The enemy likes to think he’s really clever.
Always tricking us in the same ways. Always stealing the same things. Thinking he’s unstoppable (he’s not, by the way) because he has a grip on us over and over.
But as the enemy continues to attack us in the same ways and in a repetitive pattern, shouldn’t we be the clever ones? Don’t we have the advantage? Knowing he only has one tactic?
The only thing the devil tries to do is steal, kill, and destroy. That’s it. The only thing he does is give me anxiety. Attempting to steal my peace and destroy my faith. No more. No less. Over and over. Continually tripping me up.
I’m going to be super transparent and tell you some things that have given me anxiety in the past several months because I hate keeping the thoughts that have gone through my mind to myself. And I know there is healing in testifying exactly what I’ve thought, no matter how ridiculous. And believe me, I cry laughs as I write this and I can hear the Lord chuckle in my ear every time I come to him with my worries.
At one point or another in the last 8 months I have feared: my heart stopping, suffering from a stroke, tumor, or deadly disease. Dying in my sleep, having glaucoma, an inner ear disease, blood clot, or again, a tumor. Celiac disease, cancer, liver damage, or failing kidneys.
Though all these things in and of themselves are things that do happen to people, the blood tests and doctor visits told me otherwise, that I was unaffected and a healthy, young 20-year old, yet I still went home in fear.
I’ve realized when it comes to living in God’s perfect peace it’s not about the facts but your faith.
You could know everything. Every fact about your body. Every possibility of what could happen to you. Doctors could give you statistics and results, you can look at your family history, you can assume the worst is bound to happen.
But knowing is not going to bring you peace, only believing will.
I’ve been meditating on a verse in 1 Corinthians 12 this week and can’t help but read it over and over again, receiving fresh revelation:
14-18 “Your body has many parts — limbs, organs, cells — but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain — his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves — labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free — are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive… You are Christ’s body — that’s who you are!”
We are no longer attempting to sustain our human bodies but resurrected ones. It’s only by his spirit can we be sufficiently sustained. To live in our fullest potential.
We are no longer in submission to our old selves but covered and anointed by God — free to sever the old and invite the new.
If you’ve ever exercised before you know that once you start it’s hard to decrease the intake of what your body needs. You’re conditioning yourself to need more. You can stop exercising, but you will lack more than you did before you started. You’d be depriving your body. Your body is looking for more. More water, more calories, more energy, more sleep, more exercise.
In the same way, once you have made the decision to follow Jesus — to die to your old self and submit to his ways rather than sin — you’re setting yourself up for a need of more. More peace, more of his presence, more faith, more truth, more Jesus. More drinks at one fountain as it says in 1 Corinthians 12 — the fountain where we are refreshed and sustained.
You can move backwards, you can lack. But it will be harder. It will feel like it is your battle again. You will start to feel as if your hope is drifting away.
But we are no longer subject to our old bodies (Romans 6:6) where we were independent from Him. Where we did it all and “didn’t” need him. When we didn’t know of His hope — of His ability.
Death no longer has the last word. My old normal will not keep me from being faithful now in the things the Lord has entrusted me with. My old thoughts will not keep me from the will of God.
We put off our old selfs and our past misconceptions.
And we say yes to Jesus and all he has for us: a plan of freedom, calling, testimony, purpose, and truth.
A plan to step into his resurrection body and live anew.