Pain is synonymous with life, but if God’s in your boat, you go further upstream than on your own. And the rewards are colossal, and so are the obstacles.

The problem?

All the big promises are on the other side of the grave.

Or so it seems.

The truth is that even as a Christian, problems pound on your door.

But is constant suffering what the Bible teaches?

According to God’s word…

No.

However, there are conditions to being blessed. For example, if you’re obedient, God will do x. And if you’re disobedient, he won’t.

Disobedience usually causes us pain, and God’s plans for us are delayed.

Pastors say: “God won’t give you the house you prayed for; he’ll give you a better one!”

But is ALL the agony along the way worth it?

And are you conscious of the fact that God is taking you somewhere?

I know what you’re thinking: “Where?”

You’re in a war.

God recruits Christians into a fight they didn’t start. And most converts aren’t told this after salvation.

You’re in a pre-apocalyptic battle against sin and evil, and you’re not alone…

Angels are assigned to you, and so are demons.

“One of the reasons we don’t sin as Christians isn’t just so we stay away from jail and don’t go to hell. The reason why we don’t sin as Christians is so satan stays away from us. If there is no heaven and hell, if there is no eternity, I still wouldn’t want to sin, just because I don’t want to have a thief in my house.”—Vlad Slavchuk

According to Bible expert Robert Breaker, the King James Version of the Bible doesn’t use the word demon but uses the words “devils” and “unclean spirits.”

  • “devils” appears 55 times in 48 verses in the KJV
  • “devil” 61 times in 57 verses
  • “unclean spirit” 26 times in 13 verses
  • “unclean spirits” 20 times in 10 verses

When Jesus died on the cross, the demons in the world didn’t vanish. They’re still here. And they’re attracted to sin.

Satan’s cohorts—evil spirits—wait for you to give room to the devil. Then they’re deployed to slow you down, to trip you up, and to convince you God has abandoned you. 

Their battleground?

The demonic wage war in your mind.

However, if you sin, evil spirits can touch you and your stuff.

According to John 5:14, sin opens a door and allows satan to hit you with tragedy:

“Later, Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. So stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

And James 4:7 states: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

So if satan flees when you resist him, what does he do when you embrace him?

He moves into your house.

The solution?

When you sin, repent quickly. And don’t only be on the lookout for overt sin in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you sensitive to any habitual sins, like lying, for instance.

Also, what about not believing God’s word?

If you aren’t agreeing with scripture when you speak, you’re not on neutral ground; you’re on Satan’s.

For example, do you confess the facts, I have no money,” or “I’m sick”? Or do you declare the truth? What is truth?

God’s word.

You’ll lose friends. And family.

You sober up when you meet Jesus. Stuff falls away. And people notice.

You won’t laugh at the jokes you used to, nor do the things you did in the past.

Listen…

You’re being scoured.

And as you draw nearer to God, you’ll want to be around like-minded people. God is changing your nature, and in the beginning, you might find yourself at odds with friends and family.

First, it will be difficult not to confront sin in the lives of non-Christians you’re close to.

And second, it may be challenging for them to see you as a new creation.

God will send you Christian friends, but that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt to lose the old ones.

“And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29

Most importantly, don’t stop praying for your family and ex-friends who don’t know Jesus and who are no longer in your life. God has a plan for them too.

TRENDING: How to Pray for Money. Why Haven’t Christians Been Told These Facts?

Sin beckons you.

And if you succumb to it, God’s plans for you don’t unfold. Instead, they’re put on hold.

What sins am I referring to? Sexual immorality, slander, lying, selfishness, etc.

But trying to keep the commandments won’t help. Sin is hypnotic.

On Monday when you still hear Sunday’s sermon play in your head, you’ll walk a straight line, a line that blurs as Wednesday approaches and eludes you as Friday draws near, the zigzag of your steps, the difficulty of keeping in tow—temptations that shout: “I can help you…”

Nobody stopped sinning by reciting the commandments.

Only a relationship with Jesus trumps immorality. And the Holy Spirit will reveal to you any hidden sins.

Likewise, every time a habitual sin is burned out of your life, there’s forward momentum towards the destination God has for you. And there are epic rewards along the way, if you’re obedient.

But…

If you have sins in your life you can’t recognize, you can be trapped in the same place for years.

The Israelites remained in the desert for 40 years because they didn’t believe they could—with God’s help—conquer the giants, despite seeing the miracles God had performed in Egypt.

Surprisingly, unbelief is a sin.

You need deliverance.

Every Christian needs deliverance from generational curses, evil spirits, and soul ties.

