There is a battle raging. I can feel it in the depths of my soul. It is making me physically ill. And I am sick of it. Literally.
The more I learn about God, the closer I grow to Him. The closer I am to Him, the more I step into the calling He has for me. As I draw closer to God, my enemy begins to shake in his boots out of fear that God’s glory might begin to shine through me.
The hardest thing for many of us is to recognize our enemy and call him out on his actions. So often we see struggles and hardships and think they are things God is allowing us to go through. We fight with our spouse and yell at our kids. We stress over financial burdens and are easily offended by friends. Most of the time the reality that we are letting the enemy win doesn’t even occur to us. We are in the battle of our lives and we don’t even know it.
Here is an example. Several months ago I stepped out to publish my first book, a book about sharing the gospel of Jesus with our children. My blogging and writing picked up a notch and I began to see women around the globe ask questions about who God is in their life. People were being encouraged to strengthen their walk with God. In a tiny way, the Kingdom of God is being impacted for the good.
I began work on my second book and took a leap of faith by signing up for my first writer’s conference which is happening in just a few days. As the second book began to develop, God was doing some serious work in my heart. God is revealing so much of who He is to me and in an amazing way, my heart is already so expectant for what He will do with the words He is giving me.
In this past week, leading up to the She Speaks conference, the battle has been almost more than I can bear. Honestly, it has been more than I can bear. It has forced me over and over again to rely on my Savior. Physical pain has invaded every inch of my body. There is nothing that doesn’t hurt. I received some imaging reports that are a bit un-nerving and could be potential life changers for us. Emotionally, I have been stressed to the max to prepare for the conference and pitching my book to the publishers attending. Every little detail has tried to creep its way inside to overwhelming my heart. There isn’t a corner of my life that has gone untouched.
As I began to prepare my heart for worship with my church family this morning, I found a peace from the stress in anticipating praising my King. We even arrived at church with a few minutes to spare. As my husband and I sat in the worship center waiting for the service to begin it happened. There he was in all his mischievous grandeur, butting his way into my marriage. It was the one area I had managed to keep him away from this month. And I know without a doubt it was the devil as plain as day. In the two minutes before we were to begin worshiping Jesus, that jerk (the devil – not my hubby) jumped right in to start an argument. Literally, we stood up as the music started, speaking harsh and angry words to each other. I looked at my husband, gave him the classic mom hand, and said “Just stop! Thank you for ruining my worship this morning!”.
Satan – what a jerk!
I cannot even tell you what the first song we sang was. I didn’t sing. I stood there mad as a hornet at my husband. How dare he disagree with me right now! How dare he do it now! About half way through the first song I caught myself. “Jen, chill. No one can steal your worship except you. Do not let this take your eyes off of Jesus. Whether you agree or disagree with your husband, God is still worthy of your praise.” I closed my eyes and asked God to forgive me and to help me focus my attention on Him. I remember the second song.
“…Love unfailing, never shaken. Hope awakens in You…”
It hit me like a ton of bricks. God is never shaken by the schemes of the devil as I was this morning. The devil tries to weaken my resolve, but the gospel that brings me peace, equips me with a firm foundation that is never shaken. My enemy wants to destroy my calling and diminish my convictions, but a solid shield of faith will stop his fiery darts.
The thing is though, I have to lift up that shield in order to use it. I can have all the spiritual armor I am given, but if I don’t stand up and use it against my enemy it is useless. And so am I. I have to believe what God says about Himself and then do what He requires of me. My hope must begin in Him. My hope awakens in my King.
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…” Ephesians 6:14-18
To become more like Him, I must always be watchful and aware of who my enemy is and how that enemy plays the game. I have to recognize who I am fighting. It isn’t my husband or my kids or even my own body. It is satan himself. And he plays dirty. He will do his best to get to me at my core even if that means using my family, my health, or even my thoughts.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
As we sang this song I stood there and wept. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the pretty tear drop running down my cheek . . . it was an overwhelmed, mess of who Jennifer Moye really is. Moments before I had asked God to help me focus my worship on Him, and boy did He show out! When we come to God expectant, identify who our enemy is and call him out on his junk, and praise our Father for overcoming – that is true worship my friends. When we plant our feet like concrete in Christ, we will most certainly endure the wrath of the devil’s fear, but we will not be shaken.
Through every rise and fall we are forever Yours!