God calls us to work for Him. Many times I watch people fail that God has set aside to do a certain work. I see that God has put it in their hearts to desire to serve Him in an extraordinary way, and they are giving themselves to Him more than others around them. The desire to serve Him often turns to defeat and they accomplish little. I believe this is because they have failed to become nothing, submit their weaknesses and failures, unbelief and doubt, their past, and everything they are and aren’t to God.
We come to God with a great load of many things that can cause us to fail. In this chapter we will talk about this load and how it can hinder us and how we can be delivered from these things. If a man tries to run a race with a load of bricks on his back he will not be able to finish. There are many things that can be a greater load to us than a load of bricks that can become a weight to us and hinder us from being able to finish the race that is set before us. Let’s talk about some of those things.
We often come to God with a load of past sin. These sins cause scars that can trap us away from totally trusting God’s love. It is hard to accept forgiveness and forgive ourselves and let God totally and unconditionally love us. Until we do, we won’t be able to love Him. To really love God, we have to be able to receive His love. A one-sided relationship is really no relationship at all. These scars can also cause us not to trust ourselves. Satan will constantly remind us of our failures. Commit them all to God. When satan accuses you, remind him that those failures and past sins are no longer there. God has them and He will keep them. They are forgiven and all you see now is who you are in God, and a vision of what you will one day do for Him. When you commit the past to God and trust in His forgiveness those past sins become nothing and satan can no longer use them against you.
Scars of Hurt
Another load we carry is the hurt caused from what others do to us. The devil is a master of discouragement. He knows if he can cause scars in our heart, these scars can turn into bitterness and rebellion. He can, through these, destroy our self-worth to the place that we no longer try or care. He will line up people to hurt us. I wish I could say that he can only use sinners to hurt us, but the greatest pain often comes from our brothers and sisters in Christ. The devil uses those that allow themselves to be used. Christians get careless with their emotions, tongues, and flesh as a whole, and the devil can step in and use them against the family of God. When he does this, these accusations can echo in our minds and defeat us, destroying our confidence in our relationship with God. We have to identify these as satan’s tools and refuse to accept them as truth. We have to give these weak places to God and ask Him to heal our minds and hearts. When satan comes back with them, either echoing them in our minds or using others around us, we have to identify him and say, “satan, that is an old battle. I have committed that to God. It is His. You cannot accuse me any longer.”
Another hurt that is hard to overcome is abuse of any kind. In this age of self-centered, Godless people verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse is rampant. When this happens we are often made to feel that it is our fault. We are victims of the person who abused us, but the devil is a master at victimizing us with this abuse, and making us feel as if we are the one to blame. This abuse may be as simple as being ridiculed as a child, having other children or someone in your family make fun of you, or as complicated as sexual abuse by another family member. Whatever it is, often satan is the author of it. I believe that satan can see a limited view of the future, (not as extensively as God can, because God rules the future). Satan can see enough to spot those that will one day serve God in a great way, even when they are young. His best tool to stop them is to bring spirits against them to harass them their whole life long, to keep them bound from God’s love and deliverance, so that they never can fully operate in His love to serve Him. One way satan does this is to send people to cause abuse. This abuse can trap us into a tunnel of defeat, self-destruction, and self-hate before we can find the release of God’s love. This can also cause us to be very self- destructive in our judgment of ourselves. We will constantly knit-pick every fault we have and we can judge ourselves into hell if we don’t commit this to God. If we commit all this to Him, God can take it all, deliver us and even change the worst abuse into something for our good. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28. I have watched this happen in the lives of abuse victims. God used even the worst experiences by allowing them to work good in their lives and the lives of others, and they actually thanked God for it happening. A key in coming to that place is forgiveness. To be delivered from these scars and the spirits that satan can bring against you because of them, you have to forgive everyone that has hurt you. That is not easy, “but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). To be able to forgive we have to really want to forgive them, and ask God to help us. He has a great love. Great enough even to forgive those that nailed Him on the cross. He lives in your heart. Trust in His love to work inside you, when you know your love won’t be enough. When you forgive them, you must also forgive yourself. You must also forgive yourself and let go of any feelings you have against yourself. Abuse can cause us to condemn ourselves. It often cause feelings that we are stupid and everyone thinks so, we are to blame for anything that happens wrong, we are no good and only the devil can use us, we will never amount to anything, we are mentally unstable, we are asking for hurt and only deserve that, we are total failures. All these feelings can come from abuse. We have to identify these lies and refuse to accept them. God can help you identify the things that are satan’s lies. Refuse to accept satan’s way of thinking. Commit this to God. Don’t dwell on these thoughts. As you begin to fight this, satan will be anxious to keep this hold on you. He will increase his battle against your mind and he will send those around you to join in his accusing with him. Keep on rebuking him and not accepting what he says. In a way, he will be doing you a favor. As you consistently stand against him, you will become stronger and you will come to the place that you will automatically, without thought, block out what he says and you will learn to accept what God’s Word has to say about who and what you are.
