I’m four weeks past having had a major surgery and I’m exhausted from laying around doing nothing. And yet, doing nothing is all the energy I have. Recovery is tough for someone like me, who has an extremely busy schedule. It makes me feel “down in the dumps” when I can’t do everything that I want to do…or that I normally do.
Have you ever noticed that when you are out of your comfort zone or doing something hard that your spiritual life becomes more important? I’ve also noticed that more often than not, my spiritual life also becomes less apparent in my life when the times are most hard.
When facing struggles, we often believe that it’s a natural battle; one that may be a result of surgery or an altered schedule. The reality is that it may be a spiritual attack that has been launched at a time when you are least expecting it. One of the primary tactics of the enemy is to deceive us to the point we don’t really realize what is taking place. These spiritual attacks are often a series of events that have us disbelieving the promises of God, oppressing a believer, or circumventing our faith.
In 2 Corinthians 2:11, Paul reminds us, “lest Satan should take advantage of us. For we are not ignorant of his devices.”
Throughout the Bible, we are told that the devil uses various schemes and lies to get us to a place where we question our faith and fall away from our walk with God. It’s important to remember that Satan is smart and he’s been studying humans since the beginning of time. He knows exactly what will tempt us.
How have I been identifying spiritual attacks over the last few weeks?
-Frustration Increases: The enemy works to oppress my mind and create chaos, which in turn, creates frustration. It leads me to feel anxious and panicky.
-Lack of spiritual passion: Perhaps our prayer life slows down. Our faith is tested, but we feel like we’re failing the test. In particular, I feel like I’m going through the motions of my Christian walk. This leads to…
-A Sense of Confusion About Purpose: Laying here in bed for weeks upon weeks, makes me question what my purpose is in sharing the Gospel. Am I using my spiritual gifts? Am I doing enough? Am I doing what God wants me to do? Questioning my role in the Kingdom leads to…
-Unrest: The continued temptation to give into negative thoughts steals my sense of peace and causes me to have unrest. It leaves me exhausted mentally and quite frankly, irritated. It leaves me frustrated, which is the first thing I identified.
Thus the cycle continues, over and over again.
While I have felt like I’ve been down in the dumps over the last few weeks, I’ve also realized that Satan has used this time to mess with my mind. I’ve been distracted, anxious, irritable, and just plain grumpy. I’ve allowed Satan to overwhelm me, which has impacted my walk with the Lord. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “…without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Once I acknowledged I was faltering, I turned to James 4:7. “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” A simple prayer, in which I told the Lord that I was turning this over to Him in submission. At once, I felt peace and was no longer “down in the dumps.”
My circumstances have not changed. I was still post-op from major surgery with pain, medications, restless nights, and physical therapy. However, my negative attitude and doubt about my faith had turned around and I felt aligned with God again.
If you’re facing a scenario that has you feeling “down in the dumps” please know that you are not alone. God is with you always. And the ladies of the Iron Porch are willing to pray for you, so comment if you need us to pray!