As I sipped my coffee, reflecting on the decision I’d just made, a man named Steve approached me and extended his hand.
‘I believe you were the one next to me up the front earlier. It’s a brave leap we’ve both taken.’
It wasn’t the first time for either of us. Though we’d both since allowed the world to swallow us up amid its sea of shallow pleasures and promises. And yet the realisation was clear. We knew the path for which we were intended.
So here we were. Taking that leap of faith once again with renewed enthusiasm and intent.
Steve went on:
‘You must realise though Paul that this re-commitment serves only as an alarm to the devil. He is now reminded of the battle he is losing. He will seek now to attack you with more intensity and furore than ever before. Be ready.’
I nodded in agreement. I knew the battles to come. I had faced them before. I had succumbed to them before. Though now I felt prepared. I felt ready. And yet once again the devil’s wile blinded me to the nature of the devious course [in]corrections he was making in my life.
Regrettably I cannot sit here now and say that I have been strong enough to withstand the barrage of temptations that have been fired my way over this past month. Never have I felt weaker, in fact.
It was far easier before that moment of surrender. To cruise along, under the radar, to blend in, not to raise any eyebrows. To go about my life, to follow the norm. Satan kept tabs on me, of course, but my life presented no great threat to his shrewd plan for my demise.
I was naive. ‘Life’ seemed to be delivering what I required. I felt confident. I felt myself. Financially things felt stable; stable enough for the odd brunch here and there. I met an incredible girl; someone who I could previously only dream of meeting. Work too provided the comfort and challenge I sought prior to my Sydney relocation.
And yet in these I placed my sense of security; my sense of self worth; my sense of purpose.
I guess the pain I now feel should be accompanied with a certain sense of gratitude; there are many who don’t feel such levels of un-comfort; they don’t realise the erroneous nature of their actions and course through life. Sadly, they never realise. And so the glory that once awaited them drifts off into an unfortunate and saddening ‘what could have been’. Indeed, what should have been.
As I write this, I feel to have plummeted to this realisation once again. No, this is not a symptom of a once diagnosed personality disorder or the anxiety I’ve faced for the past decade. This is a game of spiritual warfare. A game for which there is always extra time for those with receptive and repentant hearts.
At rock bottom it is He who is the springboard back toward our intended success. No, not the success that we can envisage, rather the success that He has so carefully crafted for each of us.
It is His purpose that we must seek if we are to feel that level of fulfillment and satisfaction we all so deeply crave.
Surely these words will spark those same alarm bells within the depths of Satan’s hellish lair as they did twenty-nine days ago. So it is now that I must look only to God for the strength I require, not to the fruits of my worldly labour or the comfort that it provides.
Only God. Only God.
‘You don’t want perfection, just my soul’s attention.’
Lord, it is my attention that you will get.