My Own Personal Satan

God’s been talking to me a lot about dreams and goals lately. Related to our upcoming movestepping out in new endeavors, and evaluating the plans I have for the future. I realized that a lot of my dreams are attainable. The only thing standing in the way of them becoming reality is me.

My doubts.

My fears.

My insecurities.

::

After confirming to them that He was the Messiah, Jesus told His disciples what the future held for Him. Peter immediately took Jesus aside to rebuke Him. Suffering and death were not something Peter wanted to hear from the long-awaited Messiah of Israel.

Jesus’ response to one of His most treasured friends?

“Get behind me Satan.”

Peter’s mind was not on the things of God, but the things of man. Whether his words came from a place of fear, or love, Peter was not thinking clearly.

::

When I doubt the direction God is taking me.

When I am afraid to step out into the future He shows me.

When I question my ability to follow through with the jobs He sets ahead of me.

It’s not the attack of the enemy, it’s the enemy within.

Those who have their spiritual senses exercised, will be aware of the voice of Satan, even in a friend, a disciple, a minister, that dissuades them from their duty. We must not regard who speaks, so much as what is spoken; we should learn to know the devil’s voice when he speaks in a saint as well as when he speaks in a serpent. Whoever takes us off from that which is good, and would have us afraid of doing too much for God, speaks Satan’s language. – Matthew Henry

Just as Satan used a loving wife to tempt Adam towards sin, and a close friend to lead Jesus astray, he uses our own selves to deter us from the plans of God. We need to look ourselves in the mirror and say,

“Get behind me Satan.”

Focusing our intentions on the things of God and not on the things of man.

How have you hindered your own way in pursuit of a dream?

What is a step you can take today to see that dream become a reality?

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34 thoughts on “My Own Personal Satan

  1. This may sound arrogant but hope it doesn’t. I used to dream of being a pastor in a large, growing church. I believed many lies that stifled that dream. The biggest? i didn’t have what it takes. I was too relational. So, I figured “Okay, I will thrive on that.” I also allowed sin to have too much of a hold on my thought life. The step? At 58, the dream of being a pastor of a large church is merely a pipe dream. Reality speaks loud and clear. I believe I am made for relationships and have accepted God’s call on my life: be the pastor I made you to be-small or large-for only in that will you find peace. Praying for your move Melissa.

    • If I can ask, what does “I was too relational” mean? How does that hinder you in being a pastor? I ask specifically because Josh & I see ourselves as relational leaders, and it has also made us question our ability to pastor a church. I find it really interesting that you said that. :)

      Thank you for your prayers, Bill. We really appreciate it.

  2. my dream and i believe what God called of me was to be a missionary. I remember my dad telling my husband before we got married to not forget that I was called to the foreign mission field. Amazing how when one is young one can get over all the obstacles yet as we get older we can find a million and one excuses why it does not work: time, money, kids, job, not right time, not right place and so on.
    i need to get on it and seek out opportunities and trust God to provide and overcome obstacles.

    • As we were anticipating this next phase in our life, we definitely thought about missions. Some friends of ours are missionaries in PNG, and we seriously considered going out there with them. I will admit to feeling slightly insane as I contemplated moving my four small children to a foreign land with none of the things we were used to, but if God was calling us to do it, I knew He’d make it ok. Our friends moved with their two small boys, and their boys love it there.

      I too have a call to missions, which Josh and I talk about every once and a while. At some point we know we will participate in international missions, but we’re not quite sure what it will look like. I love that your dad said that to your husband. Is there any way you could participate in some sort of short term mission with your church? That would be a way of keeping your dream alive while your children are still young.

  3. Honestly, I hinder myself more than anyone else for the same reasons you stated; namely…fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure…It’s not easy to get past either…still trying to figure it out. But I am working toward at least one goal right now…getting my degree so I can move into web design. I’m not really good at it right now, but I’m working on it.

    • I love that, April! I will be praying for you as you move forward in that, I’m sure the idea of juggling school, work and parenting is daunting. However, I am a staunch believer in the idea that if God is calling you to do something He will provide all you need to follow Him.

  4. I hinder myself by thinking of the multitude of obstacles. As if anything can come before our God (so silly)

    I just want to get out of my boat… look at Jesus and let him deal with the raging seas.

    • Amen!! I have always admired Peter’s spontaneity (although sometimes it did get him into trouble — like in the above mentioned story). He lived his life with passion, and it’s such a good example for us.

