Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It Came Back

It was back this weekend. A part of me I have not heard or seen in several years. A part of me that was once a stronghold. It didn't just take over one morning. No, it was there from childhood. It just got bigger, and uglier and stronger the older I became.

Through the Bible study "Breaking Free", I called it by name and asked Almighty God to have a holy intervention. That was six years ago.

Until this past weekend I have recognized when I feel weak in this area. The minute I feel this weakness, I mentally move into battle mode. I start speaking scripture out loud, I pray through it and sometimes fast until I feel the battle has ended.

But this time. This time, I was blindsided. Totally taken off guard. I was phone line to phone line with evil. The more I answered questions and responded to comments with the Word, the uglier the other side became. It was clear to me that no good could come out of this. I felt Chad's hand on my shoulder. "Be careful" he was saying. He had been praying during this entire situation. I should have listened.

Then, the enemy pulled out the big gun and hit me in my weak spot. He went "there".

I would love to tell you I stood strong and looked for the way of escape, but I didn't. My flesh took over and I allowed the old stronghold to show itself.

It ended bad. Very bad. My heart hurts. What happened was NEVER my intention. I didn't start it, but boy did I finish it.

For two days, I have felt beat up. I feel like a failure. Worthless, and totally inadequate to minister in the area God has called me to.

This morning, I was standing in the shower talking to the Lord about this. Okay, I was crying and asking Him to forgive me (again) for allowing this stronghold to take over in this particular situation. This is what I heard.

"Stephanie. You are forgiven. Quit insulting me and my forgiveness by continuing to bring this up. Praise me for the forgiveness, and leave the enemy to me. I can handle him."

Here is just a little of Psalm 51:
"Have mercy on me O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Retsore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.
Oh Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise!"

And Praise is what I did.....



Cheri said...

First off, is that you singing in the video. It was beautiful! All those women there worshipping together. How awesome!

We all stumble back into our old ways of thinking now and then, thank God that he is a God of second chances. This is the second post I've read today about rising above it instead of staying in it. God must be trying to tell me something!!~ Cheri

Fran said...

Hey sweet friend...
Live from the beach, I felt compelled to come check some blogs while taking a break from the sun and needed some lunch! :) So...I'm here with you friend. I'm praying for you. I know that battle all too well. You are sweetly forgiven and I pray that your heart and mind are in a sweet place of restoration with Jesus!

I love ya and I'm praying for you.
I've got a lot of time of just sitting and thinking and praying in my heart.


DeAnna said...

Be strong and take courage, sweet friend. It seems that many of us are being hit right now with past failures, strongholds rearing their ugly heads, and plain 'ole feelings of inadequacy. Satan is trying to get at us from every angle that he possibly can. Rebuke him in the Holy name of Jesus! Thanks for being transparent today.

Carol said...

Phew. I listened to that and just let it wash over me, you know what I mean? I agree with Deanna, Satan is coming big and strong. But guess what (ginning) OUR GOD IS BIGGER! Amy and I were just talking the other day about how God is so big and so powerful in so many lives right now. It's as if He is getting ready to do something spectacular. Well, ole Satan is trying to rear his ugly head. It's kind of like "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." God is Johnny on the fiddle and satan just doesn't compare. I just want to shout in his face "Just come on back you son of a gun if you ever want to try again." (I'm jamming on some fiddle!) I'm praying for you.

Julie said...

Stephanie, I felt compelled to tell you something that God has recently taught me. For a while when I would find myself in a poor choice of sin or seeing more "junk" coming out of me I would say, "there's still so much of that in me." "I am still such a mess". God spoke to me at that point and began to remind me that I am a new creation in Christ, the old has gone the new has come.

When I make the choice to sin it is not who I really am. I AM a new creation. It is the enemy trying to resurrect the "old me", trying to bring it back into my life.

When you made that choice or found yourself in that stronghold, it was not who you are. The old you is gone. Jesus removed it and replaced it with Himself. We just have to move into that new, true identity that is in us, and choose to put the old aside.

I found such great freedom in embracing that truth.
My sin does not identify me. My sin does not define me. My sin is those moments when I forget who I really am and find myself back in who I used to be. But it does not change my identity. My identity was established by Christ. It cannot be changed.

I pray that somehow these words that God is showing me, will speak to you too.

Many blessings,

Jess said...


I so appreciate your heartfelt honesty and transparency.

You know, my study group just covered chapter 8 of "Breaking Free" tonight: God's Unfailing Love. And Beth points out to us in this section that 'deception is the glue that keeps a stronghold together'. The enemy already got you off track for a moment. Don't let him continue to conquer your heart by convincing you that you have to stay there. God knows your heart and continues to 'hold you up in high esteem', 'is drawn to spend time with you', 'enjoys you' and loves to demonstrate His deep love for you' - and that, my friend is "AGAPAO" - a love only God can provide. Completely unconditional.

Keep praising Him, girl!


Amy Wyatt said...

What Carol didn't tell you is that in addition to the conversation we had about God doing BIG things...I also tried to get her to sing Karaoke with me on "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" but she wouldn't do it :o) That should make you smile.

I'm praying for you girl. Satan does know which buttons to push, but just remember GOD is so much Bigger and He does forgive us.

luvgod2 said...

Thank you for your post! I am currently leading the Breaking Free class with several ladies from my church and it has been a powerful one!

Satan does not want anyone to break free of strongholds and will try with no holds barred to keep us locked up in the yoke of slavery.

I know for myself God has impressed on me that it is by His power, His strength, His guidance that I will be free! Walking in the Spirit, daily sacrificing of myself, and praying like I've never prayed before as one spiritually destitute without Him.

Thank you again for your honesty and your post!

I'm tagging you! Come check out my site at luvgod2.blogspot.com for details:)

Anonymous said...

Hey sweet friend, I have sooo been there. But don't you just love how the Word smacks us right back into Truth and right thinking!

You stand your ground, girl.


StaceyStace said...

I can relate so well with you here!