Hi, Soul Searching Family! I am so glad to be back with you. Of course, I’m back a little later than I intended, but some journeys take a little longer than others. Maybe some of you can relate.
Why God? Why?
The fact is the picture that I chose for this post really doesn’t tell my story, but it’s the face I presented to the world during this summer. I smiled when people asked me if I was okay. I smiled when all I wanted to do was cry and ask God why. Why did you allow this to happen to me? Why didn’t you protect me from this pain? So many whys! Too many to count at this point, but I am standing on the promise that He has already overcome the world. If you’ve been on this journey with me for any amount of time, you know I take great comfort in John 16:33 NIV. It states, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Here comes Trouble!
So, on this soul searching journey, my family and I experienced trouble. The kind of trouble that led me to the police station because I had to report a case of identity theft. That’s right! We experienced identity theft this summer. Someone stole our account information and made purchases in our name the day before our middle daughter’s eleventh birthday. We received notifications from various stores, stating that our purchases were ready for pickup. Purchases that we did not make, by the way. It was a very stressful time in our lives. We had to change our accounts, phone numbers, etc. (As I write this, I can feel anxiety knocking at my door, begging to be let in again, but I’m going to keep my eyes on Jesus as I share my soul searching testimony).
On this journey, I felt violated, and I wanted someone to pay. (Lock them up and throw away the key was my position on the matter). Anyone who would steal from us wasn’t worth my time, but Holy Spirit pressed upon my heart to pray for them. Ya’ll! I wasn’t trying to hear that. A crazy amount of money was pending in our bank account. Scheduled payments were delayed because they were attached to a card that was deactivated. Life was spiraling out of control and Holy Spirit wanted us to intercede for the person or people who stole from our family. Ha! You have got to be kidding me, right? I don’t want to pray for them. Okay! I take that back. I want to pray for their arrest and I did- multiple times- but that wasn’t the prayer that moved God’s heart. Imagine that? So, it’s only right that I share the hardest prayer that I prayed during this time of trouble! It happened in the car. I know. It’s not exactly the most spiritual place to have a “profound moment,” but this isn’t one of my books. This is my life.
My oldest daughter and I were driving home from the mall, and I was fuming about this situation. Then, I felt that annoying tug to pray for my enemies again. Ugh! I didn’t want to pray. I didn’t want to extend grace and show mercy. I wanted justice and justice alone. Have you ever felt like that?
Well, this is what was revealed to me at that moment. This changed my heart posture and allowed me to feel compassion toward the person who stole from us. It was the realization that the enemy stole their identity first. John 10:10 states, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” [That’s Jesus, by the way. Jesus came so we could have life and have it to the full]. Luke 22:31 states, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.” 1 Peter 5:8 states, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Satan’s Plan to Devour Us
When a person steals from us, it proves that Satan is using them to advance his purpose on earth. In other words, he found someone who wasn’t alert. He found someone who wasn’t sober minded. He found someone to devour! (According to the KJV dictionary, one definition of devour is “to destroy spiritually; to ruin the soul.” Another definition of the word devour is “to consume wealth and substance by fraud, oppression, or illegal exactions.” Sound familiar? When a person steals, Satan has stolen their identity, and he’s blocked their path to an abundant life. He’s tricked them into believing that they must lie and steal to advance in this world. He calls them liars! He calls them thieves! However, the Creator had different plans for them.
God’s Plan to Save Us
“… [They] are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [them] to do“ (Ephesians 2:10). They’re a part of a royal priesthood. They’re a chosen people! They’re God’s special possession. They are fearfully and wonderfully made. God knew them BEFORE they were in their mother’s womb. Yes! I had to pray for my enemies on this soul searching journey and declare who they really were this summer because we serve the OVERCOMER! I couldn’t let Satan continue to steal from me. He would love nothing more than for us to hate our enemies, but we were created out of love to love each other. Think about it. Then, go to the Father and pray about it.
#Soul Searching with Our Father#