299. FOXES, GRASSHOPPERS AND THE SPIRIT OF DISCOURAGEMENT
(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 4)
The lips of man can be so discouraging. The things that people say to us and about us can be so debilitating, that if it wasn’t for God’s grace and his overruling power, we would take those words in and sink under their weight, like a ship that has been overcome by water.
Revelation 12:12 tells us of our enemy the devil, that, after being expelled from heaven, he came down to earth with not a little but great wrath. He knew then and he knows now, thousands of years later, that his time is short and therefore, he goes about seeking who he can destroy. He has one agenda: To undermine the work of God, everything that pertains to HIS Kingdom and to kill, steal and destroy.
The scripture reads: “…Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter warned Christians: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
The devil goes after mankind in general but due to jealousy, he especially hates those who are in covenant with God. In the Old Testament times, this was the Israelites who were under the Old Covenant. Today, he especially targets Christians, those who are in covenant with God based on the New Testament (New Covenant) because they have come under Christ’s righteous covering and are seeking to obey him.
Revelation 12:17 states of the devil’s activity since mankind was placed on earth, which has continued to date and will continue until Jesus returns to put an end to his wickedness, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
One of the main ways in which the devil operates today against God’s chosen people is to use people to discourage them through words. The words are meant to try to destroy their faith in Jesus, to make them stop believing that he is strong, that he is able, that he will perfect all that concerns them and that he will never leave them or forsake them. The words are meant to make them feel that they are not good enough, that they are unworthy of salvation, to guilt them, to make them feel ashamed, weak, confused, overwhelmed and hopeless. Where they may have made mistakes in life and in looking at the ruins, decide to get up and are determined with God’s help, to build and repair, the enemy sends people to discourage them, to tell them things that will keep them where they are in that state of ruin.
On the whole, the words that are spoken are meant to derail, to distract, to make God’s people feel afraid and suppressed and stuck in life and from doing or achieving what God would have them to do and achieve.
BUT GOD! Isaiah 59:19 states, “…When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”
It is an indisputable fact that God’s power is greater than that of the devil. In fact, whereas the devil is a mere creation, God is THE CREATOR. His power therefore trumps all. His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom and absolutely no one can ever usurp his authority or dethrone him.
The enemy knows this. Hence the reason that Revelation 12:12 states that “…he knoweth that he hath but a short time“. He knows that he is already a defeated foe and that his time to operate is therefore limited. Nevertheless, out of a heart of rebellion and wickedness, he relentlessly uses that time to do as much damage as possible, before God’s set time to intervene and bring a perpetual end to his actions.
The Bible tells us of the devil’s end, an end that he knows is inevitable and for which he has no power to withstand. In Revelation 20:10 for example, it states of him: “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
Isaiah 14:16-19 also prophesies of his end and demise, stating:
- “He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.
- Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?
- Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
- YET thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.”
In light of his end, which is certain, the enemy does not spend his time repenting but instead, he is fueled with more hate against humanity and especially those that belong to God and have relationship with him through Jesus Christ his Son.
Operating through people, as one of his ploys, the enemy brings tidings of woe: Negative, discouraging news, hoping to make the Christian sad, to make him or her give up whatever he or she is doing for the Lord or the battle that he or she is fighting. He sincerely hopes that the words will pierce their soul enough, to make them despair, abort whatever purposes God has for their lives and let go of Jesus altogether.
He is ever rampant today, as most of us Christians can attest, us having experienced this tactic of negative words being sent our way through people. I personally, have had my fair share and if it wasn’t for the grace of God, I would have believed those lies and long given up.
I will cite a few examples below:
STATEMENT OF DISCOURAGEMENT 1
One guy, a close professional acquaintance and friend for a number of years but a self-proclaimed atheist that I would keep speaking about the Lord to, told me, when I was going through a period of drought in 2014 or thereabout, that my God did not love or care about me, that he had forgotten about me and completely abandoned me.
As his business, mainly through his political connections, soared and mine did not, he grew in pride (something I had warned him early on to guard against), to the point where, mockingly, he told me one day, that he was God.
