“I just wish life could just be easier….and more comfortable.”
This was the first thought that came to my mind when I found myself stirring early one morning. You know how sometimes there are those thoughts that greet you just as you are waking? They are the subconscious thoughts that immediately hit you before you have time to self edit, or push them away with your phone or the busyness of life.
This just wasn’t any morning. This morning came on the heels of the night before where things didn’t go according to the plan–or really to OUR plan.
Rewind a bit. My husband and I had felt called to really step out in risk and to trust God in a way that was really bold for us–far beyond ourselves and our own capabilities. Months were spent planning with a team of people crafting how this vision would take flight. It was risky and was putting us into new realms of faith and trust like never before. After months of investing so much of ourselves into this idea, we were ready to take the big leap ONLY to find that there were challenges.
(But of course!! What call of God isn’t met with opposition and challenges?)
This much I know! I know we have an enemy with a host of minions that have only one job to do—and that is to undermine the beauty and glory of Jesus’ life unfolding on this earth through the lives of those who love Him. They don’t have laundry to fold or errands to run. One mission—death and destruction.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Even with me knowing this scripture in my head, the waves of uncertainty, fear, and doubt started to wash over my heart.
Did we miss it? Did we not hear correctly? Was this a mistake?
There was only one solution. Food. What misery can’t be solved with a good cup of coffee and burying my face in a plate of hash browns?
Chris and I went to grab breakfast and as we were re-hashing the events, our conversation took a neat twist: The book of Hebrews.
I asked Chris to remind me why the book of Hebrews is called the faith chapter. He recounted how Hebrews Chapter 11 is called the Faith Hall of Fame. This specific chapter has a run down of rock stars from the Old Testament—remarkable men and women whose stories exhibit outstanding accounts of faith.
By faith, Enoch…..
By faith, Noah…..
By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
He obeyed and went even though he did not know where he was going.
Tears filled my eyes and my heart swelled. THIS WAS the woman I wanted to be.
I want to be a woman filled with faith, who steps out boldly, and STILL TRUSTS even in the face of uncertainty and opposition. This was my truest self, rising to the occasion over the pack of lies I had given myself over to the night before.
Oh, those all-consuming lies! They just feel so TRUE in the moment when things aren’t going according to the “plan”. It’s so incredibly easy to give way to those accusations and lies based on how our circumstances feel in the moment. Have you ever heard these before?
You can’t trust God.
God won’t come through for you.
You are alone.
You aren’t enough.
The list goes on and on.
These lies take us all to one place: unbelief. And unbelief suffocates a faith-filled life. It just cuts you off at the knees making you incapable of taking another step. And, that’s by design. That’s exactly how the enemy robs God of His glory on display in and through our lives! He certainly can’t go after God because he already lost that battle, so he goes after what is most precious to Him:
His beloved. You and me. His image bearers.
And He’s looking for you to do one thing: AGREE with his lies.
“Ah, that’s right. I’m not safe. I’m not enough. God can’t be trusted. I’m not worthy of God coming through for me.” And, on and on the lies go.
Get this–the lies from the enemy, in and of themselves, are ineffective, but once we buy into the lie and make an agreement with them—GAME ON.
Once we make an agreement, the lie takes hold and that sends us down our old familiar trails of fear, resignation, anxiety, depression, isolation, and self-hatred. The ball is in his court now. We miss out on living true to who God made us to be. And even more costly, we miss out on simply enjoying Jesus—loving him and living with eyes of wonder and a heart full of trust.
So back to the Hebrews convo we had over hash browns. Jesus saved me from myself by reminding me of who I wanted to be. He also kindly showed me there was a litany of agreements I had made giving those lies the power the enemy wants them to have. Those lies needed to be renounced in order for me to find freedom. After doing so, I was able to see clearly again. I was able to journal His words of assurance–how He saw me, and what His interpretation was on our reality. It was so freeing!
It is in renouncing the lies and breaking the agreements that the enemy loses his hold. We are then freed to receive the healing word or truth Jesus wants to bring: His perspective and His truth on our reality!
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
So that’s my story, what about your story? What is the risk that God is calling you to these days? How is He asking you to step out and follow Him?
His whispers could be beckoning you to step and follow your God-given dreams and desires with your calling.
He could be asking you to trust Him with a specific relationship where He is prompting you to own your voice and share some honest words with a good friend, husband, or boyfriend.
He could be asking you to step out in faith and define boundaries in your physical relationship with your boyfriend.
Perhaps, after failure or disappointment, to dream and believe again feels too painful, and yet Jesus is calling you to give Him another chance.
If none of those feel true to your story, then what faith-filled risk is He inviting you to?
This could be an opportunity to pray now and invite Him to speak to your heart about what He DOES have for you. And, in addition, ask Him to expose any agreements standing in the way of you stepping out with Him.
You could pray something along these lines :
Jesus, will you give me a new vision to see my life through your eyes? Will you speak to me and bring your perspective on my reality? I trust you Holy Spirit to guide me in this time of prayer.
1) Risk: Father, what is a risk that you want me to take?
(Pause, and let Him speak to you, and impress upon your heart what He has for you).
2) Agreements: With this step of faith you are calling me to, are there any lies I am believing? Can you show me any agreements I have made?
(Agreements about ourselves tend to be an “I statement” as they attack our identity. I am not enough. I am not loved.)
And, what have I been believing about your heart, Father, that is keeping me from stepping out and taking risks?
(I can’t trust God. God’s heart isn’t good. I’m not worthy of God’s love. Etc.)
To find freedom, renounce the lies in Jesus name. With Jesus’ authority we have His power to command the lies away.
Pray quietly out loud over the lies He revealed.
“In the name of Jesus I reject the lie _____, and I send it to Jesus for judgement.”
3) Truth: Now for the fun part. Ask Him to bring His healing word or truth to your heart. His healing words always bring affirmation and illumination for our path. He might want to impress upon your heart a scripture verse, a vision, a word, a memory. Whatever He does bring, ask Him for the significance. He knows more than anyone what you most need to hear. He is the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep who listen and respond to the Shepherds voice (John 10:3-4).
Jesus, will you speak to me of your love for me by giving me a word or an impression? Would you speak to me about the journey ahead?
(I often find journaling really helps me capture what He impresses on my heart.)
After you have taken His truth to heart, put pen to paper and write your very own name into an “In faith sentence….” as if it were to appear the Faith Hall of Fame. May this be a reminder that you too have the opportunity to carry on the legacy of faith in action!
Lauren Tomlin loves to share with women the freedom she has found in her own life through prayer. She enjoys meeting with women and praying for their restoration and inner healing. She and her husband, Chris live in Franklin,Tennesee with their two little girls who are often seen in the creek wearing full fledged princess attire. For more information on agreements, or any fantastic resources on prayer visit www.ransomedheart.com.