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  • Writer's pictureJenni Lien

What the Enemy Meant for Evil, Let God Use It for Good


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We're human... and we make mistakes. Sometimes, we let our guard down or get swept away, and then... what should we do? This episode dives into the overwhelming love of God — when we sin, may his arms be the first place we go! It doesn't always feel easy. But isn't it true that we can often speak to ourselves way more harshly than God would ever speak to us (and just fyi this is a 'no judgment whatsoever' episode). So for those of us who are thinking, “Lord, I’m sorry. I know I’ve not behaved, spoken, or even thought in a manner worthy of you lately. You’ve taught me better, I repent and ask for your help to get right with you” here are some things I feel God is teaching me—and maybe you—now, ending with three practical steps on how to re-surrender to God again. 💘


Listen to You Are You Christian podcast for women on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Or for my reading-lovers out there (I'm with you!), the transcript is below.


Well, friends, let me start this episode by reading:


Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

We’ve all read this verse before right? Multiple times probably. When I was first making my faith my own after uni graduation, for a period Proverbs was basically the only book I read. I loved the practical life advice and the warnings!


But…


In life, perhaps many of these wise lessons only really sink in when we’re tested and have to choose to put them into practice.


And so this verse:


Pride goes before destruction.


Makes sense. I’d guess we’ve all been egotistical about something at one point, big or small, and then realized how important humility is.


But the latter part of the verse.


…haughtiness before a fall.


I probably skimmed the latter part most times when I read this verse. Pride goes before a fall. Sure. But Haughtiness? Who wants to admit haughtiness — what even is that?


We probably have a general sense but for this podcast, I wanted an exact definition and Oxford Languages defines it as:


the appearance or quality of being arrogantly superior and disdainful.

We might get this visual of someone acting snobby, turning their nose up at something or someone, thinking they’re better. But can’t it also be us, acting haughty towards ourselves, thinking that because of this, that, or the other, we can walk into flames and not get burned?


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Today, if that resonated at all, I’d suggest taking some time to just be honest with God especially if it’s been awhile since a full-hearted surrender. No judgement at all, certainly not from me, not today, guess why I’m recording this podcast… but honest before God because in life, it’s usually not a ‘rip the bandaid off’ kind of surrender right? We feel like we need to give God piece by piece, and God in his lovingkindness and mercy, gives us the time and space to do so. So you and me, let’s do our best to do life with God daily, knowing that past seasons aren’t this season.


In this season, like in every season, the enemy is always looking for opportunities to trip us up.


Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

I saw a funny Reel… or maybe it was an online sermon… awhile back on this that made me laugh. I think it was a back and forth conversation skit thing where on the one hand someone said “Don’t act like the devil is behind every corner” and the other person was like “But he is.” And it’s true! We don’t need to give the devil more power than he’s due. Yes he has power on Earth because God is allowing it but Jesus has already overcome and he has won the war. We are on the winning side. We are his and under his protection… as long as we follow his rules.


I believe we’re protected so much more than we know even when we sin, even willfully sin. Jesus knows that overcoming a sin isn’t always a “pray and the desire goes away” type of process. Maybe it rarely is. And in following his rules, it isn’t because he’s a tyrant but because it’s for our best.


And me?


I’ve been relearning this truth the past little while. When we make a mistake, it’s rarely just about one thing. Humans are complicated. Emotions are complicated. Unhealed wounds are complicated.


In the 1 Peter 5:8 verse, above it was the NLT which said ‘Stay alert’ but I also like the NIRV which says ‘Control yourselves. Be on your guard.’


Christian podcast on repentance

And in retrospect, I’ve been letting my guard slip in ways I haven’t in previous seasons. Maybe because I didn’t think I had to. That pride/haughtiness thing again — not a conscious ‘I’m too mature for that’ thought but more an attitude shown through my actions.


Yes, I still read my Bible and prayed… but sometimes I went to non-God things more than God which affected my willpower, sense of self, even confidence. As humans we’re taught not to be needy. But the truth is that we are needy — and only God and living in the truth of who he says we are can ever fill that deep ache to be loved, held, adored, protected. We know this, and yet sometimes we find it hard to live it out when alternatives (read: idols) are in our face and look so good.


Christian podcast for women bible quote

So for those of us who are thinking, “Lord, I’m sorry. I know I’ve not behaved, spoken, or even thought in a manner worthy of you lately. You’ve taught me better, I repent and ask for your help to get right with you” here are some things I feel God is teaching me—and maybe you—now.