And if you pick up new, habitual sins as a longstanding Christian, you’ll invite new demons in who’ll perpetuate and fuel your sin.

For example, you’re saved, but every night you fantasize about a married colleague.

Though subtle, you’ve invited demonic influence in through your thoughts.

The scary thing is, you don’t know you’re being influenced.

Deliverance for Christians isn’t once-off. Constantly reevaluate your thought-life.

Do you want what God has for you? Or the married colleague at your office?

God’s plan or something that would sour in your mouth if you tasted it?

You decide.


Related:


You won’t always know what to do next.

Grey days are difficult. You can’t see where you’re going, and what happened yesterday doesn’t make sense either.

Are you in sin? Or are you being tested? 

Stand still if you don’t know what to do next. God’s never lost a Christian before. The Holy Spirit inside of you has an unsurpassed track record for fulfilling God’s purposes in the lives of His people. He knows how to lead you.

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Acknowledge the Lord in everything you do, even when you’re confused. He is the good shepherd.

God’s silence doesn’t help.

And there’s a lot of quiet days.

Do you recognize these names: Jesse Duplantis, Bill Winston, Joel Osteen, Joseph Prince, and Kevin Zadai?

Yes, they’re awesome ministers, but what do they have in common?

They pray from victory—believing their prayers are already answered.

What does your day-to-day life look like? Do you walk in unbelief, confident in your heart God isn’t going to help you?

A sure-fire way to get your prayers answered is to pray in expectation.

God may remain silent even after he answers your prayers, and that’s okay because now the money you prayed for is in the bank.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

God is never idle in bringing the plans he has for you to pass.

Don’t take offense or change how you feel about God when he is quiet.

Does anyone know where you’re going? Does God?

According to Dr. Kevin Zadai, every person has a book in Heaven written in God’s handwriting.

And you can slow down your walk—your story—through sin and compromise or speed it up through obedience.

Life is like a supermarket aisle. God wants you to make something, for example, to achieve a goal or open a business. And he knows where you’re headed and how you’ll get there, but you need the ingredients to succeed.

At 20, you may not have the skills to achieve what’s written in your book. So God puts you in an aisle where you can learn the fundamentals to fulfill your purpose.

Do you need business skills? He places you in a company as an employee. Need to know how to sell? He promotes you to a position where you learn to negotiate.

At age 23, you don’t know that by age 37, you own your own company.

Will you trust God when you don’t discern where you’re going? He knows what’s written in the last chapter of your book.

You’ll likely be betrayed.

Not every Christian is going to like you. And not every “believer” is a Christian.

Jealousy exists amongst church folk too.

Who can you trust?

You’re lucky if you have a handful of people who’ll stick by your side throughout your Christian walk.

And even when you get to the top, not everyone will want to be your friend.

In the end, the people you hold dear will be the ones who stay with you in the dark.

So, don’t be surprised if you have to work for evil bosses and with obnoxious colleagues along the way. How you respond to betrayal and lies about yourself is often a test.

When God exalts you, will you treat your employees the same way?

TRENDING: Consequences of Cheating on Your Spouse: Now I Understand Why I had No Money

Evil spirits want in.

In the future, the kings of this world under demonic leadership will wage war at the battle of Armageddon.

But even before Noah, demons sought to gain expression through people. And still do today.

Their job is to get you to compromise. And their presence is so subtle that you think their thoughts are yours.

Demons can hinder your physical healing and cause you to think unclean, immoral thoughts.

Why do they do this?

They know holiness is important. And if they can taint you—God can’t work through you.

According to Amy Keesee Freudiger—author of Healed Overnight: My Encounter with the Supernatural—God dared her to shut out all the voices in her mind and speak only His words for 30 days.

So Amy declared scriptures over her body and turned down the verdicts of doctors and specialists.

After she had renewed her mind, Amy prayed the prayer of faith and overnight received total healing from several longstanding medical conditions.

Will you take God up on his dare?

Whose voice will you believe?

The bottom line

It’s getting harder to be a Christian. And it’s easy to believe God’s promises are mirages, always out of reach. Will his plans for you still unfold?

Even if you feel discouraged…

Angry…

Or desolate…

As long as you pursue God, he will demonstrate his power in your life.

But he needs your cooperation.

Are God’s conversations with you more real than the reality you face? Facts? Or truth?

Do you believe his word when your circumstances are contrary to his promises? Your experiences don’t dictate your future; they’re temporary. And they can change in an instant.

God’s no-fail approach means that if you follow his instructions, you’ll be successful. 

Disadvantages or challenges you plow through as a Christian have a purpose.

Just ask Job, Joseph, and Jesus.