Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fight for Peace

One week after Abigail had gone to heaven, Teo's leave of absence had ended and he went back to work.  I'm sitting on the couch alone now...alone with my thoughts and my emotions spilling over!  And I hear words...lies: God doesn't love you!  If He did, why would He allow all this heartache? Why would He want His child to suffer?  Why would He take away the one thing you wanted and the joy and gift of a child?  Surely you've finally made Him angry enough and this is your's your fault this happened!  I knew whose words these were...these were not the words of my Father, but of the enemy of my soul!

It goes back to the garden of Eden, doesn't it?  The same lies spoken to me...spoken long ago to the first woman on the Earth!  There, in Genesis 3:1, we find those same seeds of doubt planted in Eve's mind and heart...doubts of God's love for her.  Here is Eve, having all the provisions God had created for her...a companion, a purpose, all her physical needs met, a beautiful home to live in, and best of all, the intimate fellowship with her Creator.  This is how much God loved her and thought of her before He even created her, that He would create everything as provision for her and Adam in advance.  As the chapter goes on, we see the serpent (Satan) approach her and begin his deception.  Satan first made Eve doubt what God said regarding His command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Then he flat out lied to her telling her she wouldn't die if she ate the tree (even though God said she would).  And lastly, he made her think God was withholding something even better from her (Gen. 3:5) by saying God is commanding her not to eat because He knows that Eve will be just like God.

I just finished studying this passage and I've learned that Satan's ammo is and has always been the same...he wants to steal your peace and your faith and trust in God and His promises...especially through a storm in life when you are most vulnerable!  1 Peter 5:8-9 says, "Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings."  There is such urgency in this verse!  He is looking for someone to deceive...and usually in times of trouble and heartache when it would be more tempting to listen to these lies and let them take root in our broken hearts!  

I remember those hard days...days when I felt like I was the enemy's punching bag, being bombarded with negative thoughts of God!  I also remember how God, in His tender mercies, kept his promise to me:  "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." (1 Cor. 10:13)  He sure did provide a way to escape...a way to fight this war inside my mind and soul!  I'd get on the computer and I'd see an email from someone in our church who had just thought of me and prayed for me and sent me Scripture to encourage me.  Precious, precious Words of God!  I'd all of a sudden remember verses from the Bible that I'd memorized throughout my life...verses that were so applicable to me in that moment!  This was the Spirit at work...the great Comforter bringing healing and providing weapons for me through this fight. 

I was reminded of the real spiritual war that I was in...daily!  I was feeling it now...the heaviness of this tiresome it was to keep my mind on Him in that moment.  Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."   In those dark moments, I was fighting...fighting for this peace.  I was searching and seeking and thirsting and yearning for Scripture...God-breathed Scripture!  I would verbalize out loud to Satan...that these were lies...that my Father does love me...that I was His daughter whom He gave His own Son up for!  I would read Scripture out loud and there is great power in that!  I remembered how Jesus himself overcame Satan when He was tempted on the mountain.  In Matthew 4, we see Satan trying to tempt Jesus three times and each time Jesus replied with "It is written..."  He quoted God's Word and it says in verse 11 that the devil left Him.  God's Word is SO powerful!  In Ephesians, we are instructed to put on the whole armor of God to stand against the schemes of the devil...armor of God including God's Word, faith, and prayer.  I was so aware of this war in those dark hours...and I was in it!  That peace that God had put in my heart was not going to be stolen through Satan's schemes!  I am a witness that if you take up the armor of God, if you read His Word (even when you don't feel like it), if you pray at all times (Eph. 6:18), God will do the rest!  He will fight on our behalf and the devil will flee!  

Dear friend, be alert and aware of the battle for your peace...your sanity...your faith...your joy...your soul!  Be prepared and fight this battle!  This oh so sweet peace is oh so worth it!

Ephesians 6:10-18
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.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.   In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints"

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