Warning: This post contains some profanity.
This started out as an email to my Christian, female friends. As I was thinking about what I wanted to share I felt the Lord tug at me to post it instead. So here goes.
I have a bad habit and addiction…I love books, I buy books, lots of books. I start to read the books I purchase, or not. However, the ones I do start, I rarely if ever finish them. I have often wondered why, until today. Today I realized that the books I haven’t finished over the years tend to involve helping me grow in some way and also involve something to do with my faith. My theory is that until recently the enemy has been very skillful at distracting me, and on I move to something else.
I can’t say for sure when precisely my actions lined up with my conscious decision to spend time in prayer each morning with the Lord. I make decisions all the time to do things, the problem is I lack the follow through. Anyway, since the beginning of the year, I have spent more time in prayer and studying God’s word than I have in a long time. Specifically, I’m working in the book Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer.
Each morning I have decided to pray a few morning prayers from a prayer book, pray a specific prayer for my kids, my husband and my future son-in-law using the books The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent both by Stormie Omartian and complete four pages from Fervent. When I say complete four pages I mean read them, if they contain any bible verses I write those in my prayer journal, take notes and do any exercises she recommends.
Great! I’m sure your wondering so how does that relate to why I felt called to write a blog post. Well, since I started this activity things in my life aren’t the status quo. In some ways my thinking has shifted, in others, I feel like my eyes have been opened. A lot of the things have been happening at a personal level between me and God and me and my habits. However, one big thing that has been at the forefront, in my face, is the spiritual attack I have been under.
In the past, I’ve heard people talk about spiritual attack but didn’t understand it completely. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe in good and evil! And, I’m well aware that evil and the enemy are hard at work trying to pull us away from our destiny, living in happiness with our Lord for eternity in heaven. But, never have I ever felt the massive attack that I have felt lately, it was so strong earlier this week, that I woke up and went straight to mass (no shower, do not pass go, etc.). Then after mass, I sat in the chapel and prayed prayer after prayer. Before I knew it three hours had passed, I felt a bit better but not great. So, I decided that I would see if our priest was in and if he would give me a blessing. I figured at this point I wanted to use every spiritual weapon I had at my disposal.
When I stopped in to see him and explained why I wanted the blessing, he said I’ll give you a blessing, but this is more than a five-minute talk we need more time, let's meet Saturday morning; the week went on, I continued in prayer, standing my ground, and things got better. Saturday came, and I thought I don’t want to go have this talk, what are we even going to talk about, I’m doing better. Then I thought “NO!” that’s probably the enemy keeping from something that I need to hear. So I went.
And I was right, I needed the message he shared. This particular priest is not a warm fuzzy priest, he’s a tell you like it is priest, a little coarse around the edges and rough and tough priest, but an overall great guy who has a heart for the Lord and his flock. I shared my story, and what I was doing, working on, etc., when I was done I waited for his words of wisdom, his guidance and instruction on how to move forward. He looked at me and reiterated some things I already knew and then he dropped it, words that will forever reverberate in my mind, “Satan is a son-of-a-bitch! He sees you fighting for your marriage, fighting for your family, he makes a last ditch effort to throw shit at the wall to see if it will stick.” He went on to say some other stuff, but the meat and potatoes of it all was right there in that statement that caught me off guard.
I came home and finished my prayer and bible study all the while his words rolling around in my head and my heart. As I approached the end of my fourth page of reading in Fervent, I read these words, “Homes and families, marriages and children can all too easily devolve into combat zones—which was the last thing in the world you ever foresaw when you pledged your life to your husband at the wedding altar, when you brought home that bundle of joy from the delivery room. What I’m telling you is this: You may not be able to control all the discord and unwise choices that occur in the various corners of your house or among the people you share a family with. But you can make sure the only place you engage in combat is in the heavenlies, in prayer, in secret. The enemy who’s intent on disrupting the peace in your home doesn’t flinch when you try to force your own fixes upon it, but he does start worrying when a wife, a mother, a daughter, or a sister starts avoiding the noise at the periphery and starts making some noise of her own, right outside the door to the devil's workshop.”
All the while I’m reading and writing down scripture, the Holy Spirit is whispering over and over, share this with your sisters, share this with other women, they need to know how wily and conniving the enemy is. I have empowered you, blessed you with all the graces under the heavens (Eph 1:3).
We are being lied to people, we aren’t fighting our children, we aren’t fighting our spouses, we are fighting satan! He works to divide us, to hurt us because in our pain we are alienated, alienated from each other, from our families, from God! When we are alone, and in pain, he comes back and keeps turning the screws to make sure that we lose hope, we lose faith, and we lose our trust in God and everyone we love. If he can do that, then he wins. But hear me, you are not alone! You may be beaten down and feel defeated, but you aren’t! Our God is a God of faith, hope, and unceasing, forgiving love! All we have to do is turn around, seek Him, and He is there. His words are truth, read them, live them and know that they are your weapons against (as my priest says) that son-of-a-bitch satan! Do not give up! Stand firm in the Lord! Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stands against the devil’s schemes! (Eph 6:10-18) I’m right there with you! Let’s stand firm together!
Resources for your arsenal: