If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

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I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Monday, March 7, 2016

When Spiritual Attacks Happen

Our family and our church families have been under spiritual attack lately.  It felt like we returned home from the hospital, just caught our breath, and then battles started happening all around us. I have responded appropriately at times and have felt the desire to respond inappropriately more often.  I was thinking today about what you do when the enemy attacks and I have a few pointers from my last couple of weeks.

1. Don't Retreat  
I will be honest and say that is generally my first instinct.  More than once over the last few weeks, I have been ready to pack up my little family and start over somewhere new.  I have a "See ya later. This is for the birds" shotgun response in me and my voice of wisdom (otherwise known as my husband) is always there to remind me not to move until God gives the command.  

Many battles have been lost quickly due to a retreat.  Isn't that the attacker's goal?  An instantaneous, get-me-the-hell-outta-here response?  So if winning is your goal, retreating is not your option. 

2. Consider the Battle to be a Compliment
Warfare 101 says, if you are being attacked, it means that you have something that someone else wants.  If you are being attacked by Satan, then God must be doing something good around you. I guess instead of worrying when we are under attack, we should be losing sleep when Satan is leaving us alone. 

3. Quit Dressing for a Party
I had coffee with a friend the other day and she had some great words.  She said, "Christians need to stop dressing for the prom.  God did not tell us that this life would be a party.  He told us to prepare for battle and put on our armor."

Eph 6:10-11   Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

4. Stop Taking it Personally
The next part of that little gem in Ephesians tells us that our battle is not against flesh and blood but  against spiritual forces.  In other words, it is not as much about you as it is about a much larger battle for the hearts and souls of God's people that you just happen to be a part of.  Remember, consider it a compliment. :)

5. Take your Battle Cues from the Revolutionary War
One of the spiritual attacks was aimed directly at me and it wounded me.  I mean:  cried off and on for days, questioned my calling, all but packed our boxes to retreat, deeply wounded me.  But then I had to stop taking my cues from how I felt and started taking my cues from the Continental Army. 

Did you know that the Continental Army suffered from lack of food, poor shelter, and diseases like small pox and typhus?  They were beat down folks but yet they continued to fight.  They knew that someone wanted what they had, that victory was the only option, and that they were called into the fight.  So when you feel beat down, sick of the battle, sucker punched at the turn, and like you just want to curl up in your Revolutionary War tent and take a day off, you need to take your cues from the Continental army and keep fighting, typhus and all.

6. Look to the Future
This is the good part friends.  Looking to the future reminds you that the Bible tells us we win! It gives you that spark you need to take the next step.  It also reminds you what the goal is.  Perhaps the Continental army can be our example here too.  They knew what losing meant.  Even better, they had hope for what life looked like on the other side of the battle, when the enemy was defeated, and they could walk in victory.  

I have been doing a lot of looking to the future lately and I have found that spiritual battles can bring us to a place of re-evaluation of our priorities.  They give God a chance to get our attention, take our eyes of the comfortable position of the every day, and set our course for the next journey.  

Here is the passage I was telling you about.  Enjoy and get to fighting. 

The Armor of God       Eph 6:10-18
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

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