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