It’s been a crazy few weeks to say the least. Ive been dealing with a whirlwind of different things. Whether it be hardships for my family, issues in my work and personal life, or my relationship with those around me and in my life, it’s been interesting. All of this stacked on top of the 16 hours of school I’m taking, I’ve become exhausted.
With that being said, life is great. Things are going incredibly well. Academically this is probably the best I’ve done in school ever. I’m working just enough hours at work to make it through each week and not end up overworked and exhausted. I’m surrounded by the greatest people I’ve ever known who encourage and inspire me through words and actions daily.
My life is dang near perfect.
Which was why, when three weeks ago, I got some weird news I was kind of blindsided. It wasn’t something I expected or anticipated and it put me and some of those around me in a crazy sticky situations. However, it was in this mess that I became familiar with a new concept to me.
God and Satan have a way of using situations in our lives to speak to us. Both of them have a way of influencing our lives and filling us with different thoughts and conclusions. Any time I get stressed out or start feelings things heavily, Satan knows I’m at my most vulnerable. It’s easy for me to live in the Spirit and have strong faith in God’s plan for my life when things are going easy. However, when things get messy, I easily experience doubt or fear. I believe this to be partially because of my anxiety and my struggles with depression, but I’ve also learned that God and Satan have very different voices.
I visited The Austin Stone a few weeks ago during this tumultuous time and they gave a sermon on the Meekness of God. It was through this that I learned that more often than not, the voice of God comes quietly. The Lord speaks in love and He wants us to focus in on Him and really listen for His word when we’re experiencing tough things.
Satan, however, is quite the opposite. He’s loud and proud, and he comes in to destroy. He wants to tear down everything we’ve built up through the Lord. He desires to destroy our community and the relationships we have with the people who encourage and inspire us. Because of this, when Satan sparks fear and negativity in our lives, it’s so much easier to hear that. Instead, I believe it’s important to sit down and analyze these moments, which is what I did.
I sat down and decided what feelings and thoughts I was experience were valid and which ones were Satan wreaking havoc. I felt each and every emotion and said, “this is valid. I have a right to feel this way and have this question, and so I will confront it head on,” or ,”This is not valid. This is Satan directly seeking to destroy something.”
It was through this process that I ultimately decided to not let Satan win in my lifetime. I will not let him destroy my friendships or rip apart my community. Every time division is created in God’s followers, Satan rejoices. Every time someone says the wrong thing (And trust me, they will – God uses imperfect people for his perfect mission) and we react in an equally wrong way, his goals is achieved.
It’s our responsibility as Christ followers and as a community to exhibit grace and to focus in on God when we’re moving through bad times so that we can hear His gentle word. Satan can not win, even in the hardest times.