This is an excerpt from my journal today which, strangely enough turned into a reflection on Satan. It is scattered and unedited but I wanted to put it out to you because maybe someone out there needs to see it. I have too many drafts waiting for perfection, I didn’t want this to be one of them.
Grace cannot be recycled. It is not a commodity to be sold and then re-sold over and over. Grace is not a pond that I dip a bucket into to wash away my sins. It is the ocean that drowns my sins until no one can dig them up or air them out or make them matter again. Yet that is exactly what Satan spends his time doing. He roams the earth seeking who he might devour, he targets Christians and their weak convictions, their shaky faith and imperfect understanding of grace. He deep-sea dives into the depths of my past and my present, he haunts me with horrors that could be. He dismantles my future simply by planting an idea that would assure me it will go horribly wrong for me if I continue to believe in Jesus. He fights grace. Every moment of every day, Satan swims against the current of God’s grace for any follower of Jesus and he takes our hand and convinces us to do the same.
“Not enough, Rachel. Do you remember? You’re not enough. You should have spent your time differently today. You wasted today. You could have done so much better today but you didn’t. You messed up. You will never be anything but what you habitually retreat to. God doesn’t care about this. He’s busy. He’s interested in people who take Him seriously. You don’t, obviously or we wouldn’t be having this conversation. You should worry more about Samuel, he’s so small you know? So fragile and easy to break. You aren’t doing enough to keep him safe. What if something happens to him? You don’t take good care of John. You care more about yourself than you do him, you always have. You are selfish and hopeless. He could do so much better than you. It’s a shame he settled, isn’t it? You are so holy Rachel. You’re way holier than her. You read your bible more and you love talking to women about the Bible. You are so good at public speaking. So good at being in front of a crowd. You should have majored in theater, you should have been famous. You could still be famous you know? It’s easy. You just have to trust me. Fame is so great. It is SO much better than the dull life you’re leading now. People care about your every move! Imagine! To have people imitate you and look up to you all the time! To hang on your every word! Imagine the applause you would get with that great sense of humor. This is too easy. This whole making you dissatisfied in the life you’ve been given thing. Too easy.”
You have won battles in my life, Satan. I know you will never stop trying to convince me of my unworthiness, my inabilty to matter or make a difference. You are desperate for my destruction and it makes me desperate for Jesus. The Holy Spirit within me convicts me of sin, He shows me where I am being lazy, foolish, selfish, and unrighteous and He always beckons me to open my Bible, get in community with other people who preach the gospel to me, and pray. I am responsible for my mistakes and I will continue to make them. But, in order for me to be defined by my mistakes, I have to give you that permission. I have to hand over to you everything I think that makes me special or worthy and you can help me obsess over them all. But instead, my specialness and worthiness comes alive in who I am in Christ. That’s why any pursuit for self is disappointing to me if it is not also the pursuit of Christ.
You are busy putting makeup on my corpse and convincing me to carry it around and show it off for people to applaud. Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit fills my body – the one I have right now – and enables me to be poured out as an offering to the Lord. He enables me to serve, to love, to teach the Bible, to make people laugh, to hold people when they cry, to let myself be held when I cry.
Wow. What a relief for every person who is a disciple of Christ. Even in our shortcomings, when we were still sinners, Christ died for us! We were STILL SINNERS and He died for us. Because of love. A love that does not die of disappointment, is never weighed down by shame or vengeful anger, and a love that quite literally fills the body and mind of every one who believes that it exists. For everyone who believes that Christ’s life was not left to rot, and neither will mine be. No other act can so eloquently, succinctly, and unquestionably articulate the majestic, splendor of the glory of God than the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No love like this exists within man. No perfect love whose only agenda was to save and adopt the ones who spat in it’s face.
One day I will meet you, Satan. To the last moment before your damnation you will be clawing at my wounds, attempting to open dark and painful things that you used to use to cripple and shame me. But I will be wholly holy in Christ in that moment. Your ability to create tears and pain and hatred and violence within me will shrink in the presence of my God. My sin nature will have been shed, I will have finally tasted the life that I had proclaimed and I will lean back into the arms of my Maker and I will be home.