Have you ever felt ……. _______________________. Just blank? Well, same.

Just two weeks ago I was writing to you about how I was made new, I felt on top of the world with sun-kissed skin, my soul was refreshed, and that I was THRIVING because I had some much-needed beach time with my main beach, Heather, in Miami. I was livin’ large …then I woke up the next morning with the flu and it left me in bed for two weeks.

You know when you’re sick and you just lay there, eyes crusted shut, and kind of questioning if it’s the devil living inside of you because of the sounds and the things that are coming out of your body? Yeah, that was me last week.

I was miserable.
I was irritable.
I had strange sounds coming out of strange places.
I didn’t like people.
I didn’t like me.

Here are 7 important lessons I learned while reading Matthew 4:1-11 last week. For those of you who don’t know, this is when Jesus was in the desert being tempted by the devil. I thought this was fitting to share this week since I felt like the devil was inside of me last week. That’s how the devil works sometimes; he makes us feel like we’re worse off than we are, like we’ll never recover from whatever ales us, and other times makes us feel like we’re too weak to get up when we’re down. Here are some practical ways to recognize and fight off temptation as Jesus did:

1. You can’t just love and embrace the Holy Spirit. You must allow Him to lead you: your decisions, your words, and your actions. (Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 4:1-2)

2. If you’re in the desert, God is preparing you to go to the next level. New levels, new devils.

3. The devil will always distort the word of God (Matthew 4:3-11). The devil will use just enough scripture to make it sound good but will twist it or leave enough out to cause confusion. And confusion is always from the devil. (Matthew 4:3, 7,10).

4. The devil tries to make you question your identity. That’s why it’s so important to never let an enemy tell you who you are and never let someone who doesn’t love you define you.
You’re defined by God. *Insert Lauren Daigle singing You Say*

5. The right thing at the wrong time is still the wrong thing. (Matthew 4:5-6). We can’t say yes to Jesus on our own terms or just because we want something from Him. If you’ve been hitting a wall, it’s because you’ve been trying to do things your way, not God’s way. (Matthew 4:7)

6. Your pride has to bow. (Matthew 4:8-10)

7. Keep telling the devil no, not today Satan, get behind me devil, and he will eventually leave you alone. (Matthew 4:11)

I don’t know about you but I think it’s time to expose the devil for what he really is and what he’s trying to do in our lives. That might look different for each of us. Remember that if it’s not good it’s not God. So, let’s take a look at what’s lingering in our lives that’s not of God and tell the devil no not today. Next, surround yourself with people who will challenge you, love, and support you, and call you higher. We each have a purpose and it’s bigger than just us. Hear me, someone out there needs you to get through whatever you’re going through right now so you can help them get through the same thing in the future. And believe me, babe, you are the only one that can reach that person.

You are important.
What you’re going through is important.
How you handle it is important.

Can we pinky promise today to learn the lessons and stay in the process as we fulfill the purpose God has for us? Okay, deal!

I’m so proud of you for sticking in there. I love you. I am grateful for you. I’m so so grateful for what God is doing in our lives!

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