After this utterance, although we had had a professional arrangement where he would refer certain types of work to me that he hated to do (he loved to speak (advocacy) but hated writing (instructing) and me the reverse), God told me to accept no more work from him whatsoever and to sever that ‘friendship’ or acquaintance. He had crossed the line.
It was some time maybe months later, that I passed him on the street while we were both walking and it was at this point, in stopping to converse with me, that he told me that God did not love me and had abandoned me.
This confirmed to me that I had made the right decision to sever all work and friendship ties with him. We were never in business together and it is the norm in my profession, for one colleague to refer work to another but in this case, I knew that I was to accept no more work from him and never call him again, even for work-related advice. He also never called or e-mailed me again and I have since changed my number a few times, so I am grateful.
Undeniably, the enemy used him and his words, to try to make me lose my faith in Jesus. I could only hope and pray, as is my sincere wish to date, that he would one day accept Jesus Christ as his Saviour but I was to have nothing to do with him anymore.
STATEMENT OF DISCOURAGEMENT 2
There was also a close acquaintance of mine, someone who is a Hindu but whom I considered a friend. She came all the way by plane and spontaneously, in 2015, from the island where she was living to where I had relocated, to see me and to catch up on old times. She planned to spend the day and then return and so we headed to a restaurant that was within walking distance to the airport and had breakfast, milled around a bit at a nearby beach, chatting and then headed for a mall.
We had studied together in 2009 in the United Kingdom and for some reason, she had developed an attachment to me. We were both very different people (she coming from a very privileged, wealthy background and me, not). Nevertheless, we struck up a friendship and remained friends for many years.
While chatting excitedly on that day at a mall on the island where I had relocated though, she suddenly got angry over an issue I found to be petty, that came up (we were actually discussing, as we usually did, my one-day dream Wedding and her being one of my future bridesmaids) and the things she said while angry were shocking to me. I could not understand first of all why she had gotten so angry over something so silly but I understand now. She was sent by the enemy to deliver a blow of discouragement through words. She was not aware of it but, given that she was outside of Christ, the devil was her Master and could therefore use her as he pleased, whenever he pleased.
In her anger, she told me that I had been brainwashed with my beliefs, that I would never get out of my situation and that I would remain stuck (meaning single and unemployed) forever. Her words stung because I was at a low point at that moment (which she knew) and dealing with a lot of stuff.
We had had some disagreements before and she had stopped speaking to me before but then, months later, she had contacted me over something that she was dealing with and shocked that I was not harbouring unforgiveness but spoke to her like normal and actually helped her, our friendship had resumed.
To refer to one of the issues on which we had disagreed for example, a few years back, she was upset because I adamantly refused to wish her Happy Divali when that holiday came around. I told her back then, that it was against my beliefs. Under no circumstances and for no one therefore was I ever going to wish someone positive greetings for an idol-worshipping holiday. I was resolute in my decision. No friendship would change my mind on that.
I had resolved as well, when she called me excitedly some years back, to tell me the happy news that her boyfriend had proposed and that they were engaged, to not attend her Wedding. I was sure it would be a Hindu Wedding and therefore, an idol worshipping Ceremony. I therefore worried much about how I was going to tell her that I could not attend (which I knew she would not understand) but as things turned out, I didn’t have to. I don’t even know if she eventually got married but we stopped speaking after that incident at the mall and so I wasn’t even invited.
After the devil used her to try to discourage me at one of my lowest points, so as to make me feel hopeless and to make me let go of my faith in God, I realized that her time in my story was over. After she had accused me of being brainwashed, I had replied: “Well I am thankful that I am brainwashed in TRUTH!” This of course, only served to anger her (and the enemy using her), even more.
She stopped speaking to me at that mall that morning and so I got up and left her there. I did reach out by text on the same day of the incident to apologize for whatever it was perceived that I had done (because the whole incident of her suddenly getting angry was so strange to me) but of course, I got not response and I have since changed my phone number. I do keep her in prayer occasionally though (as I do other people that I once knew or used to be close to who are still not saved) because I sincerely desire that she be saved.
