I’ve been really pressing into the Lord lately as I learn through the waiting and trust through the finding with this upcoming move. So it’s not surprising that as I work to build my faith, Satan works to tear it down. Now I don’t believe the devil is behind everything. No, sometimes natural consequences to poor choices we’ve made or circumstances due to a fallen world come about. Other times life is plain hard.
But on occasion, Satan really is to blame. He likes to tear down, hurt and destroy what he can. Back to my story…
Last week, I’d had an especially busy day talking to the Lord about all sorts of things. I was still talking to Him as I crawled under my covers ready to get some much needed rest. And then the thoughts came. The worries and stress of finding a place to live, finding a camper to temporarily live in, all the packing still left to do, the lists I should make, the what ifs. On and on the thoughts poured in crowding out the peace I had only moments earlier reveled in.
No, I thought. I have nothing to worry about. I choose to rest in the Lord in the midst of all the chaos. He has a plan and will reveal it step by step as needed. He has our home for when the time is right. I will take this one. day. at. a. time. Bolstered by giving it all to Jesus, I relaxed again waiting for sleep to come.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? ~ Matthew 6:25-30 (ESV)
But the fear came instead flooding my mind. Did I hear something? What was that shadow? Old fears I’ve long battled since childhood. Fear of being alone in the dark. Fears I have conquered before. Fears I refuse to allow to swamp me again. God does not give me a spirit of fear I thought. I refused to allow them to take hold. I got up and walked through the dark, empty upstairs with the knowledge that my God is bigger than this fear. I. have. nothing. to. fear. Nothing.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
Again I crawled back in bed and settled against the pillow. This time I drifted off to sleep. And the nightmares began. One after the other. Nightmares of someone coming after me, after my children. In the dreams I fought against those grabbing hold of me, and I opened my mouth to scream warnings to my children. Only muffled sounds emerged. I couldn’t cry out. I thrashed about trying to break free desperate to scream for help. I couldn’t get loose, couldn’t shout for help. Until I woke. Nightmare after terrifying nightmare, each the same scenario as before.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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 6:10-12 (ESV)
Finally, I awoke enough to get up and pray. I posted for prayer on Facebook because by now, I knew this was a battle, and I wanted other prayer warriors joining with me. I didn’t wait for replies, because I knew some would see it and begin praying. I went back to bed.
I slept after that although still fitfully, and when morning finally arrived, I felt like I had wrestled all night: physically, mentally and spiritually. I’d gone three rounds with the devil, but I had won. The victory was and continues to be mine because with God on my side, who can stand against me? Definitely not Satan. He’s already been defeated, and he knows his time is running out.
I want to encourage you if you find yourself in a battle, it’s already been won! Arm yourself with scriptures and fight the good fight, but the victory is ultimately ours because of the work Jesus did on the cross. He broke the chains that bind us. Walk in that. Cling to it if necessary, but own this truth. And if you need prayer, I will join you in praying. We do not have to accept what Satan tries to throw at us. God has equipped us.