This semester was going to be the best I had ever known. I was super excited to meet up with friends I had not seen during the long intercession, I was plugged back into my amazing Bible study on campus, and I was once again reunited with my beloved sorority sisters. But most of all, God was shining back into my life after a long period of darkness and drought. I was beginning to see Him again, for who He really was. And I finally understood something: I am here to give Him glory.
Even Valentine's Day passed beautifully. Normally the day brings much sadness for me, but this year, I was completely enamored with my God and incredibly joyful for all the things He has done in my life. And day by day, I spoke unto Him this simple prayer, "Jesus, I count everything as loss if only I can know you and serve You more. All glory be unto Your Name. Increase so I can decrease."
And no sooner did I pray this prayer when the storm hit. Hard.
The devil knows how to get to me. When he wants to attack me, he goes to one place: my mind. So for two consecutive weeks, he made my mind a battleground. And it took all my strength within me just to survive. He whispered lies and thoughts in my head all the time, almost every minute of the day:
Why is this God of yours so deserving of glory? Isn't He such a glory-hog?
So why haven't you done anything for Him lately, huh? You said you loved Him. Why aren't you showing it?
How could God use someone like you. Look at you: a miserable failure. You've messed up too many times.
You know the one reason why you don't have a boyfriend? Because you don't deserve one. You're not pure enough. Nor are you good enough, or ever will be.
God's not on your side. Look at all the things He's withheld from you. Look at your friends around you, having so much fun, doing so many things. Don't you want to be like them?
God is not real. You made Him up. Nor is the Bible real. Why do you believe this stuff?
I could go on. But these thoughts have been plaguing me for a considerable amount of time now. My first reaction was, "God, I prayed to You, asking You to empty me of myself so I can bring glory to Your Name! So why is it now that I can't even worship anymore? All the gifts you recently revealed in me--why can't I use them? It takes me all the energy I have just to hold on. What's happening, Lord? Where are You?"
Then it hit me in the face. God was not inflicting this pain upon me.
I was being attacked by Satan himself.
Why? Because he is deathly afraid of any Christian opening their lives to give complete glory to God. The number one thing Satan hates is when Christians bring glory to God's Name. Because the devil wants all the glory for himself.
So whenever you find yourself in a place where you cannot lift your hands in worship, where you cannot find a reason to glorify your Savior, when you cannot understand why He must be exalted, don't let the enemy win. Even if you do not seem to have the strength, worship God anyway. Because He is still worthy. Because the enemy is a fool and a fraud. Because if we do not praise God's name, the rocks will. (Luke 19:40)
All Christians know the adage, "I'm standing on the promises of God," but to be honest, I did not really grasp the gravity of this phrase until this trial. And I have been a Christian for some time now! But it is these promises that bring us back to the Savior when we do not want to give Him the praise He deserves. Promises like,
"But those who wait on the Lord will renew their stength ..." Isaiah 40:31
"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3
"For I know the thoughts I think that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and hope ... And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11,13
"But those who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing." Psalm 34:10
"I will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
"All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
"See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands." Isaiah 49:15-16
I could type up so many more promises that God has given to us. There are just too many. But this is our God! This is why He is deserving of praise. He is a Father, He is love, He has saved us from a dreadful fate! He has given His very life for us! Satan knows that God is worthy of all glory - he once lived in heaven, remember? And the glory that dwells with God Almighty is so great that Satan wanted it all for himself. So he would do anything -- anything -- to keep us from praising and worshipping our God.
So when your heart's not into it, when you are struggling with trials and tribulations, just trying to make it through each and every day, remember to stand on the promises of God. Remember all that He is, how much He has brought you through, When the enemy has got you down, when he tempts you to despair, recognize that he is tempting you. "Lest Satan should take advantage of us; we are not ignorant of his devices." 2 Corinthians 2:11
And in the end, read Isaiah 14:12-21. It makes me laugh every time. You'll see why.
Hang in there all of you who may be struggling in spiritual warfare. And remember this most encouraging truth: the enemy only attacks those whom he is genuinely afraid of. He doesn't bother with the lost souls of the world - they're already his. But those who pose a legitimate threat to his reign he does his best to dispose of. So count it all joy when you go through trials! It means that God is still for you, and that you are still for God. Rest assured, He will do incredible things to those who give their heart entirely to Him. In the end, it is all about God's glory. Between God and Satan, there is no contest. Trust in the Lord's strength.
Because with God's strength and power, Satan gets his butt whooped every time.