby that I had been enjoying the study, while I was doing it. It may not have been as “deep” as what I thought I wanted, but it didn’t really matter now. I was so far behind there was no point in picking it back up. He lovingly gave me that “whatever you think you should do” look, and we continued on with a new conversation. (Ladies, don’t you just love how your fellas can speak a million words with just a look.)
This morning, I put my risen sour dough loaves in the oven to bake, fixed my cup of coffee and sat down with my Bible. Not really having a clear direction, I felt nudged to go grab Paul from my desk. Here’s what was at the end of our little lesson:
How does it help to know that a real enemy is engaged in battle against you, an actual foe who is seeking to deceive you and distract you? Rather than suffering endless pangs of guilt over your inconsistency or weakness of character, does it strengthen your muscle to know that your acts of obedience are blows against Satan’s army? This is war! Wanna fight?
Thanks for that, Beth! God has used your words to smack some sense into me this morning. I was so wrapped up in me and what I had failed to do. I was allowing the enemy to distract me from the whole point. Here was my reply to her question:
It helps me to not condemn myself as harshly. It’s so easy to forget that the enemy has an army surrounding us, trying to beat us down & prevent us from getting in the Word, & spending time in prayer. We should acknowledge our victories! Celebrate them & then seek them our more often.
It’s so easy to allow Satan to distract us every day. And after a while, we start blaming ourselves, beating ourselves up because we were distracted. Then, we just want to write the whole thing off, and never get God’s blessing for us. So what if you get behind in your quiet time? Here’s a thought…pick it back up! Proclaim a victory! Be obedient and give the enemy the blow he deserves! Rejoice in your victories over Satan’s distractions! Keep at it! Distractions will happen! Worry more if they don’t! When Satan sees you as a threat, he’s going to pound you with everything he’s got. Kids are going to need you. The phone is going to ring. People will knock on the door. Etc, etc, etc.
Let me end this with Beth’s prayer from 1 Peter 5:8-10
We heed Your call, Lord, to be sober, to be on alert! For our adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. May we resist him, Lord, firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by our brothers in the world–knowing, too, that You, the God of all grace, who called us to Your eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support us after we have suffered a little.
Don’t give up! Don’t let Satan beat you down with distractions and life. Let’s celebrate our victories (even the smallest ones) together!