I am realizing that there is a theory I found to have occurred several times for me. The theory is that if you pray in earnest and pray enough with focused concentration, you will have found yourself at new points of resistance in the spirit realm. “And these are they which are sown among thorns…the lust of other things entereth in…” (Mark 4:18-19) Sometimes, you may have prayed earnestly for something, and you get an attack from a brother or sister. Or you may find that there is inner resistance in you – your own issues – to “Go on with God” once you have found out what He is asking of you. These points of resistance are seen to deter you from advancing, obviously. But Sovereignly, those resistance battles are bringing you to crossroads, so that you are required to and must defeat the resistance, to continue to move forward. “And we know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). And we KNOW that all things work for our good, for us who love God, but sometimes convincing our earthly bodies seems like a whole different ball game. For instance, to enter into the path of becoming more of a disciple, you may be faced with temptations or feelings of insincerity, pride, lust. If you focus your attention on defeating that one vice in you, you will find yourselves fatigued at first, but through perseverance and staying humble, you can eventually – Hallelujah! – find your will fortified against that certain vice, and may pick up other righteousness strengths along that journey. “For the earth that drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God” (Hebrews 6:7). Overcoming obstacles takes you to the next stage and the next. At each entrance to the level you are coming to, there are venomous lizards, nsects – like demons, although it doesn’t have to be a demon. It could be troubles to beat you down, a sickness, a tragedy. – But WHEN the night is over, you overcome, you find yourself at new heights and at Newness of life. That is part of the resurrection of Jesus. When you taste those “Oh-so-valuable” drops of rain, Jesus’ grace is fresh! Obedience feels fresh! Forgiveness is fresh! You know what it is to stare hell, sin, and your own weakness in the face and say “that’s ok, God’s got me, just like He had Jesus!” You may be facing persecution for your new found faith, or you may have struggles with profanity or lust you never had before. These new struggles are sometimes it seems randomly placed, but always in Our Sovereign’s care, we can get out. Even if they seem like they are revealed at a certain point in your walk, and now you feel like you couldn’t be saved if you are having such immature seeming struggles. Truth be told – you ARE advancing, truth be told – you ARE NOW MORE DANGEROUS TO THE DEVIL and the world of evil because you are working (and I mean working for real) against resistance than you were not, when you were coasting easy peasy. “And he said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” ( 2 Corinthians 12:9). Just like when you go to lift weights in weight lifting, resistance is applied to increase strength, stamina, endurance, and might. My friend, who is a physical nut and health specialist always said I needed “exercise”, and its no different in the spirit. If you only lift a 5 pound weight for 30 days and you are a healthy adult, you may tone your arms well enough. If you lift a 30 pound weight for 30 days as a healthy adult, you will obviously see that the results you are having are more strength, and more physical notice of it. So also we may see the adding of resistance/weight builds your strength – sometimes in a quick process, and other times as a grueling process that you are horrible with initially; You first start lifting heavier weights, and get frustrated, but keep going seeing no improvement, but after a season of mundane struggle, sweat, tears, blood, and pain you have now torn the muscles and they can be healed back very nicely, indeed. The problem comes in when you have resistance come against you like spiritual struggles with bad language, lusting/pornography, anger that easily turns to rage, and you cease to be offended or to fight back against it. He is not angry when we’re struggling, but He will get angry if we lay down and let it happen without exercising our will. Jesus never said that you would not have to fight. Jesus also never said that you were doing bad with Him in you were having struggles. DON’T stop fighting – be horrible at it, but be at it, nonetheless! (I am using sarcasm). Seriously, with all His strength be fighting to annihilate anything that would come against the Spirit of God in you. “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightiest a good warfare;” (Fight the good fight of faith!) (1 Timothy 1:18). “In this world you will have trouble, but I give you my peace” (John 16:33). Upon approaching new levels with the Lord to usher us into closer awareness of His presence around us, I have had so many different kinds of resistance, that I lost count, but I can remember how it felt in previous periods with the Lord by looking back and saying “Boy, I sure am glad I’m not in that fight anymore…I overcame something, so today I am in this fight, and I will win this one too, and the knowledge I gained of MY Lord and my own soul/self is PRICELESS.” Or, today I am in an open and spacious place, because I have prayed up and prayed it and fasted it and suffered whatever it is, all the way through. That’s the key – pray it all the way through! And if you’re not in those seasons, pray for those who you know that are!
Ending with this – to me one of the best Scriptures of all time!:
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
“… Jesus encouraged his disciples that they should always pray, and never give up.”