A guest post by a 31 year old single sister in Christ:
When you expect a friend to show up and they stand you up, you are most likely disappointed. When a man says he will call and the phone never rings, you are probably disappointed. When you feel like God opened a door to something and it slams in your face, you are probably let down. You depended on something that you thought was a sure thing and it disturbs you when it does not come to fruition.
I am the opposite of this in many ways.
When a friend is supposed to show up I expect them to cancel, so that I am not disappointed when they aren’t there. When a man says he will call I expect for him to find a better option, so my feelings aren’t hurt when he doesn’t choose me. When I feel like God is opening doors, I keep one hand on another door with the knob turned, so I have another route in case He decides to play a cruel joke on me.
This sounds really twisted doesn’t it? Yep; it does to me, too! We’ve been told not to place expectations on people because expectations ruin relationships, but most of the time we think of them in the sense that we are not supposed to place expectations on folks that will let us down when they don’t happen. We aren’t really taught that negative expectations are just as bad, and sometimes worse.
If we expect God to fail us, the enemy will grab hold of that and run with it.
The enemy will help you see very clearly (through his distorted glasses) that God is not good. He will convince you that God will only let you down. He will even let you believe that you can love God, but that you are a fool to trust God. He will make it seem as if the Christian walk is full of nothing but suffering and pain, and that to be a Christian means that you give up anything fun or good.
He will twist and contort the goodness of God into something that is restraining and convince you that God wants to keep good things from you. The enemy will let you believe that God is sovereign, but that he is unkind, cruel, and out to hurt you. He allows you to believe a little bit of truth because you have been exposed to it, but he puts his evil twist on it. If you let him, he will run rampant through your mind with these thoughts.
I recently had some very hard lies revealed to me.
I believed that God was taunting me with things that I thought were from Him, but that I would never quite get to grasp. I believed that He allowed situations to happen only so He could show His authority and squash my dreams. I believed that He allowed me a little bit of happiness, so that He could crush it and demand I rely on Him alone. No, I didn’t outright believe these awful lies about God. But, the enemy is sneaky in how he guides you into believing his lies. The enemy whispers a little doubt in your mind.
Suddenly that night and the next you are exhausted and go to bed without your quiet time with God, thinking “What difference does a day or two make?” Then, you don’t sleep well for a couple of days. Your mentor senses you are battling and points some things out to you. You feel attacked. Then, you start to believe lies. You keep them hidden in your heart because you know what the godly folks in your life will say and you don’t want to hear it.
Then, you start the fight. You doubt God’s goodness, so you start self-protecting and pushing people away. You doubt that He means good and not evil for you and you make your own path. Basically, you create a big mess! You smile and nod, and pretend to listen to people, but you letting the lies of the enemy swirl in your mind.
This is one of those times when the Holy Spirit becomes a real and tangible lifeline.
When you have allowed yourself to become ensnared in the enemy’s trap and you can no longer distinguish lies from truth, you need the power of God almighty to burst into your heart. You need to be brought to your knees, in a way that only God can do. It is a time to write down/think about/however you process best every single thing you believed about God, yourself, and others. Take them to prayer and start comparing them with the Word of God. Determine which are lies and which are truths. Engage with your mentor, ask questions, and seek His face like you have never sought Him before. Allow everything, good and bad, you have believed to be examined and be open to hearing the truth! Be ready for a fight that will rip apart your heart. Lies will be exposed. Hurt will be brought to the forefront of your mind. You will be laid bare before your savior. He will scoop you up and clothe you with His dignity, His truth, His hope! He will heal you and transform you.
My friend, it terrified me to think how quickly I could let the enemy have a foothold in my life. I love God with all my heart. I spend time in His word. I attend church. I ask Him to change me. I let down my guard and I was bombarded. Now, I will say that these lies needed to be revealed and I am thankful to be on more solid ground. But, it is sobering to think of how quickly the enemy pounces and convinces us of lies.
Stay in the Word! Stay in prayer! Stay connected to God. If you are doubting or hurting, reach out. Do not let the enemy gain access to your mind, heart, and soul. The enemy is not a gentleman and he will force his way in and will force himself on you. Stay in communication with God and allow the Holy Spirit complete and total freedom to rule in your life.