I had a divine encounter yesterday at my kitchen table. Divine. Nothing short of Jesus infusing Himself into what I’m going to refer to in this post as my season of unnecessary defeat.
I’ve always been a huge promoter of having a mentor and being a mentor—essentially, everyone needs a Paul and a Timothy in their life, someone who pours into you and someone who you pour into. Yesterday, I met with my Paul, my mentor, a woman who God has used to mold and shape and encourage me so much over the past decade of my life. As I openly and freely shared with her all of the hurt, loss, defeat, and struggle I’ve been wandering through during this season of my life, she listened, empathized, and loved me through my brokenness. But, like any truth-teller should do, she then pointed me toward Jesus. She called me out and called me to a higher standard.
She basically asked me one, simply question: “Have you made an agreement with the enemy in any of these struggles?” What does that mean? Let me explain. Say, you have been waiting on the Lord for some time, longing for Him to speak or to move on your behalf in a very trying circumstance, and for whatever reason, He appears to be silent. The longer you pray and wait, the more discouraged you become. As a result, you resolve that you will never hear from the Lord about this thing, that He apparently will never act on your behalf about this.
Say “hello” to your agreement with the enemy. The enemy plants this lie in your thoughts, you sit and dwell in it, you embrace it, and then you start walking in it. You’ve agreed with him, and the result is that you’ve given him a foothold in your life, which left unchecked, will always lead to a stronghold.
Enter conviction. My eyes were so opened, and my heart was so softened by her words of wisdom, and I found myself so humbled by this truth. Fast forward to today. I found myself yet again sitting at my kitchen table, another divine encounter, but this time with one of my Timothys. We drank coffee, ate more sugar than should be allowed, and poured ourselves over Psalm 40. I shared with her what my Paul had just shared with me yesterday. And we both ran straight to Jesus with our hurt, our doubt, and our unbelief. We hit our knees and went to prayer.
As we prayed, we asked that God would bring the full work of Jesus Christ against any agreement we had made with the enemy. We cried out to the Lord. Tears flowed, but hearts softened in the process of our pleas. And we stood to our feet at the end of our prayer with a stronger and much deeper conviction to believe God in the midst of defeat.
Friends, Jesus Christ hung on a brutal cross, bled, and died not so that we could just survive this messy, hard thing we call life. He died so we could have abundant life. What unnecessary defeat have you been living in because you have stopped believing God, because you have ceased to trust in His unchanging character, because you have made an agreement with the enemy?
Today is the day to brush off the dust and debris, stand back up to our feet, and proclaim the good news of deliverance that Jesus Christ died to give us. Would you join me today in victory? Would you lay down your hurt and pick up your sword instead? Will you proclaim the goodness of our God? He is so worthy of it!
I have told the glad news of deliverance[b]
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.
Psalm 40:9-10 ESV