I remember a couple years back someone asked me, “What is the Lord doing in your life? How is He working in your heart?” I didn’t know how to respond. I knew that He was working in me, yet I was unable to place my finger on how He was working. It was at that moment that I realized that I didn’t know what was going on in my own heart. By this time in my life I had recently became a Christian. I knew that the Lord was going to do things in my life, for He already had, but I never knew what the process would look like. I remember asking God to show me how He was piecing my heart back together again. Since that day God has faithfully walked me through step by step. I am aware that He may do this with many of His children but I am so thankful that He communicates to us in different ways. For me personally, I have always been the type of person that tries to connect the dots. God knows I want to solve the mystery between my mind and my heart. The heart is so complicated that we must dig into it in order to find what lies within it. This summer was full of moments like this.
As many of you know, I was called home for the summer by the Lord. I was disappointed at first but that quickly changed once I saw that God had plans. Two weeks prior to school starting back up again, I attended a two week training program through Youth With A Mission (YWAM). It was beyond my expectations. The goal of the program was to train about 300 of us to proclaim the Gospel boldly wherever we went. Throughout the two weeks of sessions and outreaches I felt as though my identity in Christ was spreading its roots deeper into the soil.
When we are discovering our identity in Christ we begin to see all the ways that Satan has lied to us. Prior to becoming a follower of Gods, we are part of the world. John 8:44 states “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was murderous from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. When under Satan’s control there is no power against him. Satan controlled me for 17 years without me knowing the power he had over me. When God became apparent in my life I started renewing my mind, seeing all the lies Satan had been feeding me my whole life. While at the internship the Lord spoke through so many of the speakers about Satan’s tactics on the church. It’s so interesting how we can be followers of Christ yet deny the authority we have in His name. Jesus said that we would do greater things than He did (John 14:12). We have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us. I feel that many people within the church are deceived into thinking that they can do nothing to impact those around them. What a lie of the enemy. Truth is Jesus said that it would be better for Him to leave so that the Spirit could come (John 16:7). His authority on Earth was given to us from the beginning but with the Holy Spirit we are able to have the Father work through us. What an incredible gift to receive! Incredible things happened when the Holy Spirit came. Just look at the book of Acts for a greater picture of this. With the Holy Spirit we have the authority to heal the sick, speak life over others, raise the dead, and to set the captives free (Isaiah 61). We are not limited when the Spirit is in us. God is the source from which all power comes. As much as I wanted to believe this myself, I found disbelief within my heart. We have all heard of the crazy miracles that Jesus and His disciples performed, yet we seldom think that we are meant to be a continuation of these stories; but we are meant to be! Satan is deceiving Christ’s followers into thinking that we have no authority. Throughout the gospels Jesus always confronts the disciple’s unbelief. When we don’t believe the words that Jesus said then we are telling God that we don’t trust Him and He is a liar. I know I always thought that disbelief was something that was normal to have. I was deceived. God never intended for us to be this way. He wants us to have freedom; freedom from disbelief. Satan knows if you knew the power you had through Him that you would be an unstoppable force for the kingdom of God. Repent to the Lord for not believing what He has stated to you. Accept His forgiveness and ask Him to show you what it means to walk without unbelief.
Once unbelief is something that has been brought back under the control of Christ we need to deal with fear. There are many fears that we live under. God says that perfect love cast out all fear (1 John 4:18). Again, do we believe this to be true? When it comes to evangelizing we often have fear of what others will think. This is another tactic of the enemy. If he can keep you bound and paralyzed in fear then he won’t have to worry. God calls us to be bold and courageous (Just look at Joshua’s life). As Christians we are not supposed to have our own dreams and then add God to the equation. We are called to lay down our lives and be transformed into Him. We are His vessels. We are His mouthpiece. We are the tool He uses to heal. We need to adopt His heart. This comes by spending time with Him. I’m sure that each one of us can name dreams that our friends have for their lives. Why is it that we don’t often know God’s dreams? I think of it this way. Imagine having a child. As soon as they were born someone snatched them away from you. You have been able to watch over them and pray for them but they don’t know you. What a pain that would be. Wouldn’t you desire to have your child back? This is how God is with each one of us on Earth. He wants us to experience His love. He wants us to love Him in return. We can only love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). We need to be bold. We are soul- winners! YOU are a soul- winner! It doesn’t matter if you have been saved one day or for years, it is in your job description to go and reach the lost and make disciples. If God is really your all in all why would you not want to talk about Him to others?! He should consume you with desire for Him. Again, this comes from spending time with Him in His presence and in His word.
I just feel all this is so imperative in our walk with Christ. Get a group together and pray over your school, your family, each other. Simple obedience and simple prayers shape the nations. God desires to hear our voices and He delights in your prayers to Him. He hears and He moves. When you know the enemy’s tactics then you never fear the outcome of a 1,000 battles. Wouldn’t you love to have your eyes opened to see what God sees? I encourage all of you to continue to seek the light in all of your ways, leaning not on your own understanding but on God’s (Proverbs 3:5).
Overall God has broken off chains that once ensnared me. I know that freedom is possible when we continue to surrender everything over to Him. I am praying for all of you who read this. Know that wherever you are you are not alone. Seek Godly fellowship and make sure to seek the Lord. Be encouraged. He never disappoints.