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Jul
20

Run, satan, Run

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Have I not commanded you?

Be strong and of good courage;

do not be afraid nor be dismayed.

For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 nkjv

I have not been very good at this: this being of good courage, being strong, and not afraid.  Not good at believing God was very much aware of me at all, to be quite honest.

Most of my life, I have been gripped by fear: fear of what others might think of me, fear of what would happen should I turn to the right or to the left – and it be the wrong turn, fear of love and of not being loved, fear of not being perfect in every way, fear of not staying the path before me, fear of sharing words with you and being judged by them.

Scripture tells me to not to fear and long before I read these words, God was speaking them to warriors like Joshua, who chose to rise above their fear and trust in God’s mighty power. So here I am, as brave as I will ever be, to tell you the stories of how God works miracles in my life, how He convinces me I have a purpose beyond my worry of the fear of the moment.

For months as I have attempted to put words on paper, I have felt fearful. I have felt pressed in on, conflicted, doubtful. In my heart I know God does not inspire fear in me, but allows it so that I might press into Him. I know without a doubt God has called me to write. The words I write affect people. It is not from arrogance that I say this, but from a place of amazement. I do not understand it, but I want to be obedient to it. Doubt and fear are satan inspired and obedience pesticides; I don’t want to be controlled or destroyed by either one.

Fear is crippling, finding courage a struggle. I have failed often in my life, more times than I care to tally. But more so, I am terrified of failing God in what He has called me to do with this life He has given me; satan knows this and is all too willing to use it against me. He knows every trick to trip me up, to bully me, to bring me low, to make me cower. He knows how to make me run to the shelter of God’s arms where I am safe, where I can be sheltered.  But this time, he has pushed too far.
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I find satan to be relentless, but with Christ, I can be more relentless. God created me to be tenacious and defiant and as stubborn as the day is long. Jesus tells me I have His power in me and this means I do not have to back down or give up or even cower in fear.  So I won’t. What I will do is stand; I will stand in the face of satan and his ineptness at distancing me from God. I will stand in the face of his cowardly schemes in his hopes they will bring me down. I am going to rise from fear and step out in faith. I am going to rise from doubt and claim Jesus’ power to wield God’s Word like a sword. And I am going to watch satan run and seek shelter from me. I am going to crush him under my feet. Because here is the beauty -with God at my side, I am always the majority. I am always the one who is stronger. I am the victor, satan the loser.

Today marks eleven years since satan tried to claim me. It marks a day that was so horrifying and tragic many would have turned their back on God. It marks the day I had a choice: to cling to life-giving truth or wither under deception and lies. But God never for one second left me to struggle alone; He showed up and ceaselessly worked miracle after miracle, even bringing me back from the dead not once, but three times. Until this past week, this was the most pivotal event in my life; I never wanted to write it down, never wanted to share it.  I wanted to pack it up, tuck it away, banish it to some dark attic corner and claim amnesia.  And so I did. I wanted to be invisible and fade into the background. But that is not how God works.  God will give you the miracle, but His expectation is you are brave enough to share it and to give Him the glory.

Just shy of four years after the car accident that claimed the lives of two of my three children and left me fighting for my own, I was invited to share my testimony at a women’s meeting.  It was at a time when I thought I understood the whole of the situation, thought I had adequately grieved, and so I accepted. But there was much more to come, so much more to be revealed, wisdom to be imparted to which I remained oblivious. Afterwards, I was approached by one after another asking me to email my testimony to this friend or that daughter they felt would be encouraged by my words. I was urged to write my story, but the fear crippled me. After all, I am just a girl with a story of how God works  miracles that forever change her life and her views of God and who He is. And trying to figure out how to tell you these events without being the center of it all, has eluded me. I have allowed fear to exert power over me when the reality is this: Christ gives me power over fear and over satan, because greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world. And yet, I have allowed fear to cripple me to the point of silence and inaction. I wake up everyday and cloak myself in invisibility. I have been disobedient and disobedience is a sin that I have allowed to rule over me for much too long.

IMG_2345Perhaps though, my issue ought not be one of invisibility, but of transparency.

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says this:

“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

Yet, I have hidden mine. I have packed it away and tucked it back in some dark attic corner, where it peeks out through a keyhole locked by fear. Christ gave me the key a long time ago, but I lost it in the chaos satan creates in my life. And I have had to search long and hard to find it and realize that my light shines through my broken places, through the cracks and fractures in my soul to bring transparency.

I have come to a place where my desperation to let my light shine for Jesus is bigger than my fears. And how will you see my light unless I share my stories?  All of them. Even the ones that are not so pretty, the ones do not have the ending that I would have written, the ones that caused confusion and sadness and brokenness, the ones that left me feeling abandoned. Especially those because that is where God does His best work. His redemptive work. His restorative work. His creative work. It is where He molds me and conforms me to His beauty. It is where He instills the light of Jesus in me. I want to walk THAT path, not my own. I want to be like James; I want to count it all joy. God has given me this life to live out as a witness to all that He is, to be a light in this broken world. This is why I offer words here for you to nibble on and share with whomever you like because if there is anything in all these jumbles of words that help you or someone you love see Jesus more clearly, to accept His love and salvation, then I have done my part in shining a light in this dark world.

And when you read the words that I post here, it is my prayer that my light will shine bright enough, that always I will be transparent and the only thing you will see is my beautiful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.IMG_2425

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,

knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

But let patience have its perfect work,

that you may be perfect and complete,

lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4 nkjv

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6 Responses to “Run, satan, Run”

  1. Ann says:

    I am so proud of you, that you have stepped up and accepted what the Lord has for you to do. When we are obedient to what God is calling us to do, we receive blessings abundant, just knowing that we are His and He is always there for us is a great blessing.Because of what He did for us, taking on our sin debt, why would we not want to do everything we can for Him.
    I love you
    Mom

    • Elizabeth says:

      Realizing that God has a unique and divine purpose for my life, that He has placed in a specific time and place keeps me on track…even in chaos. It is amazing to be within God’s will for my life.

  2. Beautifully written. Tell it like it is, girlfriend in Christ. <3

  3. Craig Bode says:

    Thanks for having the courage to share your story and especially your passion to give God the glory.

    You add to the beauty of Christ and the Gospel with the words that He has given you to write with.

    “Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 – NIV)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you. Last year, I felt that God was revealing what His purposes are for me. I was unhappy with my situations for many reasons, but mostly because it kept me from writing as much as I wanted to. God led me to Colossians 3 where I stayed for the year, specifically in verses 23-24:

      And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

      It kept me grounded and focused on whatever task lay at hand and I was peaceful in the work I was doing. It completely changed my perspective. I love this 1 Corinthians verse: Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. I had to learn hard lessons in the past few years, but mostly this – everything we do for Christ counts even if it is different from what we think it ought to be because rarely do we ever fully understand the way He works or who He is trying to reach through us. I love that He knows even in the times He does not reveal it to me. All I ever must do is be a bright light in darkness.

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