Satan led Eve to focus on the one thing she couldn’t have, the one thing she couldn’t do, the one thing out of her reach. This one tree became huge in comparison to all the other trees she could eat from; the only one that mattered. Our adversary tempts us the same way. He twists things around to get us into being discontent because of what we don’t have, what is not working, or what is lacking in our lives.
The opposite actions shift discontentment and discouragement in our lives. We count all our blessings, all that the Lord had done, all of His transforming glory, all of Him! Our temptation to pay attention to what we lack is overcome by the abundance we recognize we possess in Christ. If we concentrate on what is missing, we will never be fulfilled.
We do pursue what He leads us to reach for as He leads us, not in our own strength. Our contentment is in Him, and we delight in whatever He brings our way. We focus on the presence of the Lord with praise and thanksgiving. His glory fills us with hope in His glorious workings, from glory to glory!
Genesis 3:2-3 “And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'”
Marvin couldn’t handle the fierce battles anymore. His marriage, job, and health were under fire. He couldn’t catch a break. He began to withdraw himself from his surroundings. To isolate from his loved ones brought him security, like when a turtle retracts its head into its shell. Discouragement and depression became his retreat companions. It lasted months before the Lord pulled him out of this pit of despair.
Satan uses defeat to cause us to retreat because he knows our faith in the opposite, the victory we have in Christ, enables us to press through any trying situation. We don’t give in to lies, defeat, discouragement and hopelessness. We surrender to God and resist satan; not the other way around. By faith we move forward, no matter what, with our eyes upon the Lord. No other options.
To empower us, the Holy Spirit leads us to retreat to the Lord. We withdraw to a quiet place and receive His loving care, refreshing and refilling. In Christ we walk victoriously, empowered to move hindrances out of the way. We do not retreat; we advance, from glory to glory!
Matthew 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
When the Egyptians set taskmasters over the children of Israel to afflict them, they wanted to hinder the Israelites’ growth. They assumed that their hard labor in building cities would stop them from building their own families. They believed the children of Israel would be so tired, so wiped out, so weak they would not be healthy; and therefore, unable to bear children.
The enemy causes warfare in our lives to stop us from being fruitful and multiplying. We become weary, lose motivation and passion. We sense our fire is diminishing. Our first thought often points to ourselves. We wonder what is wrong with us; why we are not more motivated; why our passion isn’t there; and so on. But it’s not us; it’s the continual warfare that wears us out so we would quit. But at that moment, the opposite happens!
The Holy Spirit quickens, strengthens us and brings restoration. This scripture tells us that the more the taskmasters afflicted the children of Israel, the more they multiplied and grew. We too grow like a palm tree. The more the weight comes upon us, the more we grow! Our fruitfulness and multiplication are unstoppable. During persecution and afflictions, we flourish, from glory to glory!
Exodus 1:12 “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.”