I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Not physically, but spiritually. The battle had been raging since the day before. The lies that washed over my mind made me feel like I was literally being dragged under water. I would struggle madly to sip a small breath of truth, comparing the words in my mind to the Word of God. Then the lies would drag me down again. The feelings were so powerful. The thoughts were so real, so overwhelming. (“You’re defeated. You’re worthless. You’ll never be good enough for anybody, least of all God.”) Suddenly, I had the thought. “I can’t breathe. I need spiritual CPR.” It had all started with one step out of the boat and onto the water. That’s when the enemy decided to attack.
Getting Out onto the Water
Peter’s walk on water is chronicled in Mathew 14. Jesus had gone to pray by Himself. He had told His disciples get into their boat and go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. The waves were rough, and the wind was whirling when Jesus showed up. He called to His disciples so they wouldn’t be afraid. When Peter saw the Lord Jesus walking on water, he wanted to do it too. He had the faith to get out of the boat and begin his walk. But as soon as he did, he felt the wind kick up and he became afraid. He started to sink, but Jesus didn’t let him go under. Matthew 14:31 says, “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’”
Our Own Water Walks
Peter’s story isn’t just a notable miracle. It’s also a picture of what happens to you and me when we decide to take a step of faith toward our Lord. It’s when we muster all our courage, get out of our comfort zone, and step into new territory with God. Maybe that looks like a new ministry. Maybe it’s the shedding of a habit or a hang-up that has been holding us back. Possibly it’s just a deeper submission to God, a putting away of childish things.
Whatever it is, that’s the moment when the wind decides to blow. That’s when the enemy begins his attack on our hearts and minds. “You’re going to sink!” he will shriek at us. “Jesus doesn’t care what happens to you.” The lies feel so real. He tells us we’re alone, that no one else understands or cares. And his greatest lie of all is that all our effort, all our discomfort, and all our progress was for nothing. God will simply leave us there in the middle of the sea to drown.
My Own Spiritual Walk
That exact scenario happened to me this week. God has been dealing with me lately in so many ways. He showed me something He didn’t like in my life and used what felt like some pretty rough tactics to teach me a greater sensitivity to His voice. (Let’s just say it involved some fasting that wasn’t exactly my idea.) It all came to a head just as I got to the chapter in the book I’m reading about making my body – and all the contents therein — a living sacrifice. I read the prayer in the book out loud and closed my eyes. I thought I had been in submission before, but it was theoretical. This was physical. I stepped out of the boat.
BAM!! The enemy hit me. And that’s when I had the thought. “I need CPR!”
In the natural, CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It’s a life saving procedure that can help someone who has stopped breathing or had heart failure. In the spiritual, there is only one Great Physician. I had a feeling when I heard the phrase in my mind that Jesus had an acronym for me. I prayed and got this: “Come, Pray, Rest.”
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills — from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”Psalm 121:1-2
When we’re under attack, the enemy will tell us we’re alone. He will say no one loves us or cares and God has abandoned us. He will insert feelings of worthlessness and an almost tangible feeling of separation from God. But the enemy is a liar. It’s not our battle. It’s the Lord’s. But He can’t help us or heal us if we don’t come to Him in faith. We must stand on what the Word says. “He will never leave us nor forsake us.”
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7
Whether it’s words or just tears, we must pour out to the Lord. Even if the only thing we can do is to ask the Holy Spirit to pray for us (Romans 8:26), we must ask and believe. Jesus didn’t let Peter go under. He’s not about to start with us. We can trust Him.
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”Isaiah 40:31
Once our prayers have been said, we have done our part. If we are born again, we belong to Jesus. We have been bought with a price and are no longer our own. We are in no danger of being forgotten by our Father. Now we wait in faith for the life-giving breath of God to fill our lungs again. Now we rest in Him.
We All Need Spiritual CPR Sometimes
Believers in these last days are under heavy attack. Daniel 7:25 says the enemy “shall wear out the saints.” God told us it would happen so that we can be prepared when it happens to us. Whenever we get faint, lose our breath, or feel like we’re going under, we must remember to turn to Jesus for spiritual CPR. We must come, pray, and rest. He will never let us down.
Enjoy object lessons? Check out Spiritual Warfare: A Defeated Foe. In it, God uses a housefly to teach me about the way I should view the enemy. Or, try Message in the Moisturizer: We Can Choose Change. In that one, God shows me that we don’t have to stick with bad choices once they have been made. Please subscribe in the upper right corner (or at the bottom on a phone). Also, check out my YouTube Channel. There, I read my blogs out loud and have a playlist of hymns from my church. Far from boring, they are fast, sassy, and anointed. I hope you will be blessed listening!