It has happened to me. I go to a conference or retreat and spend several days immersed in the Word. It is the main focus of the days away…time to get spiritually recharged and fed. I leave so excited about what I learned and what God is doing…and then I get home. And life is there. And reality is there. And all the things I struggled with before the conference are there. And Satan comes to steal the Word. This is the time to fight for the ground gained – to hold on to it ON PURPOSE and to not let it be stolen. Jesus told a parable about this very thing. Luke 8 tells us the parable of the sower. Jesus explains that after the Word is sown “the devil comes and takes away the word” (vs 12).
Jesus was baptized by John and had an amazing encounter with God. A voice came out of heaven saying “you are my son whom I love, with you I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17) Can you imagine hearing the voice of God audibly speak to you? Speaking such wonderful loving words? It must have been awesome. And immediately the Spirit sent Jesus into the desert for 40 days where He was tempted by Satan – he came to take away the Word that Jesus had just received. (Matthew 4) This happens to us too. We get an awesome word from God, some new revelation of a scripture or instruction on what to do or things we need to change. Then we go out into to the world and we enter the desert. Satan is there to tempt us and to try to steal the Word that was just sown in us.
The fight begins – not against flesh and blood but we fight the way Jesus did – with the WORD. How do you fight with the Word? Find scriptures that apply to the temptation or the battle you are facing and when negative, accusing thoughts come – say the scripture out loud. When you speak out loud, your mind has to stop the thought while you speak. Try it. I know this is true because I crochet. If I am counting stitches in my head and someone asks me a question, I have to stop counting to answer the question – or I have to finish counting before I answer the question. It’s just how it works. So if you say what the Word says about the situation, the thoughts have to stop. Write them down and carry them in your pocket if you have to. Every time the thoughts come…speak the Word. This is called renewing your mind. Eventually, the thoughts are replaced with what God says about the situation.
But it is a battle. We must fight to hold on to the revelation that was given to us, fight temptation to fall back to our old way. Fight. On purpose. Fight thru your 40 days in the desert and turn Satan away. Fight with scripture. When you get to the end…you have held on to what you were given, and you advance. You are ready to move on to the next thing that God has for you. This is how we grow our spirit. And the more we grow, the stronger we become. And the stronger we become, the easier it is to stand against temptation. After Jesus left the desert, He began his public ministry. He started assembling his team by calling the disciples. The desert was preparing him for the next stage of his journey.
Don’t give up. The fight will advance you to the next phase of God’s plan for you.