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The “new, healthier me” is thrilled that I’ve lost some weight and am getting back in shape. My doctor was thrilled that I’d decided to make these changes and gave me her consent and approval for all my changes in diet and exercise. Since I take medication on a regular basis, I knew I’d need her to be aware of anything that might make a difference in my medical condition. I did not take the steps on this journey lightly or without supervision. Last week, I shared a list of ten changes I’ve made in the past two months that I attribute to much of my success thus far.
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What I didn’t share with you at the time are some changes that I’ve not been thrilled about at all. I’m not thrilled because I believe that the devil has been plotting against me and attacking me in the weakest areas of my life by feeding me lies. I loved sharing my progress with you last Friday, but on Saturday morning, I got up after only sleeping a few hours and spoke directly to God in the privacy of my bedroom, “I just don’t know if I can do this anymore.”
You see, it’s not only has it been an emotional attack; there have been physical implications for me as well.
Before I started my new regimen, I slept well at night. I was usually in bed by eleven o’clock at night and up in the mornings by seven o’clock. My sleep pattern has changed drastically. If I fall asleep before 1:00am, I’m lucky. Even when I sleep, it’s fitful. I have strange dreams that awaken me in the early morning hours. There are days at a stretch when I just never feel fully rested.
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My back/leg pain, which is chronic in nature, has become nearly unbearable at times. I know that my increased physical activity may be contributing to this somewhat. But it’s more than that. It’s difficult to put into words — and if you know me, you know I’m never at a loss for words. It’s just a different kind of pain from the chronic pain I normally experience.
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Now, I can catch every stomach bug that even looks my way. I naturally have a sensitive stomach. But I’ve been sick with one cold after the other, plus I contracted strep throat for the first time in ten years last month. Now, I’m almost certainly battling spring allergies (which have never been a problem before) and probably a sinus infection, too. Sometimes the headaches are so bad, they’re almost like migraines. Along with the headaches, I’ve been nursing a sore throat. In fact, two weeks before our Easter cantata, I got laryngitis that lasted eight days. When someone is counting on your voice, you begin to fret. It did clear up in time for me to sing with the choir, but my voice wasn’t one hundred per cent.
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I almost decided to give up — almost.
That afternoon, I got out a book that I read about seven years ago, When Godly People Do Ungodly Things by Beth Moore. She wrote it as a book first, and then a Bible study, about how Satan plots against us in a cold, calculating manner. We can all be susceptible to demonic attacks that are more than just casual temptations. If my God can formulate His plans for me to have a hope and a future, then the devil can work to make a plan for my destruction and failure. Satan wants what God has. In fact, Satan wants to be God so badly that any stronghold he can use against a child of God is a direct attack on God, Himself.
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Let’s take a look at a scripture that I used last week. God whispered this verse to me when I was having a moment of unbelief about our family’s financial future:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV)
In When Godly People Do Ungodly Things, Beth Moore writes that Satan knows Scripture and can put his own spin on God’s word. He might approach that verse in a much different way:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the devil, thoughts of unrest and evil, to bring about failure and hopelessness. Then you will call on your Lord, and pray to Him, but I will keep you from hearing Him. You will seek His counsel and I will blind you with thoughts of loneliness and devastation. You will lose your way to God and your heart will be broken, for I know your weaknesses and I will use them to plot your downfall at every turn.
Satan doesn’t want me or you to succeed at anything in which our Heavenly Father will receive all the glory and honor. Admittedly, there have been times in my past when I have bailed on opportunities to serve God and be used by Him. That’s what the devil is counting on this time, I’m sure. But I will be a faithful servant and I will fight Satan every step of the way.
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I’ve started making a list of the lies the tempter has been trying to feed me since the start of 2012. (It’s not coincidental that this is when I started this blog and shortly thereafter, my journey to becoming healthy.) I’ve been looking for a new “Life in the Word” focus and I feel led to make a counter-attack on the evil one. For the next several Wednesdays, I will be sharing these lies and the Scriptural responses God has shown me in His word. Since the devil is predictable, I feel like he’s probably been after you with some of these same lies.
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And I’m scared. To know that I’m about to fly in the face of someone who has it in for me is frightening. So, I’m asking for your prayers — pray that God will expose Satan’s lies for what they truly are (distractions from our servanthood to Him) and that I will remain focused and strong for my Lord, for with my God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
This is war.
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“If You’re Weighting on Me…” https://lbtk.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=946&action=edit
“How Can I Keep from Singing: His Strength is Perfect” https://lbtk.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=445&action=edit
“Prepare for Battle” http://shani4jc.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/prepare-for-battle/
“Looking for the Devil in the Wrong Places” http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/looking-for-the-devil-in-the-wrong-places/
“Spiritual Wrestling and the Armor of God – Part 1” http://changedbyhim0510.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/spiritual-wrestling-and-the-armor-of-god-part-1/