1. Get in real community


With building my startup, I am having so many conversations with pastors and other ministry leaders about the emotional health needs of young Christian women. And over and over again, many have spoken of the desire for real community where people feel free to be honest about their struggles. Praise God, this is so wonderful and perhaps a generational or cultural shift. Whatever it is, may we remember:


Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16)

Maybe our schedule feels super packed. Maybe we justify not being in community or not sharings as ok because we’re still listening to worship music and praying. But it’s God’s design for us to be in so loving and consistent a community that we are able to confess our sins to one another, pray for one another, and do life together.


Which reminds me, I just came back from a Christian retreat where each morning, a member of the staff team would share their testimony. One of them spoke of the joy of truly doing life with 18 young adults — living and serving together — and said something like “If you mess up, you might as well confess because God will give someone a dream, or ask someone to bring it up…”


The enemy would love it if we kept our sin in the dark. But our God is light and love. May we be in a community that encourages us to live God’s way.


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2. Repent


1 John 1:9 which has been a great encouragement to not let shame take root but live out the truth that:


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

There’s no substitute for time alone with God. Time given to God to do what he wants. A repentance prayer can certainly be quick. But it’s so important to spend time with God and wait for him to speak. May we remember that God loves to spend time with and speak with his children. We can ask him things like:


  • Lord, what is the truth of this situation that you want me to know?

  • Lord, will you help me see this situation from your perspective?

  • Lord, it’s a bit scary but I want you to help me see how this sin grieves you and why,

  • Lord, will you send me support, mentors, friends to walk with me through this? Will you lead me resources so I can build up my knowledge in this area?

  • Lord, help me to forgive myself and see myself as you see me too.


Of course, sinning isn’t great. But perhaps we are often harsher with ourselves than we need to be. Far harsher than our Lord is! We should never take God’s mercy for granted of course. But we can let him lead by doing what he says and relying on his Spirit to overcome. Not our own willpower or manmade rules. But doing our best to wholly trust in the name of Jesus.


3. Soak in the truth


In reflecting over this period, I think one area I could have guarded better was my heart. When we are satisfied in the Lord, we know that he satisfies like nothing else. When we feel lonely, needy, anxious, whatever — we can go to other things and they can feel like they satisfy. They might make us feel excited, alive, even high. But if they’re making us feel more satisfied that our relationship with God — and in every generation, these things are often alcohol, food, sex — it’s a sign that our priorities are out of order. We might still be reading our Bible and going to church and all that but God knows our hearts.


Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)

So how can we stop something we know we should stop and get back to living righteously? Spending time in the Word and journaling are important. As is prayer and leaving time to wait on and hear from God. But I would also suggest really soaking in God’s truths to fill and renew our minds.


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

Listen to podcasts on the topic. Make a playlist on the topic. Do a Bible study on an app so you get push notifications. Actively fill your mind with thoughts that are true. Be surrounded, even mentally, with community, people you respect, like pastors or authors or even a big sister type figure that reminds you of God’s truths. Remember our mind is a battlefield — and the more God’s truths sink in, the more our vision becomes his, our perspective becomes his, our hearts become more like his. And if we ever mess up again, may we repeat step 2 (repent) quickly, run back to our Lord and give thanks that his mercies are new every morning.


***


So friends, humans sin. It’ll always be the case. We’re all going through something. Nevertheless, right, we can overcome sin by the power of the Lamb and remember we have God’s Spirit in us. The enemy wants to use our weak points for evil, to keep us in shame, our eyes off God and our identity and purpose. But may we remember why Jesus came to Earth in the first place — to be our Redeemer because we needed to be redeemed! If we’re struggling with something, may we run to him and rest in his embrace. May we let his love wash over us and accept his help.


You’re loved, my friend, and I’m thankful for this space where we can share together. If you have any questions, feel free to DM or email in. We’re part of God’s family — may we support each other.


Let’s end by reading Proverbs 3:5-12 from The Message and allow God’s words to comfort, exhort, and equip us.


Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor GOD with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent GOD’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that GOD corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this.

Love you guys, speak with you soon.


***


You Are You is a podcast for Christian women. Follow along for faith-filled encouragement on emotional health and healing! Let’s celebrate our God-given design, pursue our kingdom calling, and love God 100% ❤️

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