The past few weeks have seen an increase in spiritual warfare and attack on me personally, my family and my church in general.
Several things are happening in my life right now such as:
- my 4 year old daughter has some unexplained lumps in her body – we are waiting for an appointment with the consultant at the hospital and praying that results are clear
- a couple of projects I had been working on for a few months have been ‘shelved’
- a stranger who visited church for the first time last weekend just tore into me and criticised everything I have been working so hard at trying to establish, put into place, and get right
- my whole family have been plagued by general ill health in the past few weeks
- there has been conflict between me and one of our church volunteers
This all seemed to escalate when our church made the decision to enter into a fortnight of concentrated prayer for our church, town and nation in early January.
All the various things that have happened in one way or another have caused me pain, concern, stress and anxiety. There have been times when I have just wanted to give up – to throw in the towel. To find another job that wasn’t so tough or painful.
It helped when I was able to recognise these things as a spiritual attack, rather than my failing or incompetence.
At times like this when it seems I am doing nothing right, when all my plans have failed, when everything I have worked hard to build is torn down. I need to refocus on the essence of what it’s all about.
So what is life about? What is my ministry about? Is it about that course or that song I wrote? Is it about attracting more people to like and come to our church? Is it about making the most perfect musical sound on a Sunday?
These things have their place, but in the context of what is the MAIN thing, what is the MOST important thing of all, they pale in significance.
I have taken some time to refocus. to refresh my viewpoint. The centre of it all is JESUS. He is who it is all for. He is what its all about. Sometimes I just need to allow Him to take centre stage of my mind, my time and my energy once again.
When I refocus my gaze onto Him, the other things seem to arrange themselves into a list of priorities – and actually they are not as important as I had made them out to be.
The basic question I have asked myself to assess if what I have been doing is indeed a failure or not is: What have You asked me to do, Jesus? Have I done this?
I can say, the answer is: Yes I have done what Jesus has asked of me.
This indicates success, not failure.
So it really doesn’t matter what others say of me, or how successful a course, system or song is. If I am being obedient to my calling and am doing what Jesus has asked me to do, I am successful.
I just need to remember and hold onto this in the midst of the battles.