STATEMENT OF DISCOURAGEMENT 3
I used to also post short snippets of what I felt God was placing on my heart to write, on my personal Facebook page, for a number of years. Not surprisingly, someone who had made a profession of Christianity and purported to be saved (but whether this is authentic, has always been to my mind, in question), tried to stop it with words calculated to discourage me. She basically pointed out my imperfections, accused me of not being sincere and concluded that people, including herself were not paying heed to what I was writing and so I should just stop.
Interestingly, she never posted anything biblical to her page (if she did, then this was an extremely rare occurrence), only lots of pictures and statements that would bring attention to herself and attract lots of compliments. However, she had an issue with me posting biblical stuff to mine.
I perceived that she was not at all pleased with the messages I was posting on my Page, that she had been sent by the enemy because he too was not pleased and that she had been used as a mouthpiece to make me stop. She has in fact been used time and time again to bring me discouraging (never edifying) words but I understand who sent her and why she is doing what she is doing. I have therefore resolved to cling to God’s truth as revealed in his Word and to not be discouraged by her hurtful statements.
She tried to stop me from posting biblical material, scriptures and testimonies of my experiences with God but I continued. Some time after, I decided to put my material on separate Facebook Ministry Pages that I felt God wanted me to open and he sent people (women) from all over the world, to read them. In addition to quotes, the messages became longer and turned into Articles (as I felt led by the Lord to write) and today, look at what God has done! There is enough material to open a Website, which is exactly what I did.
STATEMENTS OF DISCOURAGEMENT 4
The enemy has also sent people, on at least three occasions, one as early as my childhood, to deliver the message that I would never ever get married. Ironically, one of those persons is the same person who wanted me to stop posting biblical stuff on my own page.
On the whole, their words were meant to make me think that I would never be graced by God with a husband and that I would be single forever. BUT GOD!
The enemy has had people say many more hurtful things to me that were meant to discourage me and break my spirit, the incidents mentioned above being just a few. I have alluded to some of them to show though, that the enemy’s strategies have not changed. In the Bible days, he did the same thing. He sent people to deliver discouraging, hurtful words to God’s people, to make them stop the good work they were doing, to come off the good path they were on, to make them feel that God was not powerful enough to deliver them or had deserted them or to make them believe that all of their efforts would be for nought.
Let us look at two (2) such biblical examples:
EXAMPLE 1 – NEHEMIAH, THE ISRAELITES AND THE JERUSALEM WALL
In the book of Nehemiah, as Nehemiah and the Israelites tried to rebuild and repair the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and the gates which had been consumed with fire, the devil, not at all pleased with these aspirations, sent people to try to stop it through words of discouragement.
In Nehemiah 2:12,15-20, Nehemiah states:
- “And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem…Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned. And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work. Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
- But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, WHAT IS THIS THING THAT YE DO? WILL YE REBEL AGAINST THE KING?
- Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.”
In Chapter 4:1-6, not to be deterred, the enemy tried again, this time, the words more hurtful and grievous. The scripture reads:
- “But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, WHAT DO THESE FEEBLE JEWS? WILL THEY FORTIFY THEMSELVES? will they sacrifice? WILL THEY MAKE AN END IN A DAY? WILL THEY REVIVE THE STONES OUT OF THE HEAPS OF THE RUBBISH WHICH ARE BURNED?
- Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, EVEN THAT WHICH THEY BUILD, IF A FOX GO UP, HE SHALL EVEN BREAK DOWN THEIR STONE WALL.
- Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity. And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders. So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.”
EXAMPLE 2 – MOSES, THE ISRAELITES AND THE LAND OF CANAAN
In Numbers 13, acting on God’s instructions, Moses sent some men (Israelites) to spy out the land of Canaan, the land that God had promised he would give to them.
The Israelites therefore knew, that since God does not lie, the land would be their’s even if they had to fight for it. God would enable and empower them and give them the victory.
Yet, when the spies returned, except for two of them, the others completely disregarded God’s promise and in faithlessness and certainly doing the devil’s bidding, they spoke words of discouragement to the people, to get them to abort God’s will and not move forward.
Given that these men were part of the Israelites, it shows that the enemy can use even those within our circle, like our family and even other genuine Christians, to bring us words of discouragement, to steer us from the path that God wants us to take and derail our purpose.
