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As I write this entry I am in an intense spiritual battle within a few different areas of my life. Honestly, it seems that the battle never ends these days. As I learn more about God through the bible, devotionals, other believers, and experience, the enemy throws more temptation and distractions my way. Even flat-out attacks. My dreams are often clouded, and I am also visited late at night in my sleep. I just thank God for His unfailing protection and interference on my behalf, because sometimes I’m not ready nor suspecting.

I’ve been getting many messages about Jesus returning and turning away from the sin that I struggle to let go, and I feel that I need to work hard filling up on the Holy Spirit [meaning letting Him direct me more than I direct myself] and the Word in order to suppress the old me and my fleshly desires. I was once a person who smoked weed ALL DAY, EVERY DAY; I drank hard liquor OFTEN and focused more on sex and “feeling good” than anything else [fleshly desires].

As of today, I can honestly say that I have drastically changed in these areas, but I have not completely overcome [because at this point I am relying on myself to change me instead of completely surrendering to God and letting Him do the work].

These forms of sin I have made my idols (turning to them when in need of comfort, guidance, or love) and though they do not rule me now, I still desire to participate in these activities and sometimes do [opening doors for the enemy to enter my life and successfully attack without my awareness] –though I feel awful about it and don’t enjoy them like I once did [conviction]. I know that the devil sees this progress and hates it; I know he is waiting and preying to get me back, I can literally feel it at times. *1 Peter 5:8

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These scriptures have come to me lately, to help me pass this test: 2 Corinthians 10:5, Proverbs 18:10, Romans 10:11, Proverbs 6:4-11, Psalms 56:8, James 1:12, 1 John 5:18, Proverbs 13:6, Romans 3:28

I am going to write them out below from the Amplified version of the bible because at the moment, this version helps me to understand and relate to what I am reading better.

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Romans 3:28 “For we maintain that an individual is justified by faith distinctly apart from works of the Law [the observance of which has nothing to do with justification, that is, being declared free of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]”

Proverbs 13:6 “Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.”

1 John 5:18 “We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.” THANK YOU, JESUS!

James 1:12 “Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” My God!!!

Psalms 56:8 “You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not recorded in your book?”

Proverbs 6:4-11 “Give no [ unnecessary sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids; tear yourself away like a gazelle from the hand of a hunter and like a bird from the hand of a fowler. Go to the ant, O lazy one; Observe her ways and be wise, which having no chief, overseer or ruler, she prepares her food in the summer and brings in her provisions [of food for the winter] in the harvest. How long will you lie down, O lazy one? When will you arise from your sleep and LEARN SELF-DISCIPLINE. ‘Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to lie down and rest.’ – So, your poverty will come like an approaching prowler who walks [slowly, but surely] and your need [will come] like an armed man [making you helpless].

Romans 10:11 “For the scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’”

Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are SAFE.

2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

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Wow! Just writing these back [is amazing], from the order they came to me, I highlighted them in my bible app on different days, and then wrote them down in reverse [as I did above]. It makes for a connection to God’s word in a way that is difficult to describe. He speaks to me personally through these words that were written so many years ago.

I’m holding back tears right now because I know He loves me and I am His—living the life I have so far, I don’t deserve it, but Jesus chose me anyway, and continues to forgive and wipe me clean as I allow Him to do so. * 1 John 1:9 He continues to watch over me while I sleep, and even wakes me up late at night to connect with me.

He gives me what I seek and yearn for in another person while sometimes ignoring Him entirely! He has held me before, I felt it! There is nothing I can do to make up for all Jesus has done. But I tell you what, I BELIEVE IN JESUS and everything He shows me. I fear God and have never and will never be afraid of anything more than I am afraid of Him turning away from me [and saying, “Depart from me, I never knew you!”].

One last prayer to end the entry: Father You are indescribable. Honestly, I feel that I am not very good at the adoration part the ACTS (adoration, confession, thanks, supplication) of prayer because I struggle to find words good enough to praise You with. When I look back on different parts of my life—the toughest times, and even before I knew You—I realize You were always right there with me. No one could ever love me like You do. Though I am very curious to see the man You say is worthy to try. I NEED others to know how You are there for us all, even (especially) the sinners. I admit that I have not been doing my part to spread Your word. I also live in a way that is not very pure from time to time; I let people of the world influence me to do worldly things, and I even let You leave my mind (heart) sometimes. But I thank You God for not doing me how I do You! Thank You for loving me more than I love myself; thank You for reminding me who You are, what is in me and who I am in that same process. Thank You for this personalized lesson called life! Thank you for all the blessings and favor that I don’t even recognize! Now I ask that You strengthen me for this ongoing battle and hold me again at night. Please continue to show me every day that You are all I need and that everything else is just a sweet, sweet bonus. Lastly, I ask for the wisdom that I need to elevate to the next level in You. If I need a degree, I ask for the courage and will to obtain it. But whatever it is, I am ready now Lord. Give me the knowledge, give me the discernment, please give me what You have for me God! Ephphatha (open)! Ephphatha! Ephphatha! Release my wisdom in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Asia DaCosta

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