Day 4 of the week-long daily blog mission.
Dinner conversation at our house can get a little deep. You name it, we’ve talked about it. How big is space? Where did we come from? Before God created the universe, how could there be “nothing”? And how did God come to be? How was he created?
Basically, the types of questions we’ll only know after we die and meet our Maker.
Most dinners aren’t that deep, though. They sound more like: How was your day? What’s been your favorite thing about summer so far? What did you like about the movie?
Last night, we talked about the spiritual realm. The battle between good and evil happening all around us yet unseen. I don’t know much about it. And sometimes I feel silly even talking about it, like maybe it’s fabricated to explain away the bad things that go on in this world.
Then James reminded me that if I believe in God – who I cannot see – then why would I doubt the presence of evil spirits, even though they’re invisible.
Before Paul tells us to put on the armor of God, he prefaces it with this:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
There are several references to the evil forces in the spiritual realm, which makes it abundantly clear that while we are living here on earth, there is an unseen battle over our souls. Yeah, let that sink in for a second.
And that made me wonder, how do I know when I’m under a spiritual attack? My answer is: I’m not sure. But here’s what an attack is looking like for us at the moment. This crummy, medical mystery has caused me to:
- Preoccupy my mind on this world
- Doubt God’s authority and power over me
- Question God’s love and faithfulness
- Pulled me away from reading scripture and feeling God’s presence
- Prevented me from leading my small group
Additionally, due to my illness, James has had to pull away from leading his small group a couple of times. And has lacked the energy and mental capacity to move forward on a new ministry he’s trying to jump start.
PLUS, our girls have been affected, too. Rose has been more emotional, feeling lonely and unloved due to an empty love tank. We just haven’t had the time to give her the precious snuggles she needs. And Grace has been feeling left out, too. With me sick, James exhausted from stress, and the girls feeling unloved, it’s a perfect storm of nastiness.
While I don’t know much about spiritual warfare, it sure feels like our house is under attack.
So how will I fight the battle?
First, prayer. It can sound something like this: Father, you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the holy of holies. We believe in your goodness, your faithfulness and your power. If our home is under a spiritual attack, we command these spirits to leave under the power and authority you give us through your son, Jesus.
Or prayer can just be me talking to God throughout the day, refocusing my mind off my illness onto the cross. Sometimes I sing snippets of worship songs I know. Centering my mind on God puts my problems into perspective.
I’ve also asked every believer I know to pray for me – which I NEVER do. Because I’m a turtle. It’s hard for me to let others in, but I knew that to win this battle, I’d need a small army of people praying on my behalf.
Secondly, writing. Initially, this illness had kept me from posting a blog on time (every two weeks). Even before our family had talked about a possible spiritual attack, I could see I had been pulled away from this website. So even though I’m struggling with extreme fatigue, a headache, waves of anxiety, and generally feeling blah, I am writing a post a day. No matter what.
Third, the Bible. When I feel sick, I typically retreat from things that bring me closer to God. It’s hard to read the Bible when you have a headache, and you need a nap. But I shrugged off the excuses, and I read a little everyday. The words and stories may not always immediately pertain to my situation, but I feel a comfort and peace being in God’s word.
I once heard a sermon that said if you’re not in the middle of a storm, you soon will be. At the time, I was enjoying the space in between trouble. I knew a storm could hit at any moment, but it was hard to even imagine what that might be. Life was good. What could go wrong?
But that sermon was right; life is a succession of storms, and it’s our response that determines if we’ll grow and mature in our character, or be swallowed up.
I know your own problems are hard, but I beg you, don’t be consumed. When you take your eyes off of what’s going on here, and you put them on God, your whole perspective will change. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel. A new dawn on the horizon. A rainbow after the rain.
You will get through this.