I have been in a wrestling stage of life lately. When I say that, I mean there have been some issues that I have been wrestling with God over. I have been at my wits end. I have been paralyzed with emotions. I haven’t been able to write. I have been dealing with so many things that have made me crazy. I am in the “fake it till you make it” mode.
It seems like whenever I am in a difficult stage of life, Satan pounces on me with many lies. He knows how to get to me. So, I have to fight back with God’s word and what it says. Sometimes just reading scripture makes me feel so much better and it gives me the ammunition I need to survive. And also one of the best ways I know to fight the enemy is to do a Beth Moore Bible study! I felt led to start “The Quest” study a few weeks ago because it is geared towards intimacy with God and who doesn’t need more of that!
One of the ways to gain intimacy with anyone is to ask questions. That is how you get to know someone better. Now, I have always been a person who asks a lot of questions. I like to get down to the nitty gritty. I want to know answers. I want to know people. I like hearing people tell me things about themselves. I am one of those people who strikes up conversations with complete strangers. Ask my kids. They have seen me do this many, many times. (I can see their eyes rolling right now!) I just like to talk–I guess– but I also like to listen. I like to learn. I like to understand. So, when I come across things that are perplexing to me, I go into crazy mode to find the answer.
Beth points out in the beginning of the study that God wants intimacy with us. He wants interaction with us. He wants us to communicate with HIm. He wants us to verbalize our feelings even though He already knows what they are. He wants us to get things out in the open. He wants honesty. Now I don’t know about you, but sometimes that is hard for me, especially when I am really mad and hurt. I have to remember who I am talking to. I am talking to my Father who is good and loving and kind. I have to see myself as His child whom He loves.
“Who you increasingly believe God to be and, in His light, believe yourself to be is not only fundamental to intimacy, it is fundamental to victory.” Moore So, I have been asking myself questions as well. Who do I believe God to be? How do I believe He sees me? My answers to those questions help me connect my identity to Christ.
Here are some gems I discovered about God that I wrote in my journal. “You will be with me wherever I go. You are my God. You will strengthen me and help me and uphold me. You have redeemed me. You have summoned me by name. There is no one else like you. You are pleased to give me the kingdom. You give me peace. You don’t give as the world gives. You don’t want my heart to be troubled and You don’t cause me to be afraid. You have me in the palm of your hand. There is no one else like you. You are righteous and just. You ride across the heavens to help me. No one else knows me or loves me like You do. You are faithful. Your are devoted to your people. You are full of blessings. You keep your promises. You watch over your children.” I could go on and on and on. He is so wonderful!
I have been blasted so many times by the enemy because of my fearful thoughts. I know God did not give me a spirit of fear. Fear is from the enemy. Moore states, “Fear is the consummate robber.” She goes on to explain the distinction between a thief and a robber. “A thief works by stealth and a robber works by threat. A pickpocket is a thief. At the time of the crime the victim is oblivious. A robber, on the other hand, confronts and threatens. He wields a weapon, be it literal or psychological. Sometimes the robber follows through on the threat. But what he is banking on is the success of the threat.”
When I read those words it helped me make sense out of my fears because I grew up with a “robber” as a father. There were physical or psychological threats on a daily basis. I didn’t realize how much of a robber he was, until I read those words. A light went off inside me. (I had a “AHA!” moment) My fears made so much more sense to me. My Dad got away with so much because we didn’t know how to stop him. How do you stop someone who was so good at masking his behavior to others? He made us all crazy and full of fear!!! When you grow up with someone like that as your Dad, it messes with you.
Beth states, “Fear and faith fight for the same space. Each is territorial. They cannot be roommates. They will not coexist.” For years, that battle between faith and fear has been going on inside me. That’s why my body has fallen apart and my mind has too. I have had many ups and downs. But, I am determined to not give up! I am not going to allow what has happened in my past to dictate my future. I will not let Satan have that victory in my life. I want to please the Lord and I want faith to rule in my life.
I am learning that it is okay to ask questions of God. It is a great way to build intimacy with Him. Sometimes I get answers and sometimes I don’t. Jesus says in Luke 11:9, “So I say to you; Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Sometimes I am pounding on that door!) I also just realized that the first letter from ask, seek and knock spells ASK. How have I not seen that before? So, I think maybe God is trying to tell me something. I know I settle way too much for the way things are instead of asking for things to change or for me to change. (Usually I am the one that needs to be changed!)
I think this is a profound statement by Beth Moore. “The human soul was fashioned to prize discovery above luxury.” I can honestly say that is what I prefer. I want to discover all the wonderful things about God that I possibly can. The older I get, I just want more of Jesus! I would rather have revelations than answers. I want Him to reveal things to me. I want spiritual change.
I want all of you to know that I find no satisfaction in talking about my Dad the way I have to. I only share this because I am lead to. I don’t know many people in my immediate circle of friends that were raised like I was, but I know that there are a lot of hurting people out there that need help. That is why I write. I want you to know that I care and I want to help. Following the Lord is the only way I have survived. I could easily have been a statistic without Him in my life.
I want you to know that God sees you and He sees me. Hagar beautifully states in Genesis 16:13 “You are the God who sees me.” An angel of the Lord pursued her after she ran away from Sarah who was mistreating her at the time. God sees what is going on. He knows what is happening. Because of sin and free will, we all suffer under the hands of evil people. There is no way to get around it. But, we do have someone to turn to. Someone who can help us get through the difficult things in life.
I know how hard it is to keep moving forward day after day when you feel like dying. It is the most miserable feeling in the world. I have had many, many days like that. I recently read about a pastor in California that ended his life because he suffered from depression and anxiety. I know all too well what that feels like. My heart breaks for his family. If you know someone who suffers with both or either one, please pray for them. Please pray for me.
I have had to take medication, been diagnosed with PTSD, gone through intense counseling, EMDR therapy, exercise and eat healthy. I have poured into books and Bible studies and spent hours with the Lord. I don’t regret any of it. It has brought me to where I am today. Have I felt like giving up? YES. But I have a determination to seek the Lord like crazy and I am blessed He made me like this.
I have realized that there aren’t clear cut answers for so many things. I will never understand why people are evil and cruel. But, I realize that I need more of Jesus in my life. More of the Holy Spirit to give me the ability to live my life. More revelations! More time spent in His word. More focus on Him because He truly is the answer. Just recently, I had to ask myself if I wanted an answer more or if I wanted Jesus more. I finally was able to say that I wanted Jesus more. (Sometimes it is really hard to have an inquisitive mind.)
I have always kind of felt guilty about all the questions and wrestling that I have done. Beth made me feel so much better when I read this: “In the very same breath Abraham brought questions, he breathed faith. Feeling conflicted and confused is not the same as faithlessness. It takes faith to wrestle with doubt.” THANK HEAVENS!
I know this post was a little lengthy, but I felt the need to share so much this time with you. If you are wrestling like I have been, hang in there! Keep talking to God. He will reveal things to you. Keep at it! Don’t ever stop! There is light at the end of the tunnel. I am experiencing that light right now and it feels so good!
Until next time dear friends……