It was three years ago that Satan had his strongest hold on my family and me. Thirty years of addiction was about to end one way or another. With nothing left, I went to the Reformers Unanimous (RU) Men’s Home in Rockford, Illinois. It was there God began to work in my life. However, shortly after graduating the program, Satan wasted no time and began to attack and test me.[hr] After only a few months home, my employer changed my work hours. As a result, I was being kept out of RU on Friday night, as well as most Sunday and Wednesday church services. Very quickly my change of behavior became obvious to my family. Although the job paid well and took care of many financial needs, the Lord kept bringing this verse to my mind, “…what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”(Mark 8:36). After consulting with my Pastor and my RU Director, talking with my wife, and spending a considerable amount of time in prayer, I left that job with no employment opportunities in sight. This was a turning point for me; I chose to step out in faith instead of walking by sight.
Not long after leaving my job, I began to suffer from crippling headaches. It was necessary to see my family doctor and a neurologist who frequently offered prescription narcotic pain medication in an effort to cure what would become a five-week migraine. Again, the devil was after me. It was during this time that the Ten Principles I had learned through the RU ministry reminded me what was at stake if I took the medication. God used many of those principles to give me the strength to walk out of the doctor’s office with my testimony intact. I know that God could have instantaneously found the right job for me and could have just taken away the headaches but He did so much more. He stretched my faith and He rewards faithfulness. To God be the glory, my family (which I thought was beyond repair) has been completely restored and is now better than it ever was!
As Steve Curington reminded us, “New levels bring new devils”. Satan does not ever stop trying to tempt and/or test us. However, Jesus teaches, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). I have learned it is easy to obey the Lord when things are going well; but as we go through pain, hardship, and trials, obeying may become more difficult.
How easy it would have been to just take that pill and get short term relief. But I know that this Christian walk is a marathon. My daily steps determine the outcome of my race. The short term solution WILL have a devastating effect. When I take the long, hard road, there is no better feeling than to know Satan is tempting and trying me. It is in that moment when Christ gives me the strength to stare Satan down and give the victory to God!