This is one of the reasons why, as Christians, we ought not to be ignorant of the devil’s devices. He will use whoever he can use and sadly, sometimes, even Christians allow him to use them for his diabolical ends.
Numbers 13:25-33 states of the spies who returned from Canaan with their report:
- “And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. NEVERTHELESS THE PEOPLE BE STRONG THAT DWELL IN THE LAND, AND THE CITIES ARE WALLED, AND VERY GREAT: AND MOREOVER WE SAW THE CHILDREN OF ANAK THERE. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
- And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, WE ARE NOT ABLE TO GO UP AGAINST THE PEOPLE; FOR THEY ARE STRONGER THAN WE.
- And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, THE LAND, THROUGH WHICH WE HAVE GONE TO SEARCH IT, IS A LAND THAT EATETH UP THE INHABITANTS THEREOF; AND ALL THE PEOPLE THAT WE SAW IN IT ARE MEN OF A GREAT STATURE. AND THERE WE SAW THE GIANTS, THE SONS OF ANAK, WHICH COME OF THE GIANTS: AND WE WERE IN OUR OWN SIGHT AS GRASSHOPPERS, AND SO WE WERE IN THEIR SIGHT.“
This report was adverse to the promise that God had given. Sadly though, the people chose to believe it, over what God had said, despaired of ever being able to overcome their enemies and step into the Promised Land and decided not to move forward, when God wanted them to do so.
The discouraging words served to set them off course and due to them giving in to it (except for Caleb and Joshua who did not join in with their faithlessness but decried the words of discouragement in light of what God had already said), those Israelites never entered the Promised Land. They remained stuck due to their disobedience, in giving in to the voice of the devil over the voice of God. They refused to move forward and to face the battle ahead with God’s strength but instead, chose to stay put. As a result, they just kept going around in circles in the wilderness until they died out and when they were all dead, God then took their children in, many years later.
In Numbers 14:22-38, it reads of what God said to Moses in response to the Israelites refusing to move forward:
- “Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
- But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
- (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) Tomorrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea. And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:
- Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me. Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
- But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. I the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.
- And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.”
If we are not careful as Christians, we can end up with the same result today as the Israelites then, sadly did. When words of contempt and discouragement, as commissioned by the enemy, come our way, we can have either of two responses and this will determine our outcome.
We can do like the children of Israel did en route to the Promised Land and allow the words to affect us, to the point where we believe them, that we are merely grasshoppers and stop trusting in God and whatever he has promised us. This makes the enemy and his cohorts rejoice and robs us of God’s will for our lives.
Alternatively, we can do like Nehemiah and the Israelites in his time did, despite the discouragement they received. They chose to still trust in God no matter how things appeared and how much they and their efforts were scorned and belittled.
They were called ‘feeble Jews’ but yet they persevered. It was said that ‘…Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.’ YET, they clung to the God that they knew, what he was able to do and refused to stop building.
The Bible says that they had a mind to work and despite the attacks, as they persevered, eventually, the wall was built. It wasn’t easy and the attacks were not nice. The work was also not done overnight and took time. YET, by the grace of God, undeterred in spirit, as they pressed on in the Lord and in the power of HIS might, the work was eventually completed and God was glorified.
In Nehemiah 6:15-16, it reads:
- “So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days. And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.”
As I close, it is important to note two things.
Firstly, FAITH in Jesus is the key thing to have. Nehemiah and the Israelites in his time persevered despite the voice of the enemy because they had faith in God and refused to let go of it. The Israelites in Moses’ time however, lacked faith in God despite all that they had seen him do before. It was easy therefore for the negative words to discourage them, to overthrow them, to make them throw their hands in despair and to abort the mission.
