Every now and then I write a blog post that I realize is for a more “limited” audience. There are a few subjects that sound a little “out there” for the average person. Satan is one of those subjects and therefore this is one of those posts.
I’ve written this blog post about how to survive the dark days and look for all that God is doing in the midst of them. If we choose to walk with God, we choose to annoy the enemy. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. God has given us great strength so that we are equipped for the spiritual battles. Read Ephesians 6:10-18 to find great Scripture for the battle. The entire book of Revelation is the absolute assurance that we win the war. But, how do we handle the occasional “hits” that come while living on this side of heaven?
Jill Briscoe taught me one of my favorite answers for the hard days. I heard her teach this to a group of people in ministry, while I was at The Cove one year. Jill shared a personal story and then told us how she had continued to do her ministry during an incredibly hard time. The Lord taught her to “march around Jericho” once a day and then go back to the camp and get to work. She taught us that it was important to take the terribly difficult and often long-term prayer requests to God – once a day. Pray every morning for God to intervene, to heal, to help, to console, to bring peace, to do the miracle – then we are to trust that prayer to his perfection and get on with the rest of our day. We are not to be overwhelmed, subdued, or “knocked-out” by the hard times because there is always someone or something else that needs our attention and concern. This prayer technique has helped me to walk through some really hard times personally and still stand up in front of a crowd to teach a lesson or sit at a desk and write. I share this Jericho prayer lesson because I have learned from personal experience that it works!
One of Satan’s sharpest weapons is fear. Terrorism illustrates the power of fear as a weapon. Every day we could list ten things that we are afraid might happen. Most of us have one or two fears that are happening. How do we handle a spiritual attack that produces fear? When my son, Ryan, was going through radiation treatments every day to battle a cancer, I had moments of great fear for him and our family. I dreaded the three o’clock in the morning battles. (Satan LOVES to fight in the dark!) I learned to get up, turn a light on physically and then pray and read until God turned the light on spiritually as well. In other words, don’t take the hits of Satan “lying down.” A favorite verse that I would repeat was Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” We have to choose to trust in God, and when we make that choice, we choose to not fear Satan. It is impossible to choose to fear and choose to trust in God at the same time. We should never waste much time on our fears.
Finally, I fight with the power of God’s Holy Spirit. In a recent struggle, I was up praying in the middle of the night. Truthfully, I was not real pleased with something God had allowed and was therefore not feeling real pleased with God. As I write this, I am so grateful for the compassion and grace of God! I was praying/whining to God and when I had said what I wanted to say I gave God a chance to speak to me. As soon as I quit whining and God could get a word in edgewise, I felt the Holy Spirit remind me of Proverbs 3: 5-6. Most of you have memorized it – the rest of you need to! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” I remembered the verse and then I felt God say, “You know me.”
That one phrase was everything I needed. I do know God and so do the people I love. That knowledge is enough for me to know we are fine. I hate it when Satan lands a blow – but I love the fact that because of the power of God, his kids don’t ever stay down for the count. Every blow that lands is just another lesson in how to “duck” the next time. Maybe the goal of this life is to arrive in heaven with a couple of black eyes and a toothless grin. Then we can say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight!”
Now…it is time to march around Jericho – once more.