What Difference Does It Make?

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ~ Psalm 73:26

As my husband and I were watching the mini-series, The Bible, the other night, something hit me right between the eyes.

It was the scene where Jesus went into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days. He was exhausted to the point of falling down in the desert when Satan appeared to him. With hardly enough strength to rise, he stood up to Satan with the words of scripture when tempted with the proposition of turning stones into bread, testing God’s protection  and taking control as ruler of the world. In his weakened state, he still had enough wits about him to quote scripture. The Word of God was his lifeline in standing up to Satan’s schemes.

As I looked at the actor portraying Jesus in his humanness, I realized I’d never thought of Jesus being depleted like a man would be during such a trial. To see Jesus lying on the desert floor utterly depleted reminded me of, well … me.

I’ve recently been struggling through a season of discouragement. Nothing I’ve been working on lately is showing signs of bearing any fruit, especially my writing. I had almost come to the conclusion that all of the time, effort and money I’ve invested in this venture are worthless. Then I saw that scene.

What if Jesus had given up and given in? What if he’d said to Satan, “You know what, you’re right. This is too hard! I’m tired and hungry and I would love to turn those stones into bread and eat them. And as far as becoming the ruler over all of the earth, I think I shouldn’t have to wait for that. I deserve to enjoy the glory of being king right now, after enduring the suffering of these last 40 days.”

It’s hard to remember sometimes that Jesus was fully God and fully man. I think many times we believe he was able to pull out the God card when things got too tough in his human state. But that is a lie straight from the pit of Hell. He conquered the hard things in spite of his humanness. Wow! If Jesus had given up at that point we wouldn’t have the freedom of salvation we enjoy today. We would still be utterly lost in our sins. Satan knew how important it was to keep Jesus from fulfilling his purpose. He knew God promised the Son of Man would crush his head. Satan’s work would be so much easier if he could destroy Jesus before he even got started.

So, when I sat down to write this blog, I decided there must be some reason Satan has been working overtime discouraging my spirit. What if God wants me to influence someone for Him today? What would happen if I threw it all out the window and said, “You know what, Satan? You’re right. This is too hard. I give up. Nobody will ever know the difference anyway.”

Maybe I personally won’t know the difference, but someone else will.

I remember reading a devotional by Beth Moore years ago where she said we have no idea what kind of battle may be going on in the heavens right now. There may be some huge battle being fought and God is asking us to stand up and join in.  We may think it’s no big deal if we just shrug our shoulders, say it’s too hard and give up. But God could be asking us to do His calling because our victory in this could make a huge difference in the Kingdom of God.

In Touch magazine states in one of their devotionals, “He didn’t make an error in choosing you for the task, but you will make a huge mistake if you refuse to do it.”

That’s powerful. I want to be considered faithful on that day I’m standing before my Lord and Savior. So I’m putting my armor back on and determining this battle is worth the effort. If you’ve been struggling with a spirit of discouragement, I’m trusting God will take these words and encourage you to get back on the battlefield.

Do you feel as if Satan is attacking you concerning a specific task you know God’s called you to do? Please share your struggle with me.

8 thoughts on “What Difference Does It Make?”

  1. Great post, Carol. I do think the enemy is lurking around lately. I have been writing for years and just began speaking outside of my own congregation this past year. I left my job last September to have more time to pursue this. The week before I finished, I was leading a workshop at a women’s retreat and broke my foot there. The many questions that began to fly afterward–was I going the wrong way? Was I doing the wrong thing? Was God trying to get my attention?

    It’s been six months and I am still sorting through and listening.

  2. Carol, thank you for sharing this. We all go through times like this. Dr. White said last Sunday that “God does not build a bridge over the water. God builds a bridge through the water.” That is what he is doing for you right now. Building a bridge through the water.

  3. Jeanne, I think Satan is wanting you to believe you’ve made a big mistake in leaving your job. Don’t believe it. I’ve read your blog and feel that you have much to share with women. Don’t give in! Keep believing the call God has placed on our life.
    Ellen, thank you for letting me know this post spoke to you. I feel this is a message that needs to be shared. So many times we don’t realize Satan has a target aimed directly at us and we can’t see it because we are blinded by fear, discouragement, etc.
    And I love Dr. White’s quote. It reminds me of the miracle of God parting the Red Sea. Awesome!

  4. Carol, I’m in the same place you describe here with my writing. I’m choosing right now to tell Satan that I can and will keep working on my writing until God tells me otherwise, even if I am sleep deprived, tired from taking care of a 4 month old, etc. 🙂

  5. Dear Carol,
    I do believe that if we have never come to the crossroads and had to choose between the path that is easier or the path that makes a difference then our direction is definitely skewed. The enemy does not waste time with those who pose no threat. Be encouraged! You are a mighty warrior, mighty with the pen and serve the God that is mighty to save. I love you, Margie Houmes

  6. I’m with Margie: “The enemy does not waste time with those who pose no threat.” On my good days, I believe that God is using my writing and speaking. On my bad days, I don’t believe that at all. Recently, on a good day, I wrote a letter to myself to be read on a bad day. I am surprised at the power that letter has! Even though I may still feel discouraged, I know that I’ll get through it. It’s a great reminder to myself that the discouraging times will pass. They always do…

  7. What a great idea, Carol. It’s a good way we can encourage ourselves from a time when we felt God speaking. And Margie, I love your warrior mindset. It’s encouraging to know when we are called to pick up our arms for God, He will strengthen us.
    Allison, I remember well the days of sleep deprivation with a small baby. If God is asking you to continue writing during this season, ask Him for the strength to do all that is needed. But remember, you don’t necessarily have to do all the things you may think. Prioritize well, making sure your husband and son are always right under God.

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