And then this week, the battle struck.
You know what, friends? This has been a fairly difficult week for me. Bad dreams, premonition type weirdness about family deaths, lies from my past as far back as High School. So strange. The battle is in not letting any of that junk take hold of me, but it has been frustrating to say the least. I was hoping for the exciting, joyful, face lifted to heaven type of prayer week. Instead it's been a groaning, jaw clenched, "Satan, you DLB, get out of my face" type week. Through the power of the Spirit and not my own might, my focus continues to be with the topics my community is praying, as well as praying for individuals in my community.
Over the last year or so, God has been speaking to my heart about leadership. The leaders in my life that I have respected and trusted have been ones with a strong work ethic, the ability to go longer, harder, deeper; the ones that I knew if they were asking me to do something that they were out in front and would be there to the end with mental toughness and fortitude. They made the vision clear and gave me tools to be part of accomplishing the vision. In the times of following these great leaders, it never occurred to me the battle they were enduring on my behalf.
I am asking God to build mental toughness in me, to give me the ability to go longer, harder, deeper. I desire to communicate clearly, speak encouragement and challenge into the lives of those I lead, and to consistently and deeply pray for the people God puts into my life. But, above all of those desires, I really just want more of Jesus. I desire to live a life that points others to Him and not to myself.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I now consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ...a righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in is death and so somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And the earth has nothing I desire besides you. My heart and my flesh may fail, but my God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!