So, there’s really no cute way to curtsey my way into this topic today, so I’m just going to just start spewing my heart. Which, as I sit here is both terrifying and an adventure because I honestly have no idea where this post is going to end up. But between you and me, that’s typically how my best posts begin.
Lately, this past week, I feel as though I have been under attack.
And yes, I am talking about spiritual warfare.
Now, let me pause, because whenever I bring up that term — or even worse: “Satan” — I instantly feel as though I’m just asking to be the subject of an SNL parody skit. Visions from Mean Girls come to mind, where Cady Heron is describing the homeschool kids:
But I just feel like no one wants to talk about spiritual warfare for fear of being seen as one of those “crazy Christians” that’s all in a tizzy about a concept that society will have you believe doesn’t exist.
Well, friends, screw it, I’m going there.
To be honest, ever since I hit 40,000 subscribers, I have felt spiritually attacked.
My mind has been hit with a thousand flaming arrows, trying to fill my head with lies and self doubt, and I’m going to be honest, they’ve been hard to resist.
Thoughts that my blog ministry is stupid, and that it doesn’t matter. Thoughts that berate me for being single and alone, without hope of ever finding a husband. Thoughts that cut at my social skills, looks, season in life – you name it. They’re coming in from all sides. Each one more damaging than the next.
And this is coming at a time when you’d think the exact opposite would be true. Things have been going great since 40K. I was interviewed on a podcast that I have dreamed about being on – and I can’t wait to share that with you in early 2019 when it comes out. My weekends have been filled to the absolute brim with social engagements with friends who truly care about me, and that I love. And heck, in last week’s post, I received a letter from a reader who told me that my book, Bloom, literally was a catalyst in her recovery from an eating disorder.
So why, the heck, am I listening to these lies that are filling my head that are straight from the pit of hell?
Why? Because I am human, living in a fallen world, and try as some people may to convince you otherwise, Satan is real.
I don’t think that I am alone in my experience this past week. I think that all of us, at one time or another, have felt bogged down by self doubt or discouragement, or inadequacy, or loneliness. I think those are universal obstacles. I just think that most people are afraid to talk about it.
But I also think that those are the exact cracks in our foundation that the devil likes to worm into, in order to gain a foothold in our lives.
A surprising paradox in all of this, is that you’d think that when you’re “down and out,” you’d be the most vulnerable to spiritual attacks. But I think the opposite is true. I think that when we have a momentum going; when we’re on fire for the Lord and eagerly chasing after His plan for our lives, that is when Satan is going to do everything in his power to throw as many road blocks in your way as possible. That he’ll bring along seven friends to trip you up and shove you off course. I don’t think that is a coincidence.
I was reading over that passage this afternoon, and I realized, for the first time, a very important thing.
Everything in that armor: — the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet in the gospel, shield of faith, helmet of salvation — those are all defensive articles. They are all passive, shields, used to defend oneself against an attack.
Except for one: The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The sword of the Spirit.
That is the only thing that was an offensive tool. An attack. A proactive tool.
And that’s when I realized: we do not have to do the fighting. The Spirit will do it for us.
And what a freakin’ relief that was. I don’t have to rely on my own strength to resist the spiritual attacks from the evil one. The Spirit will do that for me. I just need to ask. I need to just take up that Sword, and the Spirit will fight for me.
Yes, I need to take all the defensive actions possible – with faith, with the gospel, with truth — but the fighting is left up to the Spirit.
That kind of puts it in a new perspective, doesn’t it?
I know that I can’t just snap my fingers and *poof* magically be out of this cloud of darkness that has collected in my mind. But what I can do, is seek out the truth. Seek out Him. Seek out His presence. Which is exactly what I’m going to do. Right now. I’m going to crack open my Bible, and read His love letter to me: The Gospel.
Because the truth of the matter in all of this, is that Jesus has already won. He has overcome the world. And the evil one doesn’t even stand a chance against the King. And that, is a truth I can believe.
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