About a year ago, I began to lead worship in my small group. I had enrolled in the Worship Training Center at the church because I felt that God wanted me to, not sure what He was going to do in it. During the end of the classes, I was approached by one of our worship leaders and asked to lead with her for our small group.
Around six months ago, I was asked my some leaders in my small group to be part of what they called a "core" team. This may mean different things to different small groups, but for me personally, it meant that I was able to see how a small group was run from the inside. At different points, I was entrusted with small responsibilities that allowed me to step out in ways that were appropriate for where the Lord had me.
After being heavily involved in my small group, I was approached my the leaders and told that there were going to be some changes in the group, and they wanted me to pray about co-leading a small group with another leader. This wasn't a surprise to me, as the Lord had revealed to me that He would be raising me up at some point. But it was a shock in the sense that the small group life that I knew at that point would be completely changing.
There was a point where I was praying at a friend's house and random pain shot up my ankle. I was standing still- there was no shift of weight. It was just random pain. After the shooting pain stopped, I was left with a dull ache and somewhat of a limp. I thought maybe the enemy was trying to discourage me from praying for my friend, so I just prayed for it to go away several times over the course of a few days. It didn't go away, but traveled throughout my body: my mid back, my right wrist, then resting in my right armpit, and finally, the worst was when it was in my left lower back. That was agonizing! I went to the doctor, who gave me some pain medication and advised me to see a chiropractor. I was still convinced that it was demonic, so I sought prayer. One Sunday, the pain left my back and went straight to my head. I had a headache that left me in tears, and was done. I didn't want to be a leader if it meant that I was going to be in physical pain!
But in getting prayer, the Lord revealed some lies that I was believing. The first one was that I was going to fail at being a leader- and my leaders knew it. They were setting me up to fail. The second was that they were abandoning me. They are not my parents, but have meant so much to me over the years, that I think of them somewhat like parents sometimes. The third lie was that as a leader, I should expect that I will be attacked and that it is the enemy's right to do so.
What a crock! First of all, sure, I will fail. But if I am seeking, chasing, desperately clawing my way to Jesus, Him in me- that is a good recipe for success. Light always shines in darkness! My leaders weren't seeing that I would be a failure- they saw that I listen to the Lord and step back and allow Him to work through me. They also were not abandoning me. I assumed that they would simply be stepping out of the picture, but they would still be around, and attending the new small groups as support.
The third lie was the one that hit home the most. Yes, there is spiritual warfare that goes on. It is everywhere. But, the enemy has NO RIGHT over me. I belong to the Lord, and am His. There is no place for the enemy in that. What God showed me through this is that if I am filling myself with Him, day in and day out, there is no room whatsoever for the enemy to creep in. I need to be more intentional about filling my mind with Truth.
God gave me a neat picture to go alongside with this. If I am a kid on the playground, and a bully comes up to me and starts beating me up, is there anything I can do? Yes! I can fight back, I can run, and I can ask for help. In our Christian walks, we need to take a stand against the enemy- because our relationship with God is something worth fighting for!
Ephesians 6 :)