The devil lies. It’s who he is and what he does. The Bible calls him the “father of all lies.” (John 8:44). I have become accustomed to swatting like flies the many untruths that buzz about attempting to deceive me and derail me from my purpose. But what happens when those negative whispers have truth to them. What do you do when … the enemy is right?!?
For the last three years, my journey has taken me to places that have exposed virtually everyone one of my weakest points. While there are things about my circumstances that call upon and highlight my God-given strengths and talents, there are many more things about where I find myself that reveals my short comings. Yet despite this, I have been promoted and lauded to such an extent that it has become increasingly difficult not to feel like a complete and utter fraud.
I cannot tell you how many times in the last three years (and truthfully many years before that), I should have fallen flat on my face. Shamed and exposed. I keep waiting for it to happen, expecting it, almost welcoming it, so that I no longer have to bear this burden of inadequacy. But the reproach I look for has not come. I try to tell people directly that I am undeserving, but most of them shrug it off as false humility.
And every day the voice of the enemy grew louder in my head, telling me what I already know is true. I don’t deserve this. I’m not the person they think I am. If they knew who I was — the awkward, selfish, incompetent mess that I am — what would they think then?
How do you fight the enemy when his lies aren’t lies and he makes a valid point? I’ve been killing myself for three years to prove him wrong, to turn my weakness into strengths, and to truly deserve the praise that is heaped on me. It probably took me longer than most to realize the futility of my efforts, and the truth hit me like a ton of bricks.
Nothing is more backward than grace.
Unmerited favor. Something that God has showered on me my whole entire life. There is no explanation for the favor I have been given personally and professionally. It is most decidedly undeserved. I look around and am constantly humbled by the people who work harder than me and are more faithful than me – yet God smothers me with blessings right alongside them. I have nothing in which to boast. This is grace that goes beyond just saving my sinful soul from the fires of hell … which by itself is more than enough. This is grace that blesses me as if I were … when I am most decidedly not. It is incomprehensible, and humbles me to previously unknown depths.
I should not cease in my pursuits to bring strength to areas where I am weak and to cry out for God’s help to make me the best me I can be. But I absolutely need to stop trying to merit the favor He has inexplicably chosen to lavish on me. And when the enemy comes again to torment me with the truth, I shall simply incline myself to agree and say, “I know! Isn’t God’s grace amazing!?!”