(An excerpt from Arm Yourself:Equipping Ourselves with the Armor of God from the chapter, "The Helmet of Salvation")
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There are days when it is hard. Even days when it seems like we have failed. I remember moments when I thought I was relapsing into anxiety or depression. I thought something was wrong with me and I must not be doing something right so I would fall down to my knees and ask God to forgive me for whatever I was doing wrong.
I remember crying to my husband about it one night, thinking I must have done something wrong for feeling like I was in some sort of relapse. He looked at me and said, “You haven’t done anything wrong”. Something really struck me from that one simple statement. I thought about whenever I was making some real progress in my spiritual journey. I would come into heavy opposition that would deceive me into thinking I had never truly made progress in the first place.
The next morning in my quiet time with God, I felt the Lord speaking to me, “This is just his tactic to distract you.” If the enemy could get me so absorbed in myself and what was still wrong with me then I would be blinded to see the true progress I was making. If he could get my eyes off of God then I would become consumed with negative thoughts and old behaviors.
I had a very negative viewpoint of the Lord in that time of my life that I needed help changing. I used to think that in times like those, or when I felt I was having a bad day, or letting a poor attitude out or saying something hurtful, I thought God was disappointed in me. I actually believed He would immediately take away all blessing in my life and shun me from ever calling me to do ministry again. I would instantly feel unworthy of His love and assured myself that he was turning His back on me.
Lo and behold was I wrong! These were nothing but lies! God never changes! One thing I had to learn was that God loves me no matter what. My salvation never leaves me. God is not disappointed in me. He doesn’t disown me because I am anxious and fearful of my past or future. I am not disqualified from having a bright future because of one bad day.
When I came to that realization, I felt my spirit soar. It also helped me to think about it the way I think about my children. If they are having a bad day, like attitude problems or behavior issues, I don’t run out and say, “I give up and throw in the towel on this one.” No, I love them through those days and moments. I encourage them and pray for them, just as the Holy Spirit does for us. Even the Holy Spirit prays on our behalf! Look at what Romans 8: 26-27 says:
“ In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
Even when we don’t know what to say or how to pray, we can just sit quietly in His presence and ask the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf. We know that he does so with the most eloquent of words as he searches our heart. With the realization that even at my worst He loves me and fights for me, He delivers me from all my enemies.
Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes sing "Holy Spirit".
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