Secondly, when words of discouragement come our way, as commissioned by the devil, whether people call us grasshoppers in a land of giants or say, that whatever we are trying to build is so weak that even a fox will break it down, we should cling to God’s TRUTHS. In particular, we must remember that:-
- 1- God does not lie. Whatever he has said he will do, he will do, no matter how long it takes or how things look or what people think;
- 2- When people come with negative words that go against what God already said or the instructions that he has already given, they are being used by the devil to discourage us, to keep us from the path that God wants us to take and to keep us from whatever it is that God wants us to obtain or accomplish;
- 3 – The devil is and was always a liar. There is no truth in him and his sole purpose has always been to kill, steal and destroy;
- 4 – The devil is already a defeated foe. His end is dismal and his destruction is sure;
- 5 – God’s Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom. It will endure forever and ever. It cannot be withstood or prevented, derailed or delayed because the power of the enemy is inferior to the power of almighty God and the power of almighty God trumps all;
- 6 – Greater is He (the Lord) that is in us, than he (the devil and his cohorts) that is in the world. For we are more than conquerors through Jesus who loves us. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
(Written on 07th September, 2021)
Today is 14th September, 2021, seven (7) days after I wrote the above Article. This morning, I opened up my e-mails and was shocked to see one at the very top, from my former Hindu friend, the person I stated above, had said some most discouraging words to me under STATEMENT OF DISCOURAGEMENT 2 above.
I was surprised, as I had not heard from her since 2015 but at the same time, I was not, as I knew, that if she ever chose to reach out to me, it would have to be through e-mail, as she did not have my new number. Knowing her, I knew that her reaching out most likely meant, that she wanted to resume a friendship.
I therefore prayed. I knew that this was no coincidence. It was either the enemy trying to bring her back into my life under the guise of ‘friendship’ so as to suppress what the Lord was doing in my life and to make me feel that I needed to remove what I had written above or the Lord was allowing it for HIS purposes, him being able to turn whatever the enemy purposes for evil, for good.
I sincerely wanted her to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour so that she would be saved from eternal damnation. I was therefore cognizant of the fact that she needed to be within the sphere of light somewhere, in order to hear the gospel. However, I prayed because I know that the enemy is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. I prayed because I genuinely cared about her soul and wanted to see her come to Christ but at the same time, I did not want the enemy to try to use her to derail my purpose and to undermine what God was doing and building in my life.
For example, it dawned on me, that if she was in contact with me again and saw my Website and read what I had written above, her not being able to understand the things that can only be spiritually discerned by Christians, she would most likely be very upset. Should I remove it? Should I tweak it? I thought to myself. Nevertheless, irrespective of the outcome, I resolved not to remove the substance of what I had written above, as the enemy was not going to use this idea of a friendship, to shut me up.
I had to operate with wisdom therefore and so I asked the Lord for it: Wisdom to respond to her in a manner where she would know that I truly harboured no bitterness against her and truly wanted what was best for her but at the same time, wisdom to discern what the enemy may be up to and how he may be trying to use the situation to derail and undermine God’s purposes in my life.
Interestingly, she wrote in the e-mail, that I had crossed her mind over the past week. Given that a week consists of seven (7) days, it meant that I crossed her mind from exactly the point when I was writing the above Article or about to write it or had just written it!
This was quite similar to the time when I was in the middle of writing an Article on this Website entitled ‘THE SHEEP AND THE SHEPHERD’ (which was about God’s children being able to discern God’s voice from that of the enemy’s). As I was literally on the last paragraph, the house phone rang and in answering (which I don’t usually do), it was a Jehovah Witness cult member sent by the devil, trying to fill my ears with lies. I told her that Jesus was God (which Jehovah Witnesses do not believe), told her that I hoped that she would one day believe the truth and that she should never call back at that home as we were not interested in what she had to say, which we believed was a lie.
I never gave her my name, the name of the household she had called or our address. Yet, not to be deterred, that old devil found a way to have a Jehovah Witness member (maybe the same person) send me a letter by mail shortly thereafter with my full name mentioned in it at the beginning and my first name incorporated in the typed written letter throughout the correspondence, still trying to get me to believe a lie.
The audacity of the enemy is astounding!
I was perplexed as to how they knew my name and where I lived and why I was singled out for this correspondence. Maybe they had passed and seen my name on the mailbox outside the home (I have resolved to scratch it off) and the phone number for the home, which was also affixed on a sign at the front. Nevertheless, it bothered me that they left the other two occupants of the home and addressed the letter to me, in my full name.
