“Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope.”
– Zechariah 9:12
There have been heavy thoughts swirling around my head lately.
This season is supposed to be a time of new beginnings, but it’s been a struggle to believe in new beginnings for myself. I’ve been wrestling with fear and dread. I’ve nearly gotten pulled under at times.
Amidst, the struggle, I have been held fast by the certainty that the God who reached down His hand to save us when we were powerless to save ourselves is endlessly good. But today, God gave me something more: Clarity about my struggle.
A slice of a sermon caught my attention:
“You can discover what the enemy fears most about you by observing the means he uses to frighten you… Often your destiny lies on the other side of what you fear most.”
(Kris Vallotton, slightly paraphrased)
Hearing that, it hit me: My struggles are not meaningless or random. They are attacks that reveal specific fears the enemy has about me.
The enemy is afraid of what will happen if I know the power of certain traits I have. That is why he is trying to make me afraid of exercising them. He knows how powerful certain relationships are, and that’s why he is trying to intimidate me into separating myself from those people.
(Have you noticed that the enemy often tries to separate us from each other? He tries to convince us to isolate ourselves. He tries to build up barriers of offense, jealousy, and hurt between us. It’s because our strength is found in each other. He is scared of what we will be like together. Unified, devoted, persistent in love.)
I’ve been lifting up some disappointments to God lately, wrestling with Him about some questions. I’ve been doing the only thing I can when I come to the end of myself: crying out to Him. And slowly, but surely, He is helping me work through it all.
The first step was showing me how loved I am by Him. That is always the first and foremost thing He insists on proving to me. But then came this: Behind the very things I fear lies my destiny.
Destiny can be a strange, weighty word, but for me, it is simply a word of promise.
The promises He has made will come true. What is meant to be, will be.
If I will cast off my fear and follow Him through it, I will see every single Word He has spoken fulfilled. The intimidation tactics of the enemy only serve as confirmation of that destiny.
So in this new year of 2015, a year in which God has promised good beyond what I can imagine, I wait with open hands, letting Him renew my hope, vision, and courage. He is the one I will continually and always open myself to. He is the one who makes me new.
“Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
today I declare that I will restore to you double.”
– Zechariah 9:12