  5. the good thing about US being the problem is that WE can get out of our own way (hypothetically, right?!?)

    Often I wonder if some very godly people dissuaded me from going to Africa full time several years ago. Like – I was at a point of raising money to go full-time for missions (and to finish my degree there) and then chickened out at the last minute. I have very few regrets in my life – but that is one of them. It was the comment “I knew you weren’t going to Africa, I knew God was just using that to get you pointed in another direction” (which it did – it pointed me into full time ministry) – but that was said to me by a minister I greatly respected… was he right and I was wrong or was I right? I don’t know….

    • Oh, Jenny, that’s a tough question. It’s difficult when someone we respect sees a different future for us then the one that we feel God leading us to. I love that you still ended up going to Africa — even if it wasn’t as a full-time missionary. Is that something that you’re still pursuing?

    • I think that statement right there is one that deserves a “Get behind me Satan.” There is no truth to that sentence, Jason. Don’t believe it. Look at the ways God has used you and Amy in the last few weeks to speak into the lives of other couples. He will meet your needs.

  6. I logic my way out of my dreams.
    But really it’s laziness. I know deep in my heart that to run in the freedom of congruency is far more fulfilling than to sit in the bondage of compromise, but running is hard work sometimes. I know living your dreams (the ones from God) is worth the cost, but so often my flesh cries out “murder” at any cost asked of it. I suppose the flesh is right; I must murder, I must crucify to be fully alive in the promises of God.

    • Good stuff, Levi! It reminds me of Paul’s discourse on the battle between the flesh and the spirit. Logic is definitely a way I keep myself from doing God’s works, too.

  7. Oh Melissa….How I needed to hear this today! I am frightened of so many things, really.. and I realize how that has indeed hindered my dreams. (For example, like we talked about with the idea of “selling” ourselves in our essays for the conference. How many times did I just simply listen to the loud, hateful whispers of, “Noone wants to hear what you have to say.” or “Write? What can you possibly be thinking?” However, it took listening quietly to the whispers of my heart and my God for me to take that leap.) So luckily, that first step has been taken. I also believe that in the process, I was lucky enough to find you, and your beautiful words, so that’s a blessing too, right?
    Have a wonderful birthday week. May you be blessed.

    • I’m so glad that you were able to take that step forward and overcome those negative whispers. That’s such a hard first step. :) Thank you for your kind words!

  8. “My doubts. My fears. My insecurities.” This is where the rubber really meets the road, isn’t it?! Where we have to get over ourselves and trust that if God is calling us to “x,” He’ll provide for and protect us along the way.

  9. Loved this Melissa! You write well with a fever! ;)

    I’m resigned that I will fail. Those wounds come from many places, but mostly my own thoughts.

    I renounce those thoughts, offer them to my King, and let him redeem what is broken.

    • “self-doubt is focusing on me”

      So true! Thank you for sharing that with me, Jeri. :) It really has nothing to do with what I can do, but what God can do through me.

  10. For me, it’s overcoming the fear of “you’re an imposter. people will discover you are a fake”. That is an agreement that I want to beat down…!!

  11. I can completely relate to the comment from Dustin above and, in keeping with that, self-doubt is my biggest enemy. I know what God wants me to do but I question “why would anyone want to hear from me”, etc. In a way that is dealing with pride in the opposite extreme. Not walking in obedience is equally scary to me so I am in limbo right now, which is right where Satan wants me. thanks for starting this discussion..gives me specific things to pray about in this journey toward my calling.

    • “why would anyone want to hear from me”

      Oh boy…that gets whispered in my ear all the time! Which begs the question: what would it take for me to think that I’m qualified? Honestly, when I think about it, no degree, accomplishment or achievement would ever get me to the point where I don’t struggle with some form of self-doubt. I’m praying for you in this too, Melissa, it’s a battle we all fight against.

  12. “Just as Satan used a loving wife to tempt Adam towards sin, and a close friend to lead Jesus astray, he uses our own selves to deter us from the plans of God. We need to look ourselves in the mirror and say, “Get behind me Satan.” Focusing our intentions on the things of God and not on the things of man.”

    That is so true. I was just thinking this morning that Satan uses what is most vulnerable in each of us to knock us off of our feet–the kinks in the armor.

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  14. Happy Birthday, Melissa! How exciting to look ahead to your new year with so much blank space ahead! Your faith is stronger than anything else that might seem to hold you back. They’re just shadows. We see YOU. ;)

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