I'll never need a tell-all book about my life because here I am once again admitting my deepest secrets with blatant honesty. A few weeks ago I wrote of an experience at church that was beautiful and moving and spirit-filled. Our church called to pray and in that effort an act of surrender where people can write their sin, the one that continually grips and besets, on a notecard and drop it in a box at the altar. It's not just the act of putting it in the box, it is the process of leaving it there, never to be entangled by this sin again. I shared with you that your sin is probably different than mine, but we struggle much the same. Since then I've prayed over this, asking the Lord to search me and reveal what I needed to leave at the altar. The Lord made it so clear to me - only not in the way I expected.
I was suited up - armed and ready, poised in prayer and eyes fixed on the Lord. And that's exactly when he struck. It wasn't a quiet creeping in kind of pursuit. No, this was swift, harsh, fierce and forceful. No sooner had I made sure to stand my guard when all at once I was completely under attack. Make no mistake, the enemy knew exactly when and where to strike and he was relentless in putting me right in the center of his crossfire. He knows my weakness. He knows the exact pressure point where he can render me useless, no matter how prayed up and filled up I may be. He went straight for the jugular and I was left in utter despair.
We are pressed but not crushed, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.
Thank God! I was certainly struck down but he would not be victorious. His pointed attack was intentional but my bleeding wounded heart was still beating and it was time for me to look my opponent in the eye and fight back. Beseeching him in the name of Jesus, I battled my fears taking every thought captive, I wrestled my besetting sin claiming scriptures that gave me victory, and most importantly I called upon the Lord and the Lord fought for me.
Without divulging every detail and making myself completely vulnerable, I need to explain something. What I wrestle with is not flesh and blood temptation. At least not for me. I explained we may all deal with something different. My struggle is within myself, battling fears, overcoming worry, preventing anxious thoughts from consuming me and taking over. So why wouldn't the enemy strike me down with anxiety, with the worst case scenarios scrolling through my mind, with situations I have no control over that force me to either sit and fret over or allow me to surrender to the Lord? This is his plan of attack on me and he has it down to a science. You would think I would be smarter.
We've seen what happens if it were up to me. I can't tell you that I will never battle this again but I can tell you with assurance I am claiming the victory that is mine when I lay this at the altar and allow the Lord to fight for me. His gift to me is His Presence and when I focus my mind on Him, I experience the calm of His peace. My goal today is to bring every thought captive. I know by even admitting this I put myself at risk of brutal attacks but I also know it is the point of accountability and victory that is mine to claim. My flesh and my heart may continually fail, but thank God He is the strength of my life.