Not to be deterred, I promptly found two of my Articles on the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, addressed the sender by name (she had given her name and address), told her that what she believed was a lie and posted these documents at the Postal Office to her. The Bible tells me to resist the devil and I will do so with the Word of God, which is TRUTH.
I have digressed a bit to show how the enemy has been aggressively on the attack in my life, even as I am trying to build for the Lord but let’s get back to the issue of my former friend’s e-mail. The fact that it was sent and so close to my having just written what I had written in the Article above, it meant that it was either the Lord willing her to contact me, for HIS purposes or the enemy leading her to contact me to disrupt God’s purposes and to make me feel pressured to remove what I had only just written seven days earlier, above.
After seeking the Lord as to what to do and how to respond therefore, I wrote in response to her e-mail, where she wrote that she was sending a message to touchbase, hoped that all was well on my end and that I was keeping safe in these vulnerable times (meaning Covid times):
- Nice to hear from you. Thanks for the concern. Yes we are in difficult times but God has been good. We on this end are doing fine and trying to make the best of the situation.
- I hope that you and your loved ones are doing well and keeping safe. I do keep you and your family in prayer occasionally.
- Have a great day!
I wanted her to know, that the same God that she had implied through her words would not come through for me and that I had been brainwashed with was the same God that REMAINED central to the theme, to date. If the enemy was trying to use her, then he would not at all be pleased with my mentioning my God. If however, God was allowing her to be within my sphere of interaction again, then I would just trust him as to the reason why. It could be that she would get saved through my influence or it could be that God was about to change my season and wanted her to have a front row seat to see what HE would do in my life, after she (based on her words of discouragement), implied that he wouldn’t or couldn’t do a thing to help me.
When she had said what she said in 2015, she did not just insult me. She insulted HIM. The God I have come to know and love, takes these things very seriously and I’ve always known, even as I knew it when the guy in STATEMENT 1 said what he said to me, that God WILL defend his honour. He will do it in his own time and in his own way but he WILL.
I therefore wait to see what the Lord does. I am not particularly interested in a friendship because she is not a Christian and we therefore operate through two totally different life lenses. I have grown weary of so-called ‘friendships’ with the ungodly, as we have nothing spiritually in common. They can’t therefore impart words of spiritual edification to me and are not usually open to hear it from me. They usually expect me to see things in the skewed way that they view life and get angry when I refuse to budge from truth. However, having said that, my former friend is someone that has been kind to me on different occasions in the past and I do want her to be saved.
I don’t know what is afoot but I’ve prayed and I am going to leave it all in God’s able hands. He knows what is happening in the spiritual realm and what HE is doing. He has allowed her to reach out to me and it may be that some level of ‘friendship’ may resume but I am ever mindful as to who I belong to and who is currently her Master and therefore, will be on my guard in moving forward. It is my desire, that God will enable me to be “…wise as serpents but harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16). For, much is at stake. There is a possibility that she might get saved but a possibility that the enemy may be trying to use her to make me shut up and remove what I have written.
Wisdom will therefore be needed in my moving forward. Maybe I may need in wisdom, to keep the fact that I own this Website from her, so that she would not read this Article and get offended and storm off into darkness again, away from the sphere of light. I don’t know. I’m just going to leave everything in God’s hands and trust him to show me how to handle the situation. One thing is certain though: Friendship or no friendship, the Article above, which exposes the devil’s tactics and in so doing, brings glory to almighty God, remains.
(Addendum written on 14th September, 2021)
On another note, when it comes to people and the things they do, I have sometimes wondered, how is it that, even when I’m doing right and pleasing God and walking in the path that he would have me walk, people (even some professers of Christianity), still come after me wickedly with words, actions and gossiping behaviour, meant by the enemy to discourage me?
I would be like: Lord, if I had done wrong in this matter, if I had let go of my integrity and my faith in Jesus and was pursuing a path that you did not want me on, I could understand but I have not. Why then, even as I pursue this path I believe you want me on, I’m I being singled out and targeted with attacks?
