I remember a time when Dave and I needed a miracle every month to pay our bills. I had quit my job so I could spend more time preparing for full-time ministry, which cut our income in half.
Each time I paid the bills, I would get upset because we didn't have enough money. It became a routine. I'd be sitting at the table in one room with the bills, checkbook and calculator in front of me, while Dave was in the other room, playing with the kids, laughing and having fun.
It eventually led to a conversation like this…
Me: Every month we don't have the money to pay our bills.
Dave: Yes, and every month God comes through.
Me: Well, how is He gonna come through this month? Why don't you do something?!
Dave: What do you want me to do? Do you believe we're in the will of God?
Me: Yes, I believe we're in the will of God.
Dave: Do you believe God told you to quit your job?
Me: Yes, I believe God told me to quit my job.
Dave: Well, has God been taking care of us every month?
Me: Yes, yes… (exasperated sigh)
Dave: Okay, Joyce, we're in the will of God, we're givers, God promises to meet our needs… What else do you want me to do?
What I wanted was for him to count the money with me and get upset too. But what I needed to do was spend time with God, rather than the checkbook.
Quality Time Is the Key
Spending quality time with God is so important. And there are many promises in the Bible about what happens when we do this. For example, Psalm 16:11 says that in God's presence, there is fullness of joy. And Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that God's joy is our strength.
The devil wants to steal our joy. He's not really after our stuff, but he'll go for the stuff to get our joy, like he did with me when I was upset about our finances. If he can get our joy, he knows we won't be strong in the Lord. And we'll lose our focus on God.
We need to focus on God and our relationship with Him.
In fact, we've got to desperately require Him! When we do, we realize that He's given us authority over the enemy. This means you don't have to let the devil run your life – you don't have to believe his lies. You can resist him and bind him as you pray in faith for God's will to be done.
Now, we can't stop the devil from coming against us, but we can overcome him each time – if we exercise the authority of Jesus and decide not to put up with him. It's true. If you really believe God hears your prayers and you know what the Bible says, the devil can't control your life!
The Power of Faith and a Good Attitude
I want you to get the revelation that God has given you – a born-again Christian – authority over your enemy. And one way you can use it is by keeping a good attitude when hard times come.
Romans 8:28 is a scripture that's quoted a lot. It says that when we are partnering with God, "all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose."
This verse is a promise to us that no matter what happens in our lives, if we will keep praying, keep loving God, and continue in the purpose He has for us, good things will come.
I want to encourage you to live by faith, not fear. Keep your focus on God, trusting that He'll do whatever needs to be done in His way and His time. And in the meantime, you can enjoy the life He's given you today.