Lessons I Learned In 2013: Your Greatest Challenge Is Related To Your Purpose

instaquote-_temp (4)I once heard someone say “the enemy only attacks you in the area where you are most effective.”  In other words, the enemy only pursues the part of your life that God wants to use for His glory.  While God has designed every part of our lives to praise Him, there is one thing that you do better than anything else.  There are one or two gifts that you possess that distinguish you from those around you.  Perhaps you are skilled in learning and speaking multiple languages.  Maybe you’re gifted in creating and marketing products.  Maybe you are gifted in being highly-organized and you excel in the field of business.  Perhaps you have a gift for cooking and you are talented in baking and creating unique dishes.  There is some skill(s) that you possess in a way that sets you apart from others.

If you are aware of your gift, you can be sure that the enemy is aware of it too.  In fact, the enemy sees that gift and he wants to do everything possible to prevent you from using it.  He does not want you to use your gift because he knows there’s a possibility that you’ll achieve great things in life.  If you do great things, you’ll soar to new levels spiritually and professionally, and you won’t have time to walk in fear with him.  You won’t have time to keep him company because you’ll be flourishing in the company of God.

Pay Attention To Your Challenges

If you’ve ever paid close attention to the types of challenges you face, you’ll notice that many are related to the area of your gift(s).


  • If you’re called to be a pastor you may be challenged to tithe in your finances–after all, who wants a hypocritical leader?

  • If you’re called to be a business owner, you may be challenged in the area of forming and maintaining healthy friendships and relationships.  Why? Because in order to earn business, you must know how to keep business.

  • If you’re called to teach, you may struggle with fear of public speaking.

  • If you’re called to be a doctor, you may struggle to pass your exams in medical school or be challenged to be selected on Match Day.

  • If you’re called to be an athletic coach, you may struggle with confidence or being assertive.

Do you get the picture?

Understanding Fear

As you evaluate your challenges, you’ll notice that the core of each one is related to a deeper issue.  Your challenge is always centered around some kind of fear that prevents you from progressing and moving forward. Your challenges are often related to fear because it’s an effective tool to keep you away from your purpose.  Fear prevents you from visualizing yourself in your purpose—and if you can’t see something, it becomes difficult to pursue it.   As stated in scripture “people perish where there is no vision” (Prov. 29:18). Therefore, if the enemy can cause you to walk in so much fear that you lose the ability to even see or imagine who God wants you to be, his mission is accomplished.

You Can Defeat The Enemy Of Fear

When you understand how the enemy works, you’ll know how to ignore his attacks. When you’re aspiring to open your business, you’ll think twice before flaking on friends and family. You’ll think twice before treating others unfairly because you’ll realize those seeds are directly tied to your harvest of a thriving and successful business.

My Lesson in 2013

In 2013, this was one of the greatest (if not the greatest) lessons I learned.  Though I heard a pastor say “the enemy only attacks you in the area where you are most effective” at the beginning of the year, I didn’t understand it until I experienced it.  I’m convinced now, more than ever, that I’m called to encourage and uplift others.  However, it wasn’t until I experienced a few big disappointments that I understood my calling.  When you’re navigating through a painful season, it’s hard to encourage others.  It’s a challenge to be supportive of others when you need support the most.  However, that’s what the enemy wants.  The enemy wanted me to wallow in my tears and become discouraged by my circumstances so that I would stop spreading God’s message of hope and love to others.

Once I realized that my greatest challenges were aimed at stealing my joy, I knew that my work in being an encourager and uplifter was making an impact in God’s kingdom.  If I was not making a difference, the enemy would not have a reason to pursue my joy.

You Will Do Great Things in 2014

You too, have a skill or gift that impacts God’s kingdom when you use it.  You’ve probably faced a few challenges in the area of your gifting this year.  At times, those challenges probably caused you to doubt yourself.  However, as you prepare to enter a New Year, I challenge you to enter with a new mindset and a new M.O. (method of operation). Now that you know the enemy’s game plan, it’s time for you to believe in God’s plan and declare “game on” to the enemy.

Today, you are going to promise yourself that you will never, ever allow any challenge to cause you to doubt God’s plan or purpose for your life.  You are going to believe in yourself like never before.  You are going pursue your purpose with all of your heart.  

Today is the end of fear. Today is the beginning of the passionate pursuit of your calling and purpose.

It is truly the beginning of a bright and wonderful New Year! Happy New Year!




  • Roselyn
    December 31, 2013

    What great way to close out 2013 with such a powerful message. As I was reading through your list on the examples of challenges, this helped me closely identify mine. Just like they say we know our body more than anyone or even any doctor. My greatest challenge has been praying, and funny enough that is the one thing I always strongly desire is to be a prayer warrior. Knowing this and reading your post today i can say my fear comes from my mind telling me is God even listening to me? does he hear me because I am not perfect or good enough to intercede for others? Am I even using the words God wants to hear? And the attacks comes by not having the drive or edge to pray. Today I have been encouraged that if there is something dear to the heart that you feel you want to do or the Lord is calling you to do, we should do it without doubt and guilt because its all part of the devil’s work. Thank you Erika for the motivation !!!

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      December 31, 2013

      Roz!!! What’s amazing is that had you never shared that with me, I would’ve thought you were already a prayer warrior! You are full of such wisdom that can only be obtained through a close and intimate relationship with our Father. You are ALREADY a prayer warrior.

      We see one thing but God allows others to see something completely different. I am sure that the image your friends and loved ones see when they look at you is much different than what you see. As a matter of fact, I just sent Chinedu a message earlier today telling him how wonderful, encouraging, and wise you are.

      I don’t know what you’ve been praying about but I am certain that God has heard you. I am certain that He has already begun to strengthen you and increase you in the areas where you feel week and disqualified.

      You are mighty, strong, beautiful, virtuous and a woman of great destiny. I am going to pray that God continues to reveal more of Himself to you in these last few hours of 2013 than ever before. There are so many things in you that He is going to bring out and into fruition in 2014.

      Be expectant of His goodness in unprecedented ways my friend! The enemy is defeated and God is exalted.

      Happy New YOU! =)

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