Stand your ground

 

Don’t ever try to tell me that spiritual warfare doesn’t exist.

I know better.

I’ve experienced it. I’ve battled it. I’ve the bruises, and the battle scars to prove it.

This has been a rough few weeks in ministry, in our family life.  And the enemy has taken full advantage of the exhaustion, the weakness, the illness, the fear, the frustration, using all of it to wear down our defenses.

We have been tested, tried, found lacking. Our faith has been stretched. Our confidence has been cracked.

We have been dealt blow after blow by the devil.  And he is a tricky one. He is, after all, the father of lies. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is going after our joy, our faith, our family.

Twisted words, half-truths, complete lies, veiled allegations, and angry outbursts have all left us wounded, angry, disappointed, disillusioned.  We are left here, shell-shocked, bleeding and weeping, as we question the why, the point of it all.  We question the desert we have found ourselves in, the dry, cracked thirst of our souls, parched and needing to step back into the streams of His grace and mercy.

But….and there is always a but in these situations…. I am so thankful that I serve a God who has overcome. A God who has defeated death, triumphed over the grave, and crushed the serpent under his heel. I may fail in my trials, but I know He doesn’t leave me or abandon me, even in the darkest of places. Though my soul may not know peace in this moment, His peace resides within me. I know I can find rest when I take upon yoke, his rhythm of grace.

Ephesians 6: 10-17

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 

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