Some days I feel as though I don’t feel the Spirit’s guidance as much…and it always makes me sad. I wonder why. I wonder where He’s hiding 😉 I wonder when He’s coming back….I pray, pray, pray and repent and seek…I know that some days are just going to be like that. However, today I realized that when I don’t feel His presence, or feel overwhelmed by sorrow or stuck in a rut of sin…the quickest way for me to feel His Spirit’s return are for me to do the following two things:
1) Speak God’s word over the areas/thoughts I am struggling in. (Memorize, speak, and Pray His Word)
–usually it is a thought pattern that I am getting stuck in and cannot seem to break…I need to find the verse that defeats the Enemy’s lie to me and speak TRUTH…and keep speaking that truth…until the lie goes away…sometimes the Enemy lingers because He thinks I’ll give up speaking the truth after a bit and start believing that lie again.
2) Make a right choice, regardless of my feelings. (Obey His Word)
–I find that once I make a wrong choice, I get stuck in a cycle of making more wrong choices until I am feeling quite defeated. Sometimes, the Enemy gets me stuck here by telling me to try to reason my way out of it…but the truth is, I use the wrong reason and draw the wrong conclusions and get stuck deeper and deeper into that cycle of wrong thinking (I usually reason by playing the blame game or trying to understand why I am doing something). My husband advises me oftentimes with my son, “Don’t ask why, he doesn’t know why he did it!” Sometimes, we just don’t know why. We can’t see the spiritual battle taking place…and asking why oftentimes leads us to draw the wrong conclusions in the moment when we are clouded with emotion. The Lord, in time, shows me the error in my thinking…but I simply cannot figure it out in the moment oftentimes. The best thing I can do is cast it all away and make what I know to be a right choice based of the Word that I’ve read or memorized or know from past experiences and NOT from my feelings.
Would you know that once I do these two things (and the third below) and do it faithfully, the Spirit almost always returns? He can see that I have passed the test and won’t give away to my flesh’s desires, but will choose Him, regardless of my feelings…and He energizes me once again. Mind you, the Lord will not forsake me and will never leave me, but sometimes, I just cannot “feel” His presence. And during these times, the two decisions I make above, as well as the one below, restore me to the Lord and being filled up by Him again. This last one is similar to the first, but is a good one to do again after the Enemy is defeated to prevent Him from coming back.
3) I fix my thoughts on heavenly things/uplifting things (Speaking/Thinking/Meditating/Praying His word):
–The last thing I do, in order to fill the hole (once those negative or frustrating thoughts leave, there is a hole to fill) that might be in my heart that day for some reason (only God’s Word can fill that hole, lest is be filled with something else that is never enough to bring lasting contentment), is to live out Philipians 4:8:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
I ask the Lord to fill my thoughts and heart with things that uplift my spirit and things for which I need to be thankful. I focus my heart on them and the wonderful feelings and words come back associated with those thoughts. What a beautiful and helpful verse. I am really starting to see the power of the spoken word and thoughts that lead to those words. Words can have the power to destroy (remember the Enemy is listening to your words and can decipher his method of attack more easily from what you reveal to him through your words). And words can have the power to uplift and heal. These are OUR words! Can you imagine what speaking God’s word can do? Wow. I am excited to put this plan into action more often. It is a deliberate effort that I have to be reminded of again and again. This is my part and I want to do my part!
I am learning out here in the desert, more than anything else, how to fight the spiritual battle. Speaking God’s word out loud when attacked, memorizing it (storing up that good for the moments where it is needed), praying God’s word (saying His word back to Him), and using it to help other people in the moment’s God provides to teach, help, encourage, uplift, etc. It is all about HIS WORD. We must continually pray (for ourselves AND other Christians), with His word in mind/mouth, and use God’s word to fight this fight. Remember:
10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” -Ephesians 6:10-18