Sunday, September 12, 2010

How Struggles Help You to Grow in the Faith

Gosh, it's been almost a month since I've posted anything on here. A couple of times I thought the Lord was going to give me something, but the flame sputtered and died.

Tonight I had no clue He would have me write something, but I feel in my heart I'm supposed to tell you how God has been working me over in recent days.

I have been crying out to God to fill me with His holy spirit. I know He's in me, some days I hear His voice all day long, other days I hardly hear a whisper, and oh, how I have been longing to have more of Him. I want to walk with assurance and know that I am doing what He wants me to be doing. But then, I know that just when that happens, my pride will well up within me and I'll think, "there you are, you are full God's spirit, you will do great things for God today", and I know that God knows that about me. So I have realized, that for me, I will have to daily call on Him, daily cry out and daily realize that it is because I am so proud when I do something, or know something or someone chooses me to do or say something, that God works in me the way He does. I have to stay humble and rely on Him. I can't just get a one-time, filler-up filling of the holy spirit without becoming proud and self-sufficient.

The Lord is showing me that there are parts of me I have not yet given Him complete control over. One of them is food. I believe the spirit is telling me that no, I am not a huge overeater, but that if I were to listen to the spirit telling me whether or not to eat and how to eat, and if less of my time were spent contemplating what to eat, when to eat, and where to eat, that I would finally take control over my eating habits, lose weight and exhibit the fruit of the spirit known as "self-control". You don't have to be obese to have an eating disorder. When anything takes up as much time in a day as eating and food does with me, I can't help but add the letters "holic" to the end of, that's me. I think about food constantly, when to eat it, if I can eat it, how to eat it, how much of it to get the picture, right? This is not glorifying to God, and I know it; and thus, I believe that this is the thing the spirit has decided to cut out of my flesh at the moment. God seems to be saying to me right now that food is wonderful, good, enjoyable and necessary to my life, but anything that distracts me that much from Him and His purpose for my life must need to be re-evaluated and re-formed in me. With our society being one that places so much emphasis on food; this is, believe me, oh, so hard to do. My mind is finally understanding and accepting that message, and I pray that soon my heart and "will" will follow.

On top of this struggle, I feel I have been the victim of spiritual warfare recently. I constantly have thoughts that I am not sealed by God with his spirit, that I am not a true follower of Christ and that "when the roll is called up yonder, I'll not be there". In my heart of hearts, I know that is not true. I have believed in my heart that Christ is the son of God, I have confessed it with my mouth many, many times; I have repented of my sins and will not, by the grace of God, repeat them, and I know that nothing I can do, ever, will give me that righteousness that I have in Christ. It is only by Him that I can stand in God's presence. Also, sometimes my thoughts want to run out of control, and I have awakened to an intense sense of a need for prayer in the middle of the night for no reason, and I sense the spirit telling me that I need to pray for a hedge of protection against spiritual warfare in my life and in the body of Christ. God then gently reminds me that I am His, and my faith that He who began this work in me WILL complete it unto the day of salvation seems to become more sure and stronger.

So, in all these things, I will give thanks to Him because I know that He is walking with me on this path to eternal life in Him. He is carrying me most of the way, and WOULD carry me the whole way if only I'd let Him.

My prayer for you tonight is that you would simply ask for Him to reveal himself to you if you don't know Him; or that you would ask for Him to reveal more of himself to you if you have already met Him. The more I know, the more I want to know, and I have faith that He will show me what I need to know exactly when I need to know it.

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