The blog post comment notification had come to my inbox – I love getting comments from my readers! But, as I started to read the words, my heart started to beat rapidly and the fury began to rise. This comment was the very reason why I put comment settings to be approved by me before being posted on the blog. And the commenter knew this. Because she knew me. I had enough of this nonsense. So, after some time in prayer and reflection, I decided to allow the comment to be published on my site – something the commenter was not expecting me to do, I am sure. The saddest thing about this horrible comment wasn’t who wrote it (although that did make it all the more hurtful), but the fact that it was written on a post where I shared a moment of healing for one of my children. However, I knew that this was a diversion tactic from my mortal enemy. A way for him to delay the fulfillment of God’s plan for my life. I had a choice to make. I could either succumb to this diversion. Or I could use it to continue building His kingdom. I chose the latter with a reply to that comment as well as in the form of a blog post, 5 ways we can fight a spiritual battle. I wasn’t about to let me enemy have his way. Here is How to Not Be Diverted From God’s Plan.
Our enemy knows that he probably cannot completely wreck God’s plans – well, he certainly can’t obliterate God’s plans in the big scheme of things since God always has another way. However, he can destroy how we play a part in God’s plans. But, more often than not, he can only delay what God wants us to do.
There are three things we can do to help us not be diverted from God’s plan when the voices come in with lies and deception.
1. Stay Rooted
We need to stay rooted in God’s word. If we don’t know what He says, especially what He says about us, then we will believe the lies that come sweeping in.
When that ex-family member said I am ugly inside and out, I started to question my calling. My identity. Fear entered my heart as I started to question my character. That threat of my “new church finding out real quick what kind of people we are” shook me up. I’ll admit it. I questioned who God was making me into – I never questioned my husband’s character, by the way. Just mine. Interesting, hey?
I could have continued that downward spiral. It would’ve been so easy to do. But since God has done so much healing in my life, I knew I had to fight this spiritual battle. I wasn’t going to let my enemy steal from me again. Not a chance. So, I picked up God’s word. And I was reminded of His promises over me. I remembered His truth. And I started to pray for this ex-family member because really…
Who. Does. That.??!!
Who leaves a message like that? Someone who is battling her own death and decay, her own spiritual bondage.
I would not have been able to do this if I had not rooted myself in God’s word. I would have been sidelined and taken out of the game for a while.
Stay in the game by rooting yourself in God’s word.
2. Be An Encourager
We have more than enough naysayers in this world. We don’t need more, that’s for sure. So, instead, endeavor to build others up. Be intentional about this. Look for ways to edify other people, especially when you see them working towards fulfilling God’s plan for their lives.
Be that friend who steps up when all others fall away. When your friend falls and messes up, be the one who comes in with a word of encouragement. Remind them of who they are in Christ.
Here’s an even bigger challenge for you. When that person comes to you with comments that aim to dishearten and discourage you, to divert your attention, do something radical. Use those criticisms as fuel to be different and leave that conversation with a genuine word of encouragement for that person. Doing this will ‘fast track’ you to stay the course. And you never know, you just might make a change in that person’s heart by planting a seed that the Holy Spirit will use.
I am an encourager by heart. It’s what I do. However, there have been times when I start to whine about no one encouraging me. Often times, the areas where we are gifted are the areas where we don’t normally get anything in return. So, it’s super easy to get caught up in the ‘poor me’ syndrome. We need to adjust our thinking about this. I have to remember that when I am encouraging others, in essence, I am also encouraging myself. I am building my own life through my encouragement of others. So, I need to stop whining and continue encouraging. (Also, see #1 – God’s word is my ultimate encouragement, another reason to root myself in it)
Stay in the game by being an encourager.
3. Keep Your Eyes on Jesus
Jesus’ mission is greater than our own plans. We must remain focused on Him.
On the Cross, Jesus built for us. He built:
- The only way to the Father
He is the only One who has built this life for us.
When our Savior was on that Cross, the naysayers came to Him in the last hours. They attempted to divert Him from God’s plan. They shouted insult after insult. The Pharisees mocked Him.
But He did not stop. He did not stop until His work was done. Until it was finished. He could’ve come down from that Cross. He could have put a stop to everything right then and there. But that was not God’s plan. The plan was so much bigger than what was happening in that moment. And Jesus knew this. So, He stayed until it was completed. He remained until death.
The plan is too great
I need to remember that God’s plan is too great for me to just quit. I have to remember that what is being built in my life isn’t just about me. It is about the generations to follow. And let me tell you, this is desperately needed in my family. The history of my family leaves much to be wanted. There are generational curses of divorce, adultery, idolatry, witchcraft, the occult, mental illness, physical illness, and so much more. And that has stopped with Marcus and me and our strong faith in God.
This is about the lives we will impact for God’s glory. The lives our children are impacting and will impact in the future. It’s about the lives our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will impact. This is for God’s purposes. Not mine.
And it rests on my obedience to God and my perseverance. On me keeping my eyes focused on Jesus so as to not be diverted from my Heavenly Father’s plan.
Stay in the game by keeping your eyes on Jesus.
That terrible comment was left on my blog just over two years ago and that family member has not left another since then. I wonder if she was embarrassed by her actions since she likely did not think I would actually publish her comment. In fact, I am quite sure she didn’t think I would based upon some history about past nasty comments from the same circle. But I did. And it seems to have stopped future diversions from her. I left the situation by pointing right back to Jesus and keeping my own eyes focused on Him.
Which of the three tactics above do you need to work on building up today?
Next week, we’ll start talking about dealing with the heart in order to Build in Wisdom. Join me!