Friday, March 15, 2013

"Give up yet?"

Satan is real.

Sometimes when we get caught up in all the good happening in our lives, we overlook the little things that can really bring us down. For example, I've gotten so excited by the idea that I'm leaving in only a little over a month to teach the Gospel in the coolest place ever (ha ha ha) that I've been forgetting to do the most important things I can be doing right now to prepare to be the best missionary I can be. Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing to be excited. It's not however a good thing to get distracted by the idea and neglect your preparations.

For me, I've had the hardest time studying the scriptures and PMG. And it hasn't just been a few days or a few weeks. It's been the entire last month. There are always conference talks and going to church and insights you gain from conversations with others but the sad thing is I haven't been taking any of those in, even as a substitute to not studying the scriptures. Another sad thing is that I haven't been noticing how detrimental not studying has been for me until now because it started out as such a small thing.

It's a simple thought: "Get out PMG and your scriptures and get to it!" But it's another thing to actually do it when the thought finally comes to you at 1 o'clock in the morning after a very busy and exhausting day. Satan is striking me right where he knows I'm weak. I can't afford to be lazy now. I need to be studying, BIG TIME.  I know, everyone thinks they know less than they really do and the people who get scared silly by that go overboard and it doesn't do them a bit of good because you're never really prepared for a mission. But let me tell you, fear is real and it's one of Satan's most prized weapons.

I've been afraid that I don't know enough about the Gospel to teach it to anyone. I've been afraid that if I don't lock myself in my bedroom and only come out for meals and force myself to study all day, I won't be in the place I need to be for my mission. I've even deluded myself into thinking that once I'm flying out to my mission, Security is going to come and take me back into one of those interrogation rooms they have because they find a pair of razor sharp nail clippers in my unchecked bag.

Some of this fear, like the nail clippers, is just nerves getting to me. But I've been experiencing paralyzing fear about everything that I'm not; I'm not as confident as I would like to be, I'm not outgoing, I'm not someone people look at and just love, I'm not always tactful, I'm not as open with people as I probably should be. Once Satan sensed that first doubt I had, about not ever being a good enough missionary, he latched on with everything he is and he's not letting go. He picked my fear apart and showed me every tiny little aspect of it from every angle and my fear only intensified.

The thing is, just when you think you're safe, Satan hits you with something else he's come up with to scare your pants off. You can't let yourself get distracted and forget that Satan is still there, just biding his time. Submitting my papers and receiving my call was such a triumph and I rode that high for quite a while, not realizing what was slowly happening, that Satan was creeping back into my life.

The important thing here though is that no matter how many times the adversary sneaks up on you and breaks you down, don't give up! You have power over him. The closer you get to God, the more righteously you are living your life, the harder Satan works against you. BUT the closer you get to God, the more righteously you are living your life through your thoughts and actions, the less influence he has over you. He cannot conquer if you will it otherwise - and that's a true statement. 

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