Standing in a Sunday service, the communion table set before us, the worship team wonderfully leading us into His Presence with beautiful words and music, friends all around–when my mind and spirit were assaulted by this overwhelming sense of failure, worthlessness and torment. Tormenting thoughts of why aren’t you ding more for the Kingdom began to swirl around my mind, making me feel so bad I wanted to run from the service. I began to fight these thoughts by praying in the Spirit, deliberately focusing my mind on Him and rebuking Satan. The struggle was quite real and the feeling of being a disappointment to our God was so strong. I began to cry out “help me, Lord”–as my mind began racing trying to defend myself through all the things I had “done” for Him while immediately counteracting it with “it’s not all about me” or solely about obedience and accomplishing His assignments for me life.
What was going on? Finally His Spirit cut through this mental chaos with the question “How much would you have to do for me each week to feel good about yourself? I immediately knew these tormenting thoughts were from Satan and are never satisfied. I said, “Lord you and I both know I am worthy only because of Your finished work on the Cross”. the siege lifted and I was able to truly enter into worship.
As I continued to pray, asking the Lord for further revelation, I began to understand that this was an extreme attack of something that can happen much more subtly and therefore is even much more insidious. The goal of these mental attacks is to move us form being led by the Spirit to begin driven to try and win approval, acceptance and appease and satisfy this god substitute.
This I not like our God. Yes, He does expect obedience and conformity to His Spirit. He does expect us to submit to His Lordship, but this all happens in the context of being led by His Spirit.
The definition of the word ‘driven” has a compulsive or urgent quality. The Bible refers to God driving out His enemies, or to Jesus driving out demons. Being driven compromises our peace. In an effort to “feel” values and worth a driven person often adds more busyness to their schedule. Since those things may be “good” things, but not God tings little or no fruit is born and the cycle intensifies. People who are driven instead of being led usually exhibit little or no joy in their activities. Driven people are driven back into the law, not into life.
Next week we will look at the blessing of being “led”! But in the meantime, take time to examine your life before the Lord, ask Him to show you any places you may be feeling “driven” and ask Him for His perspective.
(I wrote this article for Real Women, a newsletter published in 2008. I used it today due to a conversation that took place in our Life Group this week.)