We all face attacks of the enemy through rough seasons in life, but take heart, the glory that is soon to be revealed is more than we can fathom, and beyond what we imagined.
To share a little bit of my testimony, I lived 18 years of my life in constant sin under the dominion of the enemy. We were all there at some point in our lives. I lived under Satan’s authority, pursuing sexual immorality, drugs/alcoholism, and struggled immensely with anxiety and depression/suicidal thoughts. Last year in December, I went through a rough breakup followed by a very extreme level of anxiety, not really aware of the strongholds over my mind. It came to a point of giving up on life, so of course, that was when I actually did give up on my life and gave it to Jesus, instead. I didn’t realize until after Jesus got ahold of me that He was calling my name my whole life, after all, the enemy did try his best to knock me off my feet.
I would be lying if I told you I still didn’t struggle with anxiety, even though by His stripes we have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24) When we gave our life to Jesus and were cleansed of ourselves, we were made a new creation, right? BUT that does not mean we were spiritually perfected. Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12, “I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.” We are humans carrying the spirit of God, but the spiritual battle is between you and principalities and evil spirits, who try to kill, steal, and destroy everything that is kingdom in your life. So no, when Jesus saved us, we were not automatically perfected since we do still constantly battle our own flesh and the evil authorities of Satan. Paul was basically saying, “I haven’t been made perfect therefore I still strive to reach that perfection that Christ has for me.”
Imagine running a 400-meter dash and you wanted to receive the 1st prize trophy that was made specifically for the fastest runner. It takes hard work to train for those events; it takes daily practice to obtain the ultimate prize. As you run the event, you grow tired, and slower (unless that’s just me?). But you don’t ever quit. Quitting is never an option. Now imagine comparing that to your spiritual walk with Christ, you stretch, you grow uncomfortable, you struggle a lot of the times, but your eyes are on the prize, which is Jesus Himself. Even though I have been healed of my anxiety, we all require breakthrough from our flesh. A person can be “saved” but still stuck in trying to quit with alcoholism, even pornography, but it is until the person seeks revelation and has break-through from it is when Christ releases them. This does not mean the enemy lets go so easily.
This is called sanctification; where God guides us to maturity, and to practical, progressive holiness. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians5: 23). We are separated by God (1 John 1:10), though we still sin daily. Sanctification is more as a “progressive” process that happens in every authentic believer’s life as they are growing in the Lord. We are a work in progress to perfection... this is where Jesus’s name is glorified. We die to our sin daily. The Word tells us no weapon formed against us shall prosper, the Word says we are free and free indeed. God says we have authority over all authorities. God says Satan is under our feet. God says we are victorious regardless. God says He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. God started the work in us and will continue to do so (Philippians 1:6), and by doing so we become more like Christ.
Do not get fearful or discouraged with you are attacked by difficult seasons or trials in your life. I have learned in my walk that the most difficult seasons often produce the best results. Deep pruning or even attacks make you so much stronger in Christ. There is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3). As Peter said in 1 Peter 4:12, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trials which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” Peter is saying, don’t act as if something tragic in your life has taken place, because sufferings for Christ’s name sake is promised, in almost every NT book.
Jesus Himself even said it, so let’s not act as if something strange has happened, but rejoice that we get to suffer for Him (Acts5: 41). Also, don’t be discouraged if you still struggle with things that need to be taken from you, such as anxiety or depression, etc., seek out prayer and have faith that God will remove it. God is a powerful God; let’s not minimize His power and strength. You are set free from all things and loved by our Savior who cares for us so deeply to erase all that refrains us from Him. The things we deal with now are nothing compared to the glory we will see when Jesus comes. Imagine Him and His angels right in front of your eyes, POOF; there went our problems/worries and fears. KNOW that He is and always will be protecting you and watching over you, even in the most difficult seasons in your walk. Don’t quit; don’t ever think about walking away. Keep on going and don’t lose heart. Remember, He makes beautiful things out of dust, and faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.
“Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4)
Written By Alexandra Alonzo