Today, God put His finger on it!
The missing link; the missing puzzle piece.
Do I now have all the answers? No. But I am one step closer to having all the pieces fall into place!
For the past several days I have been asking God to show me how all the puzzle pieces in my life are working to accomplish His will for me. Today, He removed the veil. Now, why He didn’t show me an image of a finished, framed work of art, He did reveal to me what was keeping me from even catching a glimpse of the masterpiece.
A spiritual stronghold. Nothing the naked eye could see, but a spiritual fortification . . . a solid citadel . . . keeping me from even a partial realization of His perfect plan for me.
Some sadness at first, but it soon turned to great joy and I rejoiced!
I jumped on it! I’ve learned the importance of heeding God’s voice, even when the Holy Spirit is convicting me in any area of my life. This has been a long, tough road and like many of you, I’m still traveling it. To discern His voice is such a precious privilege to me. Quite frankly, I don’t care whether His Spirit is convicting me, challenging me, comforting me, encouraging me, counseling me, or correcting me . . . I long to know His thoughts concerning me . . . I long to be in steadfast communion with Him.
All strongholds, no matter what they are, barrel down the same path: broken fellowship with God. Though God would never sever His relationship with His children, He refuses to fellowship with us while we engage in sinful habits. That is, until there is confession AND repentance (1 John 1:9).
Strongholds have their underpinning in unbelief. Every sin can be traced back to our failure to believe what God has promised. And where does the enemy attempt to assert his most potent leverage? You guessed it! In the mind.
And how do we combat these strongholds? In the mind.
We fight! But not physically; we fight spiritually. Paul gives us sturdy and unwavering advice in 2 Corinthians chapter 10. We must demolish strongholds! We demolish them by casting down arguments and every pretensions that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ (vv. 5-6). This is a constant practice!
Where had I failed? I’m sure in several places, but on this day He pointed out that my “binge spending” was characteristic of my unbelief. I did not trust Him to supply the need I had, but instead I met my own need. If I were to grade myself on my actions . . . certainly,
Casting down arguments? An F!
What are the arguments? These are the reasoning, the rationale, and the schemes related to how the world thinks and what the world believes. I told myself I needed the items now because . . . blah, blah, blah . . . I spiritualized the rationale . . .
Simply put, I wasn’t willing to wait.
Casting down pretensions? An F!
What are the pretensions? These are the claims we make pursuant to our own pride, self-centeredness, or self-confidence. In short, I told myself that I deserved it.
I didn’t take captive any thoughts concerning this matter in order to make them obedient to Christ. If I had, I would have surely passed on the temptation to bypass God.
Every stronghold is rooted in unbelief! We don’t really believe God will do it. In my case, I already have some promises He has made to me a long time ago, but it has become painfully clear to me that every day I must practice believing Him . . . fully. We cannot pretend that strongholds, no matter how simple they may appear to be, will have no bearing on our fellowship with the Father. He takes them seriously and so we must as well. If we want to move in the direction of the promise and give Him the freedom to clearly show us how the puzzle pieces are fitting together, we must take careful aim at ridding our lives of the things and people who hold us hostage, spiritually.
What a great relief for me to know that the promise has not been forfeited, and that confession AND repentance has brought a few more of the pieces together.
The same can be true for you, too.