Contrary to popular belief, every single Christian has to make the decision to obey God's word, or to not obey. A common misconception that I see, especially about ministers, is that we just float through life on the anointing. It is true that each of us has an anointing to do all that God has called us to do, but it is not true that the ministers of the Gospel are any different than anyone else in this area. If I give the devil a place in my life he will come in and destroy me. I do have authority over him, just as you do, but I must exercise this authority or I will fail. Satan is very slick and deceptive and we can only uncover his plots and plans against us as we live by the Word and stay in tune with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides us into the truth of God's word and his word shines light on the devils plans of darkness and defeat for our lives, thus exposing him.
Remember, Satan's plan is always to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). No matter your position or anointing, he desires to render you useless to the kingdom of God by making you feel absolutely worthless and beneficial to no one, including God. I want to make it clear that I allowed him to do this, he cannot destroy any of us at will!
For some time now, Satan had been harassing my mind in one particular area. I was dealing with thoughts that I had never had before. They were thoughts of defeat and destruction, but at a much greater level than I have ever had. I did not properly bring these thoughts into subjection, so they only got worse. This began to affect my disposition, attitude, and even my confidence in God's ability to use me. Because I chose not to bring these thoughts into subjection they began to spill over into other area's of my life. Things came to a head when I allowed them to effect me so much that I said some things to my wife, Laura Leigh, that were much more destructive than edifying. This may happen everyday in many marriages and even be commonplace, but to me it is unacceptable and displeasing to God. We are to love one another, not hurt one another.
We sometimes have the idea that we have to be out committing sin in order for the devil to gain access to our lives. This simply is not true. I know to walk by faith and how to bring wrong thoughts into subjection. As Satan endeavored to convince me that my life and ministry was ineffective, like he has been doing with many of you, I listened more than I should. By not obeying the Word, I opened the door for him in my life. I have learned that Satan does not care how he gains access to your life, as long as he can gain access to your life.
At this time I realized what I had done! I had fallen for the devil's trap! I do not come from a family with many loving, Godly marriages. There are some, but not many men in my family understand the concept of loving your wife like God loves the church. I have tried for years to become the husband that God wants me to be. I definitely have not arrived, but I have gained much ground over the last few years. I have seen my marriage grow so much stronger and become so much more rewarding for Laura Leigh and I. How could I hurt the one person that I love more than anything in the world? How could I say things to her to hurt her when I had been trying so hard for so long to love her, nourish her, and cherish her, as Christ does the church? Why would anybody with good common sense do things to work against the very plan of God in their lives? That is what I want to answer for you today!
Laura Leigh and I are great today! We are in love more than ever before! I thank God that when I did this to her I knew how to fix it. I knew where to go and that is where I went. I got right by myself and went to God! But through this he showed me how people allow the devil to destroy their lives, marriages, finances, relationships, etc. I caught this immediately, but if I had not I could have gone down a path that so many have taken. I could have kept the door open for Satan to destroy my marriage and life.
As I sat down to pray, the first thing I did was repent. Then the Holy Spirit began to show me what I had done. He said, "You know that was the enemy bringing those thoughts to your mind, and you did not bring them into subjection. The more you allowed them to stay, the bigger and stronger they grew. What has happened now is that you have not only allowed the devil to have a place in your life, but you have become a vessel that he has used to harm the very person you love most." I saw at this very instance how people cooperate with the devil to destroy their lives! The even bigger problem is that the majority of the time they have no idea that they are their own worst enemy. This is how deception works!
Where are you at in your relationship with God today? Do you think God is mad or upset with you? How is your marriage today? Do you think everything would be better if your spouse would only do as they are supposed to? What type of relationships do you have in your life? Do you find that when you first meet people everything is great, but then over a period of time you can no longer get along with them? Do you have children that are estranged from you? Do you think often that almost everyone around you is against you and wants to cause you harm?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you need to pray today! If when I say that you immediately start thinking about how wrong the other party is, then you definitely need to pray today! They may genuinely be wrong, but you don't have the authority to change them or make their decisions. But you are responsible for you!
I see that a part 2 of this article will be necessary, but I want to leave you with this. When I missed it I asked God, "Can I fix this?" God said, "You can fix this, but not by doing what you have been doing." I understood clearly what he meant when he said this. This is also when I saw how people cooperate with the enemy to destroy their lives through deception. If I would have continued thinking those wrong thoughts I could have eventually destroyed my life. I thank God that I caught this and addressed it immediately. But the Lord told me that many are in this situation right now and they have not addressed it. Each day their situation is getting worse and they believe it is everyone else's fault that they are in the predicament that they are in. We must get the revelation that we are responsible for the decisions that we make. When we obey God and follow his plan we will not be defeated but we will continually overcome. If I am walking in defeat today I must blame one person, and that is me. God has given us complete mastery over Satan and every evil work, but we must exercise this authority.
Satan will sell me any lie that I will buy. One of the most popular ones is that it is somebody else's fault that my life is in the situation it is in. The reason it is so popular is because it will allow you to completely blame someone else while taking no responsibility for your own actions. The problem with this is that nothing gets better, only worse. Nobody, not even Satan himself, has the power to destroy you. It is only you and I that can make decisions that will put us over or under.
I encourage you today, especially if you are in some of these situations I specified, to get alone with God. It does not matter how bad things are in your life today, Jesus is your answer. No matter how great your sin, no matter how bad your decisions, you will never go to God and be rejected! The Holy Spirit is your helper! If you will ask, he will reveal to you the exact direction you need to take. If you will follow his direction, you will eat of the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19).
I went home shortly after praying about my own personal life. I looked Laura Leigh right in the eyes and apologized, because I was 100% wrong. I may not have realized I was wrong at the time, but that is not relevant. I was wrong and for wrong to be righted you must own up to it! As usual, she lovingly forgave me and we are moving forward. That may seem simple enough, but anything you keep feeding will grow. If you keep feeding the thoughts the devil feeds you they will keep growing until they destroy your life. This may not cause you to dance a jig, but it's still true.
In closing for now, Yes, you can recover! But you must realize that if you are in a bad way, it was your decisions that God you there. It can be God that gets you out, but you must go to him, receive his direction, and obey his direction for things to change.
As a Christian, you have all that you need to succeed. You have the greatest support system ever in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit! Get alone with God today and you will be amazed at the benefits of seeking him and getting his direction in your life!