Spiritual Warfare occurs within us every day. Fighting Satan’s evil lies….
“I am not good enough.”
“Look what she has!”
“I wish we could go on that vacation…”
“Why does this always happen to me?”
I just have moments where bouts of depression or unworthiness hit me and they seem to paralyze me. Satan whispers, “Why keep trying?”. “Why continue to be positive or hopeful?” But God says in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV):
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
With my everyday stress, envy, exhaustion, and all of those daily temptations and attacks, it is easy to give into fear and anger. But PRAISE GOD, His word speaks to me.
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power and love and self control.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP)
I often think, “Okay…I will not fear, Lord. I will trust in you and have a spirit of love and self discipline.” Oh, but that virtue, self control….I am quickly brought back to a spiritual warfare within myself. For instance, giving into a quick temper, harsh anger, or simply just yelling at my kids out of frustration instead of calmly handling the situation. I pray consistently for the virtues of gentleness and self control. And I start to reflect on my shortcomings…my sins. Sit with that for a minute…SIN. Recognizing and admitting our sin is humbling. But, with the next verse, He quickly lifts me up and sends me a reminder.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.”
Romans 3:23 (NIV)
What a great gift from our Lord! Not only does he allow us to repent and start fresh with God’s mercy and forgiveness, but, importantly, he reminds me that I am not alone in my sin. So, I won’t beat myself up or settle in shame. I should keep trying. I am reminded others are human as well. Not only does this help me know that I am not alone, but it also reminds me that everyone makes mistakes.
I fear, myself included, that we have become too impatient, quick to judge, and harshly talk about other people’s shortcomings. I always tell my kids that there are two sides to every story and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. When we feel passionate about something, it’s easy to be blinded to the truth or the good in the other person. As they say, “Don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” This chaos from the world around me seeps into my soul and it is contagious. It is easy to think, “Why keep trying?” The cyclical wheel of my emotions come back to being saddened by the hate that has become so loud. It says in Psalms 42:11:
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again – my Savior and my God!”
Spiritual Warfare attacks us personally. Recently, I had a friend who rejected me because of my beliefs and the way I try to share God’s message of hope. I saw Satan’s lies working through this situation. The doubt was trying to creep in and discourage me from being the light. I felt the disappointment in myself creeping in, telling me that I have failed to save that one person. Satan whispered, “Why keep trying? You should just be quiet.” We are continually attacked and tempted to extinguish our light. In these situations though, we must continue to immerse ourselves in His Word, surround ourselves with fellow Christians, and put on the Armor of God. We must continue to strengthen our faith, to share hope, and encourage more kindness and patience for each other. We must stand firm and be witnesses to His Faith, not give into temptation and become entrapped by the lies and deception of Satan. Evil can and will disguise itself in many ways and work it’s way into the heart and mind. I love this reminder from Ephesians 6:12 (CEV) though,
“For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world.”
Spiritual warfare is going on all around us and we have to stand strong and pray for protection. While the arrows of evil fly all around me, I sometimes think, “Why keep trying? It seems pointless. I am one person. Why does it matter?” As I type about these arrows, I instantly think of one of my absolute favorite songs, “On Eagles Wings.” As I sing the words from this song, I’m always given renewed strength to keep trying:
You need not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that fly by day
You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord
who abide in His shadow for life
Say to the Lord,
“My refuge, my rock in whom I trust.”
It continues to say, that He will “make you to shine like the sun.” I want to be like the sun and continue to help be a light for Him; for His goodness; for His kindness. “And hold you in the palm of His Hand”. How comforting it is to hear that He will raise us up and hold us in the palm of His Hand. He is our protector, our guardian, our rock.
I find myself praying about the same thing lately, especially when I’ve just thought, “Why keep trying?”. Throughout this entire year, when I’ve felt distraught and hopeless, I’ve gone back to the same prayer. Only the Lord knows what is good and only He knows the full truth. I pray:
“Please Lord, let good overcome evil and let the truth come to the light.”
As I thought about our theme for the month, Spiritual Warfare, I struggled to write or know where to start. Then I realized my simple prayer is exactly that, a prayer for the spiritual warfare going on in my own life and around me every day. I’m generally a positive person, but this year, as I’m sure most would agree, it has been hard to stay hopeful. The evil and hatefulness that we are experiencing and witnessing so publicly is gut-wrenching and downright scary to me. And the evil schemes that are hidden, are even more terrifying. But as He reminds us in Proverbs 29:25(NIV):
“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.”
I try to wake up each morning and submerge myself in His Word. Not only because that is what He commands, but it is also our food; it gives us strength. And, if I’m being frank, what other choice do I have? It does me no good to wallow in self-pity or sadness. I have to keep trying. As 1 Timothy 4:6 (NIV) says,
“be nourished on the truths of faith and of the faith and of the good teaching of Christ Jesus”.
We are weak, but IN HIM we can gain strength. And so, I will continue my prayer, “Lord, let good overcome evil and let the truth come to the light.” I will keep trying to be His humble servant and a light to others in this world. May this version of “On Eagles Wings”, encourage you to keep trying as well.