I just quit a job I’ve had for 7 years. I didn’t always appreciate the job, rarely enjoyed it, but tried to be thankful for it. I knew God had led me to it to serve Him in that particular place. Over the past couple of years, I had wanted to leave but felt that wasn’t an option; the benefits were extraordinary, pay was more than I should have been making, and knowing God had led me to it kept me from believing He might actually want me to move to something new. So I stayed. Each week I felt more and more suffocated but told myself I was being selfish, lazy, self-centered.
Looking back, I can see how God was trying to lead me away from it. I was not challenged by the work in the way we desire to be. Training had been practically non-existent so each new situation was difficult to manage. I became agitated with my co-workers over the least little thing despite fervent prayer to keep my attitude in check. I felt like a robot, just going through the motions. I didn’t believe I was worth anything. The job never provided any positive feedback. I just went in, worked, went home, got up the next day and did it all over again. I wasn’t interested in life anymore. I lost interest in everything. I resigned myself to the reality that I would just stay at this job until I retired or God called me home. I gave up.
Then God stepped in and arranged a situation where I just had to walk away. Satan kept telling me I was a failure. He kept telling me I was being irresponsible. He convinced me to focus on my shortcomings that would prevent me from finding a new job. And I fell for his attacks – but not for long.
I was in a Bible study learning about God’s armor (Priscilla Shirer). And that week the topic was faith: active faith (does God have great timing or what?). We were introduced to “The Faith Place:” situations where we are totally dependent on God coming through for us. I had to admit I had never done that. Despite my great love for Jesus, I had never gone to this place. The truth was I was still dependent on worldly things for security and lived in fear that I would create a situation that my unbelieving husband would have to clean up. I was allowing these worldly things to destroy my trust in my Heavenly Father. God desperately wanted to prove I can trust Him, even though He had done it time and time again in my life. So He stepped in and forced my hand. He made it clear it is time for me to walk the walk. I am tired of not trusting Him. I am deeply disappointed in my inability to do so and the ways I justify my doubt. I’m tired of throwing away spiritual strength and God’s peace and comfort because of my fear of whatever earthly consequences I might have to deal with.
I am believing the promises. I am believing God is good. I am believing He will give me an abundant life. I am believing I can trust Him. I am believing that there is nothing anyone in this world can do to me that will ultimately hurt me because God is the keeper of my soul. When I feel anxious about my husband’s reaction, I say a prayer to God that I will not let my husband sway me from my trust in God. The fear is gone and I put myself back into His faithful arms every time I feel the anxiety welling up. It still comes! I can only imagine God’s distress as He sees me taking on things under my own strength, knowing He has given me so many things to call upon that would ease my burden. It felt good to wallow in self-pity, anger and hurt. It is so much easier to let the emotions well up and take over. But it feels even better when I take the time to call on my Father and allow Him to ease the pain; to do things His way so that my life isn’t just one emotional breakdown after another. This is exactly why I sought Him out: so that anger, fear and self-pity would no longer rule my life and keep me from the peace I so desperately wanted.
I want my unsaved loved ones to see what God offers us and the kind of life we can have by following Him. But Satan prefers they not see that so he leads me away from God’s way to my self-centered ways. And, until now, I’ve fallen for it hook, line and sinker. Not anymore.
I am claiming the peace that surpasses all understanding. I am claiming the abundant life. I am claiming my value as a child of God through Jesus Christ. I’m putting on my armor and using it.