What if the devil was right?
What if that Sunday two Octobers ago, when I had my really horrible mom fail that led to the fight, that led to the devil whispering that thing in my ear, that led to my curse-God-and-die moment, that led to never wanting to show my face again, the devil was right?
I think this when there’s another fight, and the devil comes whispering, “See, I told you this would happen. It’s all going down just like I said it would.”
The thought creeps in at other times too. Worming it’s way into my subconscious, a parasite that refuses to leave.
I hear couples say that their trials brought them closer together. But it hasn’t felt that way to me. Through this trial, I’ve felt a distance grow between us.
There have been so many times when I’ve felt myself pull away. And I’ve felt pushed away too. I’ve felt constantly needed, but not really wanted.
At least not in the way I wanted to be wanted.
But sometimes we need to let God change our wants. Oh yes, He can. If we’re willing to lay down our desires on the alter of His love for us, He will give us new desires that are so much better for us than we can even imagine.
But we get so afraid, don’t we? So afraid to let go of what we think should be, and just trust God for whatever will be.
And at the root of my urge to pull away is fear.
Fear of the future, fear of the unknown; fear that the devil was right that day.
And what if he was?
What if it all really goes down that way?
Well, it may. It really may.
God is still God. He’s still the one that hung the stars. He’s still the one formed us from the dust of the earth. He’s the one that joined us into one flesh, for better and for worse. (Matthew 19:6)
And He’s still the one that purchased our souls with His own blood.
There is no power in heaven, or earth, or under the earth that can undo any of that.
The devil tells the truth sometimes.
But he doesn’t tell it with our best interest in mind.
When the devil whispered that thing in my ear, he had one purpose, to cause fear. The devil loves fear. He loves fear because it paralyses us.
This formless, shapeless monster pushes its way into our lives, and stops us in our tracks.
But we don’t have to let it. It doesn’t have to be that way.
The devil wants us to fear the pit in the road ahead. He wants us to be so afraid of the pit that we can’t go forward. Instead we turn back or try to find another path.
The devil tells the truth when it suits him, but mostly he makes stuff up. He’s the father of lies, and he’s a terrible prophet. He doesn’t know God’s plans.
There may not be any pit at all.
Even if there is, God still wants us to trust Him.
Trust is the cure for fear.
The cause of our fear is doubt and unbelief. When we doubt God’s love for us, and His plans for us, fear creeps in.
But He asks us to trust His love, and His goodness, even if we don’t understand.
Trust is moving forward even if the pit is there. Maybe God will make a bridge over it, or send a rope to climb out with. Maybe the bottom of the pit is exactly where He wants to meet us.
When we trust Him enough to travel the road He’s laid out for us, no matter what lies ahead, He’ll meet us on that road and walk with us. We can trust Him with everything, and for everything.
We don’t need a backup plan.
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faced with a choice between bowing to an idol, and the fiery furnace, they didn’t make a backup plan, they didn’t hedge their bets. They stood before the king and said, “We’re all in. We’re taking the road God has for us. We believe He can save us but even if He doesn’t, we’re still going all in.”
“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Daniel 3:17-18
Of course they went to the furnace. What did they find there? The Forth Man in the fire.
The fire was exactly where God wanted to meet them. They would have lived if they had given in and bowed to the king’s idol, but they would have missed so much.
God wants to meet with us too. Maybe it will be in the fire, and maybe in the pit. But if we don’t want to miss Him, we have follow where He leads. And we have to trust Him.
When we trust with our whole hearts, there’s no room for fear.
I’m tired of the fear, and the distance. So I’m choosing to trust. I’m choosing to press in instead of pulling away.
Because when we’re finally out of this desert, I don’t want to look back on ashes. I don’t want to have missed meeting with The Master. Even if it has to be in the pit.