Many of us in this time are feeling the tug of God calling us closer to Him. As you begin to walk out onto the waters to meet Him, it's important that you know how to prepare your self so that you don't sink.
You will have battles and it is inevitable
As a result of that sticky situation between Adam, Eve, and the serpent, we received this consequence:
""And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel."" Genesis 3:15 NASB
God declared that there would always be a back and forth between us and the enemy, but He also shows us
1) If we will bruise the enemy on his head - that he is ALWAYS beneath us, and
2) If the enemy will bruise on on our heel - that he is ALWAYS behind us.
Victory is also inevitable
We ALWAYS have the upper hand in every situation, but we have failed before because of the lack of this understanding. The enemy will try to pull you back. He will try to keep you looped in your past traumas, cause you to self-sabotage yourself from moving forward by causing you to believe lies you've built up abut yourself over time. He doesn't know exactly where you're headed, he's just trying to keep you from getting there. As long as he's been winning battles in your life, then he knows your tendencies pretty well - but he has no idea who you are becoming. A proper battle strategy will make you unpredictable and undefeated against attacks from the enemy.
This quote that a friend shared from the Art of War some years ago really sealed the deal on this for me:
"If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the result of hundred battles. If you know yourself, but not the enemy, for very victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle" - Sun Tzu
Catch the wisdom in this:
Knowing who you are and whose you are and also being knowledgable of the enemies tactics will cause you to win every. single. time.
When you know who you are and whose you are, but you don't know that the enemy will still come for you. Every time you take a step forward with God, you'll feel like you been pushed back two.
When you are completely unaware of both you begin to question life in general or even accept confusion and tragedy as "just the way things are."
I want all of us to fall into the first category. Here's how I started to create my battle strategy:
Identify one area of your life where you feel stuck or trapped in some sort of cycle. A pattern of thinking or behaving that you can not seem to get out of. ex: For me, I realized that I would experience cycles of depression.
Think about what triggers the cycle or pattern. It could be a particular time of year, interactions with certain people, maybe you finally were at peace of felt hopeful about something, etc. ex: Thinking closely on it, I began to see that this would ALWAYS happen as soon as I understood God in a deeper way or right after He revealed something to me about my purpose. The devil was literally coming for my joy and peace and it typically crept in through a let down in a relationship. You need to know how and when he's going to move.
Think about how you typically respond and come up with an action plan against you typical response. ex: Instead of being productive in purpose, this would instead cause me to be trapped in a cloud of procrastination and feeling lonely or misunderstood. It could last for months before I realized I was so far away from myself and God. I would distract myself from thinking about it, but it would also cause me to distract myself from the truth. Crying out to God has always been the only thing that has saved me. Knowing the word of God has been the only thing that has allowed me to firmly stand against any of the lies that used to plague me. In wisdom, I also surrendered my relationships to God. Knowing that this was something the devil might use against me, I became very intentional about who I was involved with. Think deep. Those feelings of being misunderstood began when I was a small child. The devil started fighting and blinding you before you even knew you were at war.
I take it a little deeper in