It happens gradually. It may begin by sleeping in on Sunday morning and missing your regular service. You may have the option to go to the later service, but you have an array of things to complete before you go back to work in the morning. You may find yourself taking on more responsibilities at work or at your children’s school. Before you realize it, you have missed several weeks of church services, didn’t attend your regular bible study and you’re becoming more distant from your Christian friends. You’re more agitated with people in general. Minor irritants have become major stumbling blocks where your mood now displays anger, judgement, and negativity. You may find you’re sleeping more, or having difficulty sleeping at all. Over indulging in food or drink? Suddenly, you hit bottom and you cry out, “God, where are you, why have you left me?” Does it dawn on you that God isn’t the one who left? Satan is the great disceiver and will stop at nothing to pull you away from the Lord. Temptations become increasingly difficult to deny, you find your head is full of negative thoughts and feelings toward people and situations. Somewhere along the way, Satan was able to “slip in” and start playing in your head.
I was fortunate enough to have a close friend recognize my personality change and challenged me. Point blank she asked me, “You don’t seem to be walking with the Lord anymore. What’s going on?” I felt anger swell up inside at her having the audacity to even say such a thing to me, but I knew deep down that she was right. I had pulled away from the Lord. However, Satan is a crafty sort and I was quickly able to refrain from saying something not very Christian like and simply reply, “I’m sorry. I’m just tired and cranky today.” Praise God she had planted the seed I needed. I knew I had changed, I just didn’t know why. I felt shame and embarrassment at the thought of asking God to forgive me. Why should He? But I know our God is a forgiving and gracious God. It had been a long while since I had talked to Him. I don’t mean pray, I mean talk. Just talk to Him like I would with a friend. That evening, I sat up in my bed with darkness surrounding me. Nothing but a dim light of the smoke detector was visible. As I focused on the light, I began to pour out my heart. I told Him everything and apologized for shutting Him out when I really needed Him most. That’s when I realized I sometimes confuse Him with my earthly parents that would grow angry, lecture, criticize and punish me for any confession of wrong doing. I don’t know how, but God is able to forgive much easier than we humans can. He doesn’t let us go unpunished, but sometimes wallowing in our own guilt and persecution may be punishment enough in God’s eyes.
The next morning I woke up with a new attitude. I was excited to start my day. I began reading scriptures, watching Christian programs, reading some of my favorite Christian authors, attending church services and bible studies again. Never allow Satan a foothold into your soul. He will convince you of all kinds of falsehoods and make your life a living hell. Remember your heavenly father is always there and always forgives. He will help rid you of your anger and guilt if you put your trust and faith in Him.