Monday, October 31, 2016

Spiritual Battles

by Andrea Renee Cox

Asking for patience (as I talked about last week) or to better see what God is doing in my life might be easy prayers to say, but the living out of the answers that come is hardly ever easy or comfortable. I knew that going into those prayers, but it didn’t dissuade me. The answers are coming now, and boy, are they ever hard. But still I am not discouraged.

Even when the lessons are hard and break me, I refuse to give up the fight for God’s will. He is always worth it. My prayer through those toughest moments is usually, “God, help me.” But I’m finding out that I may add a little something else to that prayer. My prayer is becoming, “God, help me. I cannot do this without You. I need You. More than that. I want You. More than anything or anyone, I want You.”

When the answers God sends aren’t what I thought or were harder than the “hard” I imagined, the choice is mine. Will I decide to give up and settle for less than the best God has in store for me? Or will I choose to step out in faith, no matter how difficult things get, in order to walk in the will of God?

Through recent days and more than a few hard knocks, I’m learning that being willing to ask the difficult questions is only the first step of many required in this faith walk. The trek that follows is proving to be more excruciating than I ever could have imagined. But the conclusion I’m coming to is that the true liberty that comes from going through this pain is worth the battle.

Laying down a burden might sound simple. But when we’re talking spiritual battles, that is so far from the reality. There’s a particular weight I’ve been carrying around for years, almost as if it was some prize I’d won. It’s something I’ve tried to lay down many times over the years, yet for some reason or another, I’ve always later picked it back up. Why? Because I thought I knew best. I thought I knew the right time. I thought I could hurry things along.

Wrong. Wrong. So, so wrong.

All that picking-it-back-up stuff did was make the burden heavier. It deepened the injuries I was getting from the weight of it, though I didn’t realize that until recently. It compounded my problems, because it proved that I have trust issues that I didn’t know I had. The damage from that is tough to take. It’s damage I’ve caused myself in my stubbornness and lack of obedience. It’s because I was a rebel.

Now I’m wishing I hadn’t rebelled. I’m regretting the choice to cling to something that I cannot depend upon. My choices have failed me.

But God has not failed me. He has opened my eyes to my mistake. He has led me to turn from that mistake and ask His forgiveness for straying from His path. He has used my mistake to draw me closer to Him. He is using my pain to create something beautiful. He is shaping me into the obedient daughter I’ve always been destined to become.

He is creating in me the desire to truly and wholeheartedly follow Him.

So I’m laying down the burden again, for good this time. Only I’ve asked for His help to do so instead of trying in my own strength. I pray that I will trust Him fully this time, that I will trust what I know about Him. Because He is for me and not against me. He has a plan worked out for me, one that is not set to hurt me, but rather to give me a hope and a future.

Above all of that, He is my future. He is my home.

Today I choose to trust Him. Today I choose to be obedient. I choose to follow Him.

What will you choose?

Have you ever tried something in your own strength only to realize later that you weren’t strong enough for the task?

What have you learned from your mistakes?


The winner of the giveaway I hosted two weeks ago was Sylvia. Congratulations!
I'm so sorry I forgot to announce it.
Thank you, JJ, for reminding me!


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9 comments:

  1. You write about "laying it down" ... I read something a while back that looked at the familiar verse, "Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you". The writer focused on the word "cast" and talked about fishing. We cast as far away from ourselves as possible. She commented that when we set our burdens down it is very easy to pick them back up, but when we cast something on Him, they are further away & harder to take back. It has given me lots to think about. I know God will help you & me cast our cares His way and receive His blessings instead. Make it so, Lord!

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    1. Yes, Lord, make it so!

      Susie, thank you for this fresh perspective! I like that casting it far away thing. :)

      Part of the battle, for me, was to give the burden to Jesus and allow Him to cast it away. Was I willing to simply lay it down, knowing it's easy to pick up, yet refrain from doing so? And then, was I willing to let Him pick it up (which can sometimes seem scary, to let someone else have that control) and fling it as far from me as the east is from the west. Oh, how liberating! I am resting in His liberty right now, because I was willing to let Him into the deepest part of who I am. That trust does not come easy, but I pray it comes more often.

      Blessings on your day, sweet friend. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I'm so glad you are finally laying that burden at Jesus' feet. He will help you through whatever it is. One thing that I have always struggled with is control. I like to be in control of things, plan things etc. Well God gave me a beautiful, extremely intelligent but bipolar daughter and she has taught me (through Him) that it is ok not to be in control, to roll with the flow and realize some things I cannot change. So that is my burden and when my daughter was 25, I realized I had to just give her/the issue over to Him. God bless you always, Andrea.

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    1. Debbie, thank you for sharing your burden and God's loving response with us. Isn't our Father so amazing? I just love how He helped you learn to release control through blessing you with a wonderful daughter. May you both rest in His love. Thanks for the encouragement too! I always appreciate that.

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    2. Our Father is so very amazing and I am thankful that He gave me such a wonderful, if at times troubled daughter, and yes, we will both rest in His love. I'm praising God that He helps me deal with that struggle with control. Take care, Andrea. <3

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  3. Oh yes, I've struggled with laying down my burdens over the last couple months. I seem to be constantly praying "Helping me to trust in You!"

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    1. I know what you mean. Seems like "Help me!" is my constant prayer. The more we seek Him, the more we'll trust Him. So proud of you for continuing to try to lay down those burdens.

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  4. It is imperative that we read blog post very carefully. I am already done it and find that this post is really amazing.

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    1. Thanks for your support and encouragement, Luiza!

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