Once you have answered the call of God in your life, there is still a very long road in front of you when is comes to how you live your life. Unfortunately, the attacks and doubt do not stop when you have started to live out your faith in obedience. In fact, most of the time, they will increase. I was once told that, “the devil works overtime when you are doing what God has asked you to do.” (Thanks, Jan K.) She and I were having a conversation about the challenges that ministers face when they are serving, and how, sometimes, the attacks seem to come from all around you. It can be relentless and taxing, but we know that, where God’s will is in motion, He prevails!
So, it is my job to make sure that those in my congregation are aware of the obstacles that they will face during their obedience. When Jesus talks about the house built on the sand, much of the lesson is about choosing your foundation. If you choose to build on shifting sand, then the foundation (clearly NOT Christ) erodes and your house will crumble. If you choose the rock (Christ), however, then your house will stand strong. Your foundation is going to support you through the attacks you face. What Jesus is saying is that the attacks are coming. He tells us that however they have hated Him, the world will hate us.
The most important thing to gain from this is awareness. We must refuse to let ourselves think that we are immune from attack when we answer God’s call. It is quite the opposite. We are more prone to attack. But we have to do something with this awareness. We have to arm ourselves with the armor of God and the sword of the Spirit. When the attacks come, you must already be in the habit of turning to God’s word, not just when you are in trouble, but also for strengthening yourselves daily.
Here are some ways to thwart the enemy’s attacks:
READ YOUR BIBLE. God’s Word has been given to us so that we might understand His love for us and how to get through tough times. The Bible guides us through our lives by showing us the faithful (and the unfaithful) responses of people to God’s calling.
PRAY. A healthy prayer life is one that is not only devoted to sending requests up to God, but also to hearing His answers to the situations in which you find yourself. He may be trying to let you know how to address an attack, but you have to be used to seeking His voice and responding to it.
DON’T WALK ALONE. The community of Christian believers has the responsibility to guide, nurture, and help one another. Walking with someone through your struggles requires vulnerability, but it allows the division of burdens and the multiplication of support. That is why we are here. Let a brother- or sister-in-Christ join you. Your defense will be strengthened.
It will not stop the attacks, but it will give you the wisdom, insight, patience, perseverance, and love to withstand and overcome the attacks.
Next week we will finish up our series on the Call of God with a message on Completing the Call, knowing when this season or mission has ended.
May God give you strength,