What you think you can't do and what God knows you can do and how satan knows them both.
"I know you better than you know yourself."
Do you have someone in your life that says this to you? It's even worse when said smugly, and could m a y b e be considered endearing if said with sincere and true love. (If I had a dollar for every time I've heard my mom say these words to me.) The truth is there's really only One who can say this to us and it would actually be true.
The other day I was cleaning up a few dishes at the sink and it all hit me at once. Journey with me, if you will.
My mom doesn't know me better than I know myself. It's just not possible, especially since I'm no longer a child under her roof and authority but a woman growing and changing with Jesus under a roof of my own. The air escaped from my lungs for a moment when I realize that while no other person may know me better than I know myself, there is One who knows me better, and another who knows me exactly as I do, and the latter has a greater ability to call to the forefront of his mind both what is true of me and what is not than I do.
The very enemy of my soul is also the one who knows it just as well as I do, and is not only unafraid of using that knowledge against me, but sets out to do so on a very regular basis.
Earlier this week I taught the women of our church on the topic of Thoughts, Beliefs, and Words. In my teaching I explained to these women that the only place the enemy has any sort of pull in those three areas is in our thoughts--a truth dating all the way back to his first offense with Eve. While he can't plant a lie in my heart, and he can't force his own words out of my mouth, he certainly can (and often does) offer up questions amongst my swirling thoughts that cause me to land on conclusions that are not of God.
When your enemy knows the Word of God B E T T E R than you do, and he knows you down to a T, you just might find yourself fully believing something that feels like it's from God but is actually keeping you from what might be the greatest calling of your life.
That sounds really specific, Laura. What exactly is the story here?
Glad you asked.
Here is what the enemy, myself, and God know about Laura:
- She has a history of health problems, and in 2008 had two major surgeries to have her colon removed.
- She has a passion in her heart and a fire in her belly for this one life she has been given for Christ.
- The moment the Lord faithfully walked her through her health crisis and showed her the miraculous other, better, life He had for her on the other side of obedience in the face of fear, she quietly wrote off ever participating in the missionary work of God across the globe.
Here is what God knew, and the enemy knew, and I had no idea of about Laura:
- He is the Almighty God, the maker of Heaven and Earth. The One who Heals, Restores, and Provides. He is the One who knows how to put back what shouldn't be able to be put together, and the One who knows how to make a way for the one who thinks she is disqualified by her story--the very story He wrote and the enemy knows in greatest detail.
- What seemed like a random aligning of timing and scheduling and availability was, in fact, the unwavering hand of God inviting her to shift her perspective to see reality as He sees it.
- In setting off across the world to a place and a people she was taught to fear, the enemy of her soul and her God-given purpose would have the ground fall out beneath him in his pursuit to keep her small and outside of God's call on her life.
Here is what I know, the enemy knows, and God wrote, about Laura:
- The part of my story that the three of us know so well was never to define my future but to prove of His faithfulness and might in my past.
- I cannot search my own knowledge of myself to know what I am capable of for the Kingdom, but rather must always search His heart and His Word to know what I am capable of by His strength and will.
- I must find my identity and my beliefs in what God has to say about me, my calling, and His heart for the world, and even my own knowledge cannot be trusted as it is sinful by nature and influenced by one who's greatest mission is to keep me from walking in God's will for my life.
It might seem odd that it took me nearly 3 weeks to realize it, but of the multitude of things our time in Egypt unlocked in me, one of the most freeing was being given the clarity to see what God has always known. My past has never hindered me from the work God will call me to. Before we left for Egypt I would've said, "I could never be a full-time missionary in another country unless it was as westernized as America." Fear over my health and the laundry list of what-ifs ensured me of that.
I envision the enemy scampering and screaming the moment I recognized who's voice was behind the words that brought such fear,
"I know you and you can't"
and it makes me want to jump on an airplane tomorrow, my husband and kids in tow, and head for the parts of the world that know nothing of the One I'd give my life for because He gave me mine.
And then I see my Papa laugh and say, "hooolld on there, darling. I've got it all worked out, let's just focus on the next right thing."
I don't have the answers, and I don't know when our family will go and how He has it all written out for us. But simply knowing that I can because He is the faithful One sending me, leaves me feeling like I can do anything.
Can I urge you to listen to the voice that tell you you're disqualified from that, or unable to do this?
Who's voice is that, really?
Diligently search the heart of God to know WHO YOU ARE, because HE IS the ONLY ONE who t r u l y KNOWS YOU BETTER THAN YOU KNOW YOURSELF. And THAT'S the person you want to become.
| "Always follow the Eternal, His strength and His face... Now, sing to the Eternal, all the earth! Announce toe good news of His salvation each and every day! Enlighten the nations to His splendor; describe His wondrous acts to all people. For the Eternal is great indeed and praiseworthy, feared and reverenced above all gods... Give all credit to the Eternal, families of the world! Credit Him with the glory worthy of His magnificent name; gather your sacrifice and present it before Him... Say to the nations, "The Eternal One reigns."... Give testimony about the Eternal because He is good; His loyal love lasts forever." |
-1 Chronicles 16:11, 23-25, 28-29, 31, 34 | the voice
*If you have ever felt fearful about setting off to the unreached nations armed with the Light and Love of Christ, I IMPLORE you to obediently go anyways. Fear is a liar and the Name of Jesus needs to be heard by the ones who have never been given the option to hear. Talk to your pastor, talk to a friend, GOOGLE missionary organizations in a place you are interested in (or afraid of), and pray with open hands. The moment you stop listening to the voice of fear might be the moment you see yourself as He sees you and the world as He does.
*If you haven't heard the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, please email me. It would be my greatest joy and honor to tell you of what He has done for you. laurajeanferguson (at) gmail (dot) com.