I will never forget January 15, 1983 because that is the day that I loaded up the few little things I had—including a little sheltie puppy and $1,000 that my friends had given me at a going away party—to start my drive to Monroe, Louisiana. I remember feeling really excited, praying all the way there, as I made the 8-hour drive. I got there, and there’s a verse in the Bible that says I can run through a troop and I can leap over a wall (Psalm 18:29), and I felt really strong, like I could conquer the world and do anything.

I went to sleep that night, and when I woke up the next morning, I cried all day long because all I could hear was fear, and, What if this doesn’t work? and Has God really called you to start a ministry? and all those things the enemy tries to use to discourage us and cause us to doubt. I had to calm myself down, take authority over the enemy, and really focus on the fact that I knew God had called me, and He said, If I have called you, I will equip you. He had already let me know that I was going to be on a faith journey, and I was going to have to learn how to believe for my own needs before I could believe for the needs of a ministry. But that’s how the enemy works.

John 10:10 (NKJV) says, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. When we get excited for the things of God and encouraged by what He has called us to, the enemy goes on the attack and we must learn to go on the defense. I had to take authority over the enemy and tell the devil, NO. I had to remind myself of who God is and what His Word says. Had I allowed myself to believe the lies that the enemy tried to place on me, this ministry may not have come into existence.

Because there is a real enemy who wants to steal our joy, peace, and hope, we have to learn how to fight back. We teach the residents in our homes the same thing. We must replace the lies of the enemy with the truth of Christ. When we allow ourselves to become passive, it gives the enemy a foothold.

As we step into a new year full of hope and expectation, I want to encourage you to stand firm and remain true to what God is calling you to. Don’t allow the enemy to tell you that you can’t. Don’t allow him to cause you to doubt yourself. Take captive any negative thoughts the enemy is trying to feed you. You are more than a conqueror IN Christ. You can do all things IN Christ. He is with you every step of your journey.

There is no greater champion in our lives than Jesus Christ. He loves his children abundantly. Don’t let the enemy tell you otherwise. If you make a mistake, ask for forgiveness, turn from it, and move forward. Don’t get stuck listening to the lies of the enemy.

Christ wants to use all his children to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. He may not have called you to start a ministry, but he has called each of us to show love and compassion to others. He has called each of us to be a light to those around us. Don’t give the devil a chance to dull the light that lives within you; take authority over the enemy. Be bold and courageous in the Lord and let His light shine bright!