When the enemy pursues us, God pursues us further

At the beginning of last summer, I was in the thick of it (and still am) with my kids, the days were both mundane and full but my heart was even more full. My heart felt saturated everyday with the grace, power, and encouragement from Jesus. I was spending more time with God than ever before, out of sheer desire than ever before. A particular area of my life that felt dry and hopeless for years started to grow and flourish and become a place of joy and encouragement for me again. I had more vision for my personal ministry than every before, a deepening desire to communicate Jesus, whether on my blog, to my friends, to other moms at the playground, and whether written or verbal, I wanted to encourage anyone who would listen. Revival was undoubtedly happening in many areas of my life, even amidst days that were circumstantially challenging with my young kids. I wasn't settling for any excuses to not follow an love Jesus with everything I have, and essentially, I felt like God was moving me from a "concern" to a "threat" to the kingdom of darkness.

Until one particular summer day, which now I can separate my year into "before" and "after" categories, my kids were napping, I was in the kitchen cleaning and listening to a sermon podcast. The preacher's words were literally putting holy fire in my bones. I wanted to tell everyone about Jesus and His transforming Gospel. His presence in the kitchen was so real, and I felt more stirred than ever to take it to anyone who listen. In the hours following, I can now see that God and Satan were having a discussion over me in the heavenly realms. The enemy didn't like what God was doing in me, and asked God if he could sift me like wheat, as he did in Luke 22:31-32 concerning Simon Peter. I felt a darkness and a presence of the demonic over me like I've never felt before. My mind was filled with dark thoughts that were so contrary to my usual thinking patterns, and for some reason, I couldn't shake it. Although I've never suffered from depression or anxiety, it loomed over me for days and weeks. So much so, I couldn't eat, sleep, had constant stomach aches, couldn't feel like myself, or do anything I usually do with the joy I usually do it in. Those were undoubtedly the darkest nights of my soul. I felt that all the things that God had been reviving were suddenly disappearing, gone in a instant, and I slipped into complete survival mode. Instead of being filled with passion to encourage others like I had been, life became a constant battle to just lift my head and keep going. Although I knew Satan was pursing soul, (my mind, my will, my emotions) and I knew that Jesus would never leave me or forsake me, nothing could have drawn me to seek God as intensely as this did. I was up reading my Bible and crying out to God in prayer before dawn, and I couldn't wait to read it again when then kids went down for naps, and couldn't wait to read it again after they went to bed. It was the Word I clung to, my Sword in the battle, and manna I needed to sustain me to keep fighting for the next hour. If you saw me physically in those months, I was a seemingly okay, walking, talking, and a still standing human being, but if you saw my spirit I would've been bruised and bloody, yet still walking and talking and being carried by Jesus.

The hardest of the hardest of my sifting season lasted about 2 months. In September, I felt the darkness lifting. I could eat and sleep mostly normally and I wasn't quite so anxious and depressed. Yet, I knew there was more work in me to be done. I felt like Satan shoved me down into a pit that I wasn't supposed to be in, yet I didn't know how to get out of it. Every time I tried, I would make a little progress only to find that I was trying to climb up a vertical muddy wall, and I'd just slip further and further back down. I still felt like my creativity was gone. I was better than the summer, but I wasn't totally me, pre-attack. I knew I just couldn't pull myself out of this one. I needed a Deliverer, a Restorer, and a Rescuer that couldn't be found in myself or any earthly being. In those months I got to experience the beauty of Psalm 40:1-3 itself: "I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God." And that's where I'm at, out of that pit, with my feet on a Rock. I can feel myself being restored to me. The me God made me to be that the enemy sought to steal. I haven't been depressed in a long time, and when the enemy tries to get me to go back in that pit, by God's strength, I just cry out to Him all the more, shout His truth over myself, and tell the enemy by the authority of Christ in me to get out of here. His schemes aren't going to work on this girl because my feet are glued to the Rock. Now I feel like I'm in a season of experiencing 1 Peter 5:10, being restored, grounded, strengthened and established in the Lord.

The enemy undoubtedly pursued me, but I want you to know, God always pursued me further. Satan is the master deceiver, master illusionist, father of lies, salivating over someone to devour, particularly over someone that is becoming more and more of a threat to the kingdom of darkness. This may have been the hardest, most painful seasons of my life, but there's also never been another season of my life that I've experienced the depths of who God is more than this. There's never been another season where I got to stare in the eyes of my Deliverer and not look to the left or to the right like this one as He lifted me out of that pit. There's never been a season where I had such anxiety, the darkest backdrop for the Prince of Peace to let his light pierce the darkness and give me the peace that passes all understanding in exchange. For us in Christ, we need not fear the enemy, because we have the entire Godhead on our side, fighting with us and for us, and we know that the battle has already been won for us on the Cross. So stand firm on that ground. The ground of freedom and victory and deliverance, that Jesus died to give us.

If any of you are there in that thick of an intense spiritual battle right now, can I pray for you? Leave a comment or shoot me an email (lindseyfalls@ymail.com). I'm excited to not let this blog collect dust anymore. In Jesus name, I'm even taking back this little ground on my blog that the enemy sought to have, too. Up next, I'm going to be sharing some resources that God greatly used in my life to help me be victorious in the battle.