Well, this morning, as I read some Bible verses, something dawned on me: When God has set a path or route for you to go through and as you make your way forward within his perfect will, the enemy will try to attack you on that very path or route! He will come after you on that very route!
This is what happened with the Israelites. When God took them out of Egypt and bondage, the same path or route that he designed for them to go through (as they made their escape on the way to freedom and that which he had promised them) was the same path or route that the enemy was trying to use to attack them on! The route that God had willed his people to go through for their DELIVERANCE was the same route that the enemy was now trying to use as an opportunity to pursue, so as to wickedly destroy and undermine them or to at least bring them back into bondage.
When God opened up the sea through Moses for the Israelites to walk through, the enemy was not content to just let them do so but went after them. The enemy went through the sea also!
Similarly, as you pursue God’s will and move forward in the direction that he wants you to go, the enemy will not be content to just allow you to take those strides. Even while you are on that path, he will send people to come after you (whoever he can find and whoever makes themselves available), to try to intimidate you, make you afraid, make you second-guess what God wants you to do and that God can deliver you and to make you panic.
YET, God’s power to sustain and protect you and to deal with the enemy, remains. All that is coming up against you, as you move forward in the perfect will of God, has been commissioned by the enemy, a mere creation. Yet, thanks be to God, he (God) is and will always be THE CREATOR. His power trumps all!
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Word of God says that the Spirit of God will lift up a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19). Hold on therefore, keep the faith in Jesus Christ, do not at all be deterred and keep moving forward!
Proverbs 4:25-26 puts it nicely, when it states:
- “Let thine eyes look right ON. and let thine eyelids look STRAIGHT before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left…”
All you’ve got to do is not become distracted, not to panic, keep trusting God’s will for your life, keep walking through the route he has set for you to trod and trust him to deal with those coming after you, as sent by the enemy.
Isaiah 43:16-19 states:
- “Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power, THEY SHALL LIE DOWN TOGETHER, THEY SHALL NOT RISE: THEY ARE EXTINCT, THEY ARE QUENCHED AS TOW. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
Even as God dealt with the enemies who pursued after Israel in the hope of overthrowing and capturing them as they made their way through the Red Sea, he will deal with those coming after you. Leave everything in his hands. Commit your way unto him. Move forward in the path he has set and trust that he will judge the situation righteously.
(Further Addendum written on 19th September, 2021)
I wish to provide an update on the situation with my former Hindu ‘friend’. After I responded to her e-mail, she sent two more e-mails to me, which I responded courteously to, she even attempting to keep the mood light with some jokes like old times.
I sensed that she wanted my phone contact but I did not volunteer it. I wanted to see what she was up to or more importantly, who had led her to contact me. If it wasn’t God (although he allowed it), then it was surely the devil and I hoped to soon find out.
I give God thanks because in response to my prayer, I think he revealed to me the motives behind the sudden resumption of contact. She wanted to know whether I had made any progress in the areas of marriage and children! This was either purely out of curiosity (her knowing what she told me in 2015 when we stopped speaking) but it could have also been a tactic the enemy was using, given that I was still single and had no children, to try to rub it in and make me feel bad. After all, six years had passed and my status had not changed.
Yet, it did not work. I firmly believe that DELAY is not DENIAL. I still believed that God would do what seemed impossible to others and allow me to both marry and have not just one child but at least two. I have been hoping since 2013 on the manifestation of these miracles (since I believe God confirmed this to me in his Word back then while reading the Bible) and I don’t EVER intend to let it go, unless God lets me know that somehow, I heard him wrong.
In any event, I have told him, that even if I did get him wrong, I know that he is able and so I have STILL asked for these miracles in my life. Can you imagine how this would silence the naysayers and promote God’s glory, if he were to take me, who many have already given up on and said nothing would happen for anymore and STILL DO IT?
Jeremiah 30:17-19 is particularly close to my heart. I feel like God uses it to remind me of what he will one day do in my life, although it was initially said to the children of Judah. Through his Prophet, God, having heard all that the naysayers had said with their lips, how they had given up on his children for dead and regarded them as hopeless, said:
- “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.“
After sending me two e-mails and seeing that I responded peaceably, my former friend narrowed in on what she really wanted to find out, in her third e-mail. She started with a joke and some smiling faces and then asked:
“Married? Dating? Kids? What’s been the latest….?“
Of course, to lighten the mood, she added another joke based on things we used to laugh at in the past.
