I was on a hike in the mountains with my husband and three children. It was one of the most challenging hikes we had taken our kids on. The scenery was breath taking. At the beginning of the hike I stopped to take in the image of the trail. The path was slowly ascending up, with various size rocks dispersed about on the trail. The trees surrounded the trail in a way that it was as if you were going into a tunnel. It was captivating. I found myself thinking of the journey I am on with my Father. I am surrounded by His beauty and His amazing creation, if I lift my head up to see beyond myself and my circumstances. I have opportunities for adventure, if I choose to face my fears and take the risk of failure. I have access to a personal and loving Father, if I choose to quiet myself, listen and receive. I am also surrounded by rocks on my trail. Numerous rocks. Some are large and are clearly seen. Some are smaller and I may not notice them until I slip and fall. Some come out of nowhere and blindside me. Where do these rocks come from? What do these rocks say to me? What do I do with these rocks?
While on this journey with our Father there will be rocks that we will see as opportunities to grow us up. We won’t hesitate for a moment and we will face the challenge head on. Other times we will look at the rocks and think it is impossible. We will doubt ourselves, but our Father won’t. He believes in us. He created us. He knows what we are capable of doing and He wants us to push beyond the limits we’ve placed on ourselves. We will doubt the goodness and the presence of our Father, but He is waiting for us to invite Him in to conquering these rocks. He wants us to trust Him and believe in Him beyond the limits we’ve placed on Him.
While on this journey with our Father there will be rocks that speak to us in an attempt to knock us off the trail. It will be clear the voice is not from our loving Father. Rather, the voice will be condemning and sound something like this: You are so stupid. You can’t do it. You’re too fat. You’re not in shape. You’re ugly. You’re not good enough. You’re not spiritual enough. You have nothing to offer. You’re a mistake. You’re a joke. See, no one wants to spend time with you. You’re just a mom. You’re just a teacher. Whom does the condemning voice belong to? It belongs to the one who hates you. The one who wants to see you turn your back on your Father. The one who wants to steal your joy. The one who does not want you to believe in the truth of who you are but rather believe in the lies. The one who does not want you to have freedom. The one who wants you to stay imprisoned by your boxes, by your wounds, by your agreements, by your situation. If the fruit of what we experience is life, joy and feeling loved, it is likely from our Father. If the fruit of what we experience produces doubt, hatred or an orphaned feeling, it is likely from the one who hates us and therefore we should treat it as such.
A friend of mine shared something that she was struggling with. I asked her, “Is it possible the enemy is attacking you where you are weak? Where you are vulnerable?” Her answer was yes, it is possible, but went on to say she doesn’t like to acknowledge the enemy because she feels it gives him power. The truth is, you are not giving power to the enemy by acknowledging his attack, you are giving him power by ignoring it and believing it to be true. When we sense an attack by the enemy, when we sense lies come into our spirit, we need to put on the full armor of God and fight. YOU are strong. YOU are a warrior. YOU are worth fighting for.
A few years ago I noticed something about how I felt every time I was in my parents home. I never felt good enough. I never felt beautiful. When I would look in the mirror, I felt fat and ugly. I would get ready at my house that morning, look in the mirror and feel beautiful. Two hours later I would enter my parent’s home, look in the mirror and have a completely different view. Was it the mirror? Was it the lighting? No. It was the enemy. It was the warfare of entering into a battlefield. He was attacking me where I am most vulnerable. Where my wounds are. To this day, any time I prepare to go to my parents home, I put on the full armor of God. I remind myself what is true. I am beautiful. I am loved. I am a daughter of the King. I am a warrior. Is it easy? No. Am I worth fighting for? Is my heart worth fighting for? Yes!
The journey with our Father, like the view of the trail, ascends and takes us deeper into His loving heart. We need to continue to press on and press in because it is worth it. He is worth it. YOU are worth it. There will be times on the trail where it is dark and scary but listen for the voice of The one who loves you fiercely and will lead you out.
You will find yourself standing on the top of a magnificent mountain, looking at His beauty and creation all around to see where you have come from. To see all you have overcome and achieved with your Father by your side. While rocks can present challenges, there is joy in the victory. While rocks can leave marks, there is a great story to be told. Place your foot upon The rock that is your firm foundation to face the enemy who desires to see you and your rock crumble. Acknowledge the enemy for what he is. A liar and a thief. Believe in who you are and Whose you are. A warrior and a daughter of the King.
Ephesians 6:10-17 NLT
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.