These days, when God talks, I listen. It might take a while, but I listen to Him. And… when God talks through my seven-year-old son, I stop in my tracks wide eyed and astonished. Bear with me and I’ll come full circle with the story behind this.
I’ll start with this: God gave me a vision to start this blog. He burdened me with it for so long that it grew more and more intense, and I could no longer keep making excuses. There are so many things that I still have to do in order to fulfill what God put on my heart. It is meant to be more than JUST a blog, and I can’t wait for it to unravel and really touch people’s lives. The point is, I listened to God, and when you do that… when you are a servant of God… that opens your life up for attack. You become a target, a giant one.
See, life isn’t made up of just mountains. There are also valleys. And, just because you are a Christian, that doesn’t make you exempt from valleys. Most of the time, when Jesus is your homeboy you get it tenfold. Why? Because God vs. Satan. Dark vs. Light. The war wages on. Do God’s work and prepare to be under attack. Are you in the middle of a spiritual high? Brace yourself. That’s when attacks happen most often. You are walking the walk, talking the talk, growing, changing, helping others, listening to God, and then Satan cuts off the top of your mountain and you fall into a canyon. A dark one. You don’t understand it, and it doesn’t make sense. But, you’re there regardless. The fall hurts. It makes you mad. Sometimes it isolates you from the people who are still up on top of the mountain climbing, and sometimes they fall in with you.
As Christians, we call this Spiritual Warfare. It’s the real deal guys. Satan can and will use anyone or anything to bring you down. He will poke tiny holes to inject darkness over time to weaken you. And then, when it’s time, he will go in for the kill. See, he had you once, before you were a child of God. He knows the things that really get to you. He knows where you are weak and what it takes to break you down. Sometimes, when he’s using people to get to you, they don’t even know they are being used as an instrument for darkness. That’s hard to watch, and even harder to handle. So, you get mad at the people that hurt you. Satan wins. You give up. Satan wins. You stop doing what God asks you to do. Satan wins. So, what do you do when Satan is trying his best to break you? You armor up.
Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Powerful, huh? Word. In full transparency, right now I am in the midst of a Spiritual Warfare. I anticipated it when I listened to God and started this blog. Word and truth reach people, it can change lives for the better, and Satan hates that. So, he’s giving it to me from a couple different places right now. When it started I didn’t automatically think, “Oh wow, this is Spiritual Warfare. Let me go get my sword and shield.” That’s just not a typical first response to a turn of bad events. It caught me off guard, upset me, caused stress, made me literally unable to concentrate on the task God gave me (this blog), made me lose sight of the bigger picture, lessened my ability to be the best mom and wife I could be, made me an ineffective servant, and overall made me feel defeated. I wanted to give up. I wanted to crawl in bed and say: “Ok jerk, you win. This hurts too bad. I don’t want to face it. I’m tapping out.” That’s the easy way out though. While I don’t have to like or accept what is happening to me, I can be proactive about the pain that it will cause.
So, the story circles (cue… and… action). I was doing dishes last night, tears flowing. I was mad and hurt. I looked at Jeremy and said: “I think I am under attack right now. This feels like Spiritual Warfare.” He agreed with me while he fried some bologna. We talked about it for a minute, and that was that. I started rocking Silas to sleep while Jeremy handed out supper. As Phoenix walked past me he stopped, turned around, and his eyes pierced through my soul as he asked me this question: “Mom, do you know what Psychological Warfare is?” I froze and then asked him why he asked me that. He said he didn’t know. So, then I asked him how he even knew those words, he’s 7… That’s not in a typical seven-year old’s vocabulary. He said he saw it on a show on Nick as he happily sauntered into the kitchen to get his supper. I looked at Jeremy in shock and asked if he heard what Phoenix said. There, in that moment, as we were about to eat grilled cheeses and fried bologna, God was there. He validated my thoughts. While “Psychological Warfare” and “Spiritual Warfare” may not be word for word, it was what I needed in that moment.
If you find yourself in the midst of Spiritual Warfare, know that God is with you. He gave us the armor we need to fight it off, we just have to turn to him to know how to use it. Never cease in prayer, for yourself or for the ones who hurt you. Plant your feet firm in the word, put your shield up, and take your stand. You only break if you allow it to break you. And, when I say fight, I mean fight God’s way. Don’t fight dirty in a back alley like you want to inside. The enemy is Satan, and you can only fight him off with God.
Fiery arrows hurt, but I have the Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit. With God on my side I will never fail. I will keep fighting the good fight, and I will keep on keeping on. The good thing about fiery arrows is that they don’t stay lit forever.
Peace, Love, and Jesus,