Our Failures and Weaknesses
Another part of the load we carry is our past failures and our present weaknesses. The Bible says, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). We know this, but when we judge ourselves (which we have no business doing because only God can judge a righteous judgment), we forget it. Everyone makes mistakes and fails. Is there anyone that God used in the Bible that was perfect? Some people would say 2, Enoch and Elijah, because they didn’t have to die. But James 5:17 tells us that “Elias was a man of like passions as we are….” Elijah was just a man. He got afraid, ran and pouted. God didn’t take him because he was perfect, but because he walked with Him and pleased Him. We don’t have to be perfect to please God. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He expects us to love Him with a whole heart and walk with Him. He’ll do the perfecting we need. Many times we hide from walking with Him because we feel that we can’t be perfect enough to do it. God just wants our love.
When we learn how to handle our failures, we can learn from them, and they can be building blocks in our faith and our walk with God. The problem with our failures comes either when we hide them from ourselves or God and fail to receive forgiveness, or when satan arrives to accuse us. Satan is the accuser of the brethren both day and night. He will say, “Look at you, why are you trying to do anything for God. Look at what you did in the past.” Moses ran into this battle. While living at Pharaoh’s palace, he lost his temper, and killed an Egyptian taskmaster in Exodus 2:11-15. The next day, he tried to help an Israelite. The devil spoke through the man and said, “Intendest thou to kill me as thou killedst the Egyptian”. Moses had miserably failed. Not many of us have failed God to the place of killing someone. The man’s accusations caused Moses to run. Moses may have had great plans for his future in Pharaoh’s palace as Pharaoh’s son. Satan’s accusations brought an end to these plans and his life as he knew it. He didn’t realize that God had a better plan. Satan’s accusations drove Moses right into the plan God had for his life–leaving and coming back later as the leader of God’s chosen people. Satan’s accusations can destroy us, or we can let God use them to bring great victory into our lives. We have to commit the weaknesses we have to God, become as nothing so that these accusations cannot rankle our flesh, lay down our pride, and satan’s accusations can even bring great victory. Luke 6:23 tells us to “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy….” Why leap for joy? We can leap for joy because God can even use persecution to bring victory into our lives.
As humans, we have many weaknesses. Satan can jump and shake his fingers at these. It is important to know your weaknesses, commit them to God and trust Him to turn them into strengths. II Corinthians 12:9 tells us And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness“. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me”. Verse 10 closes with “For when I am weak, then am I strong.” Paul said I thank God for weaknesses that I may glory in strength of God. When we are the weakest, we finally rely, trust, and totally depend on God’s strength. Only then can we be really truly strong. Our strength is not enough even when we think it is. When we become nothing in our own strength then we can rely on the supernatural strength of God. When we recognise this, how can satan use our weaknesses against us?