In the last quarter of 2019, I suffered a crushing disappointment that left me reeling. I lost something I conclusively believed God had given to me. I had received it with great joy and thanksgiving. I thought it was “in the bag”, so I took my eyes off it for about a week to focus on something else. That was all it took for the devil to swoop in to steal. In the blink of an eye, it was gone! I had lost what I truly believed God had provided for me in answer to prayer.
It felt like I had been gut shot, kicked in the face, and stomped on, all at the same time. How could this happen? I firmly believe Psalm 16, that God will protect what is mine. So, the usual questions and feelings came rushing in – “How could God let this happen?” I believe He gave this to me, so, why did He not defend it? Why did He allow the devil to steal it? My faith was shaken. I prayed and prayed, but the situation appeared unchanged. I was very discouraged.
Some weeks later, I was faced with a choice to step out in faith and believe really big about the situation. I was barraged by doubt and fear. What if I failed? What if God didn’t come through? Afterall, I believed I had received this from God the first time, and yet, it didn’t stop the attack and theft by the devil. What if I didn’t hear from God this time? My mind replayed the worst case scenarios, and potential negative outcomes. Finally, I decided, against all odds, against my feelings, doubts, and fears; I decided to step out in faith and believe God AGAIN!
The devil yelled at me, “You shouldn’t do that, you shouldn’t believe God again! He wasn’t there for you the first time; how can you be sure He’ll be there this time? You are making a big mistake!” As I battled the barrage of fearful thoughts, the Lord spoke to me and said “You have won”. I did a double take! “Won what?” I asked, He said, “Regardless of the outcome, you have won this fight.”
You see, when the devil ambushed me and stole what God had provided for me, his target was not the item, that was merely a means to an end. His target was my faith. He wanted to rob me of my unflinching faith and confidence in God. You see, I was focused on the outcome, but this was not a fight for the thing, it was a fight of faith!
It’s the fight that you and I must win. You see when the devil attacks, delays, steals or hinders your job, car, house, relationships, and whatever else you are believing God for, it’s not because he wants the thing. The devil doesn’t need your job, car, house, spouse, and so on. He wants your faith, because without faith you lose your connection with God.
The Lord said that I had won, because battered, bloodied, and bleeding from the fight, I was willing to believe God AGAIN and step out AGAIN in radical faith. It is easier to lay down your faith, and not expect, actively believe or hope again, because that is potentially risking another painful disappointment. But losing your faith is the biggest loss of all.
Incidentally, both God and the devil are looking for the same thing, but for different reasons. In Luke 18:8 Jesus asks a piercing question, “When the Son of Man comes, how many will He find on the earth who have faith?” The Lord is looking for faith, because faith pleases and honors God – Hebrews 11:6. The devil is also looking for faith, because faith pleases and honors God, and so he wants to steal, kill, and destroy it. The question is, will you continue to believe God, or will you give up your faith? Will you continue to trust God, no matter what?
Why is The Fight of Faith Critical?
- The devil’s threefold ministry is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). But he cannot kill and destroy until he steals your faith. Faith is the currency of the kingdom. You get your salvation and everything else God has through faith. If the devil can steal your faith, then he can destroy your health, finances, job, relationships, children, and so on.
- The devil’s target for any attack in your life is your faith! He wants to slander God and impeach His character. He wants to convince you that God is not good, does not keep His promises, and cannot be trusted. When you stop believing, you are agreeing with the devil that God cannot be trusted.
- The devil wants to rob you blind! You see, the devil cannot stop God from bringing His promises to pass in your life. But if he can persuade you to give up and walk away, then, God will still show up as He promised, but you won’t be there to see and receive it. David said it very well, “What would have become of me, had I not believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13-14).
The fight of faith is a fight you must win! Your faith is precious, and the devil wants it. He wants you to lose confidence in God and His word. He wants you to lose heart and give up. In Luke 22:31, Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, the devil has desired to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, that your faith will not fail”. Jesus did not pray to stop the “sifting”, or to ensure a particular outcome; rather, He prayed for Peter’s faith, that it will not fail. In other words, He prayed that the devil will fail in his mission.
Apostle Paul understood that the fight of faith is mission critical. He said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Why is winning the fight of faith so important? Because faith is the victory that overcomes the world! You cannot win without faith. First John 5:4 states that, “Whosoever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.”
In 2020, whatever you do, don’t lose your faith. When you decide to believe God again, trust again, and step out again, you win and the devil loses.
Join me in saying this simple affirmation: “My faith is not fragile; my faith is not weak. My faith is in Almighty God, the maker of heaven and earth” - Amen!
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