“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”
Psalm 29:11 (NIV)
Friday I spoke about how our family was greeted with two whammies the first Monday in January this year. While praying the prayer of Exodus 14:13-14, I asked God a question: “Lord, why does it seem as though there are always Egyptians?” And out of the silence, here was His response: Egyptians are always present when you are living your life correctly.
I had to think about that for a minute. It was true. Ten years ago I prayed and asked God to use me for His purpose – whatever that meant. He answered that prayer by taking our family on the journey of writing. It’s been exciting, scary, and definitely not the safest route with a 401K and paid time off. However, it’s been what’s right for our family. It was then I realized that “whammies” will continue to pop up in a life that is living for Christ. When we make choices that please God, ultimately those choices anger the enemy. This year our family has made some choices that are angering the enemy. The Bible is very plain – the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. Now my choices weren’t made in an attempt to anger him, but anger him I do when I choose to live a life sold out for God.
What does that mean? It means I’m the same person you’ve always known, just someone who loves God a little deeper and stronger. When He asks me to share about the excitement I have in my relationship with Him, I’m going to. When He prompts me to call people to encourage them that He wants that relationship with them as well, I’m going to reach out. When He nudges me that it’s time to quit pretending to change areas in my life I’ve struggled with for years and get bold and serious about the changes needed, no matter what, then I’m going to boldly approach God and say, “I’m done dealing with a food addiction. Help me change, whatever it takes.”
Those types of statements anger the enemy. Those types of statements can at times create whammies in my life to distract me from the purpose God wants me to pursue for Him. However, God is right there ready to remind me of the Truth. He is stronger than anything the enemy can dish out, He loves to take what the enemy means for evil and bring good for His glory out of it, and He loves children who are willing to obey Him no matter what.
I finished my walk with peace – the peace that can only come from the Person Jesus Christ Himself. The circumstances haven’t changed. There is still the possibility of some big whammies hitting this year. However, they are just possibilities. The God I serve is bigger than possibilities. I have a choice. I can trust His Word, which reminds me He will do the fighting (He wants to fight for me). I can choose to rest in His peace until we find out exactly what we are dealing with (the outcome may be better than we originally feared) while listening for God to direct what He wants us to do. Or, I can start out 2016 worried about things that may never come to pass.
I realized on my walk this very important point. Life, when lived right, should be lived boldly for God. That means living with the possibility of whammies – not something to be feared, but instead to embrace for two reasons. One, if we’re making choices in our lives that anger the enemy, then we’re doing something right. And, two, if we are God’s children, then we already know the final outcome. He wins! Which means we win! It doesn’t mean the fight might not be hard at times, but we weren’t called to live a life of pleasure on this earth. We were called to share God’s love with people who desperately need it. When done authentically, that decision won’t make Satan happy. It just won’t. However, when done the way Jesus modeled in the Bible, God will continue to fight for us. He never asked us to fight by ourselves or in our strength. He asked us to come boldly to His throne and ask for His strength.
God gave me the word “peace” this year for a reason. So I’m choosing peace as I face the whammies presented yesterday. God wins! Now I’m going to wait and see what part God wants me to play in that victory.
I might still see if my husband wants to take the first Monday in January off with me next year – not out of fear but because I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the beginning of a new year that having an all-day date with my best friend!
© Cheri Swalwell 2016