“Don’t step up if you can’t keep up.”
At first, that phrase was cute and teasing. After several months, though, that phrase was said as the man cracked a beer, lit a cigarette and proceeded to belittle every thought and insight I had which didn’t leave him feeling in control. In not so many words, he was reminding me I was worthless without him. I couldn’t think without him. I couldn’t do anything without him or without his permission.
Don’t step up if you can’t keep up.
I was his puppet on a string; only there for his entertainment. The day God finally gave me the strength to step up to His standards and not this man’s standards both scared and freed me.
It didn’t matter how I felt, though. The lie had been trampled and I was no longer worthless.
Recently, I was faced with a mind-numbing situation where for several moments, I heard Satan cackle, “Don’t step up if you can’t keep up, you worthless warrior of God. Warrior? More like roach. Jehovah has called you to fight for Him in battle and you’re not strong, wise or ready enough. Let me remind you who you really are. Don’t ever step up again, you little wretch. You’ll never be able to keep up.”
With more authority than I felt, I smiled at my Enemy’s words. My heart raced, my skin grew cold, but I smiled anyway. I was being called to fight a spiritual battle I did not feel prepared for, and that petrified me. When my fear was just about ready to kill me, I heard my heart whisper back,
“No. Don’t step up if you can’t keep up. Jesus — I may not be able to step up, but He can. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”
I learned a valuable lesson that night. When my value faulters, my God remains strong. When my ability to fight disappears, my God hides me in His wings. I am nothing when Satan calls me out for a fight. The Lord within me is everything.