Thursday, July 11, 2019

ACE #454: The Enemy Tried It

The enemy has tried it this year! I have had a very strange one in terms of confrontation...and I am only half way through it. I have found myself in the middle of conversations with people looking around asking in my head, "Is this really happening?" or "Am I being pranked?" and even "Are they talking to me? They must be crazy!" 

People have really tested my patience and my self-control to the point where I have literally wanted to dispel a flurry of ungodly words in their direction. But my honest response has been "ok" or no response at all. I have surprised myself many times. In those moments, I could hear the Holy Spirit speaking clearly saying, "Don't say a word" or "Just be quiet." Of course, we all have free choice to obey or to disobey God. Oftentimes, we even pretend like we didn't hear Him at all. In the flesh, I have wanted to respond to the person in the same manner in which they approached me. You know how the old saying goes, "Take your medicine where you get sick." Then, God would remind me who I am.

Recently, I took a look at the story of Hannah, again. I've studied it many times because Hannah has often been my "go to" story of faith. Also, Hannah's name means "grace". And all of us can use more of that.

Hannah was provoked year after year by her rival, Peninnah, to the point of tears and hunger, perhaps it could have led to starvation had her faith not been sharpened by her frequent visits to the temple. Oftentimes, distraction and provocation are the only ways by which the enemy can get you off course or damage your witness. Some simple lessons I've learned from Hannah's story:

  • Do not allow the enemy to provoke you into unhealthy habits.
  • Do not allow the enemy to provoke you to compromise your testimony.
  • Do not allow the enemy to provoke you out of your postition of peace.
  • Do not allow the enemy to provoke you out of God's will for your life before you are about to give birth to your vision.
Samuel was on the way. He was coming to be a great prophet. He was coming to anoint a great king by the name of David who is part of the lineage of Jesus Christ. So, my friends, don't take the bait. Do remember who you are so you can stay focused on God's plan.

1 Samuel 1 New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Samuel

There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite[a] from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?
Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.

Check out my book: From the Test to the Testimony: An Anthology of Women's Faith Stories

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