How many times has this happened to me now? I will do something which is actually commendable after a season of being down in the dumps or a time of really struggling to find God in it all. It will be a simple thing like picking up my eyes and praising God when things have been tough for a long while or being gentle with my kids when I come home from a crappy day. Nothing major really, but a good change of direction.
Then it happens. I will get a replay of something someone prayed for me in exactly that vein. It may also be that I saw someone walking out the same thing with faith and aplomb. This time it was someone else retelling how their faithwalk was going in the face of difficulty and a storm of God questions. After regarding this memory I am sent reeling back by an onslaught from the enemy of our souls. He comes in telling me how this would have never happened if I hadn't seen that other guy do it, heard someone tell a faith story or pray it. He says I am just copying someone else who has the 'real' goods. He says I am an outsider trying to look in and look like. Just a 'hanger on'. He takes what God meant for good and twists it for all he is worth to make it look bad. Of course in these days of fierce independence and self-made men his job is that much easier. God laughs at this whole idea of independence and I'm sure from His viewpoint that the term 'self-made man' would be cause for a gutwrenching belly laugh. It is something like the guy who thought his family car could carry the lift of plywood home from the lumber yard.
This guy was fighting some very basic design and structural principles as well when he overrode common sense to retain his independence, but then again so do I when I take on this walk alone. The enemy wants to yank on this desire from any angle he can, but the truth is that without the rest of you and your gifts and experiences and prayers I am screwed. What may be frightening is that without me, you are too. From this place there really is no place for pride, only humility and service.