I had things going on in my life, like my Website, my Facebook Ministry Pages and my new business venture (in addition to the idea for three books I wished to write and one that I had penned for several years, that was almost done and needed to one day be published). Yet, I deliberately kept my mouth shut on those issues. I kept the mood light by responding to the joke humorously and then I deliberately wrote, careful to reinforce the fact that kids and what is involved in making them should only come when a person is married:
“No I am not married, not dating and don’t have kids because I am not married. I am still the same boring person. Nothing much happening on my end. Thankful though for life.”
I then immediately turned the table on her by asking, even as she asked me, whether she was married, had kids and whether she had achieved her career aspirations. I wrote:
“How about you? I know by now you must be married (I recall you were engaged some years ago), have your hands full of kids and have become a Magistrate as you envisioned.”
There was a website that I could go to to check to see if her name was on the Magistrate list but I had been so out of the loop when it came to all that pertained to that profession, that I honestly did not know who was on the list and had not checked. It was a straightforward question therefore and I saw no issue with it, her having grilled me about my personal business.
Nevertheless, to date, my ‘friend’ has gone into hiding. She has not responded. She wanted my information but didn’t want to give hers. Knowing her views on marriage (somehow, she has always been terrified of it and of having kids and much preferred to focus on career ambition), I think something may have struck a chord. From her silence, I think it safe to assume that she did not yet marry, that she has no kids and did not become the Magistrate she had always dreamed of becoming.
Oh well. I am thankful that I prayed and asked God for wisdom in responding and I am glad that I did not divulge my phone contact.
She may make an appearance again in let’s say, two, three years from now. Who knows? Whenever she does, if I’m still in the land of the living, I’ll still be serving and praising my God. I’ll still be brainwashed in his truth and who can tell, whether or not my status would have changed by then?
I serve a ‘LET THERE BE…’ God and after her suddenly arriving on the scene, suddenly asking me about my relationship and family status and how she suddenly disappeared again, I felt in my spirit that God was about to send my husband. I could be wrong but I know the enemy likes to make pre-emptive attacks. I wouldn’t be surprised therefore, if he tries to bring one of the guys I used to be interested in, into my life again, of course, under the ‘guise’ of ‘friends’.
BUT GOD! I rebuke it in advance in Jesus’ name! There is a great gulf fixed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I will wait to see what my Lord does. I feel like I am on the cusp, the very verge of one of his MAJOR BLESSINGS and who knows, maybe it is just wishful thinking. Yet, I will continue to wait patiently and with a good attitude. Only HE can change my season and whatever HE decides is best.
(Third Addendum written on 30th September, 2021)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following under the ‘BIBLE-BELIEVING Daughters’ Page:
- Note 173 -‘Showdown In Egypt – God’s Power Trumps All’
- Note 12 – ‘Stressful Attacks – How David, Jehoshaphat and Hannah Handled It’
- Note 15 – ‘Why The Enemy’s Attack Is My Cue To Sing’
- Note 47 – ‘Silencing The Naysayers’
- Note 59 – ‘I Will Trust God With My Enemies’
- Note 63 – ‘After They’ve Done Their Worst, Yet Still I Rise’
- Note 67 – ‘What The Enemy Is After’
- Note 103 – ‘Fifteen Things I Love About God’s Character’
- Note 106 – ‘They Can Think Whatever They Like – God Will Do Whatever He Pleases’
- Note 119 – ‘Bring God Glory – Build With Excellence’
- Note 126 – ‘A Hopeless End Or An Endless Hope?’
- Note 153 – ‘Note To Self – Keep Building!’
- Note 161 – ‘Overcoming Oppression – Spiritual Warfare’
- Note 171 – ‘Dear Peninnah…’
- Note 174 – ‘Grace & Glory – The Lord Will Help Me’
Additionally, under the ‘SINGLE Daughters’ Page:
- Note 189 – ‘Dear Sanballat and Tobiah…’