Wrestling Against Spirits

As I prayed last night, felt restless. I couldn’t sleep. My ankle was hurting and I rested it on a pillow. How long will this continue to hurt, Lord? He took me into scriptures to remind me that our afflictions are a direct picture of things taking place in the spiritual realm.

The apostle Paul had told us that, “all things natural, speak to the eternal things of God.” I have always kept this in mind when dealing with things in my life. “What does this mean Lord? Why is this happening? He reminded me of His words to Eve and the Serpent. “I shall put enmity between you and the woman. Between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

Yes, this was always interesting to me. First that women, do not carry the seed, so our Lord was already speaking future tense, to the virgin birth, of Jesus Christ. But the offspring of the serpent and the Lord would be at war. His second part of this scripture is to tell us the outcome. Although the serpent would inflict great pain, with the “striking of the heel, it is not a fatal blow. The “crushing of his head,” is the fatal blow. This happened with the crucifixion. We represent Him on this earth. So we are to walk in His power and authority.

So I know that I am constantly at war. Praying and battling the enemy. Lifting up my loved ones and coming against him in my spirit. He may be relentless, but so am I. The Lord given us instructions in this war. “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

Many people interpret this to mean, ‘ignore, or turn away from temptation. But this is not the correct interpretation at all. If we look at this in the original language, the word is; anthistemi and it means; to stand against, oppose,  or withstand.

So He’s telling us we will be under attack and to stand against this onslaught. It is a military term. He had already told us that we have the covenant but the enemy of our souls is only going to take what he can. Just as in a war, the enemy tries to take the land. We must occupy and not give in. Not with ourselves, or our loved ones. We must continue to oppose him. When he sees it is not an easy target, he will flee. But note this; he will return. He will never stop trying.

We are told in scripture that, the enemy comes to rob, to kill and to destroy. But Jesus Christ comes to give life, and life abundantly.” So we know the plans the enemy has, and if we lay down and let him, he’ll take our life and the life of our loved ones. So stand firm!

I had a dream last night. My fence in the back came toppling down, like an accordion. Now I just had a new fence put up and I saw it in my dream. It was just what I had seen when the hurricane came through here one year. My whole fence just toppled inward. I ran to bolster it up again. Well, as I said, our Lord speaks to us, if we have ears to listen. In dreams, visions and through people.

Because I felt so unsettled this morning, I began to read the Psalms. I opened to Psalm 62 and I read; “How long will you assault a man? Would all of you throw him down-this leaning wall, this tottering fence? They fully intend to topple him from this lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. Find rest, oh my soul, in God alone.”

God confirms His words. He allowed me to search for the meaning and remind me of the warfare. He reminded me that my hope comes in the name of the Lord. I then thought of my ankle once more. He showed me that although I am in pain, my enemy has already been defeated. He told me that He has given me, All power and authority to trample the scorpions and serpents, and the mighty lion and cobra.” But He didn’t say that it wouldn’t hurt.

He also told us that” we are not wrestling against flesh and blood.” He uses this word wrestle, or ballow-to throw, (more or less violent or intense):arise, cast out, dung, lay, lie, pour, put up, send,  strike, throw down, thrust. We can see this is very serious combat, and in this part of scripture, we are also given our tools to fight this battle. (Ephesians 6)

There is war in the heaven’s, and I’m not backing down. I had a devotional with my son the other day and we were reading about the darkness and the light. We cannot, “throw out darkness.” We can only let the light in, to combat darkness. This is what I see so many people trying to do. On their own strength, they try to battle against the darkness. They try to be good enough on their own merits. It’s impossible. He tells us that “It is not by might nor power, but by His Spirit, that we overcome. We can only surrender to Him, the Light of the World, in order to drive out the darkness. This is what our redemption means. It is not only salvation but deliverance.

So, I stand firm and resist the enemy. I stand for myself and everyone the Lord has in my life. I know what a mess I was until I let His light come in. I’ve been redeemed.

Our Lord will guide us!

A pillar of cloud to guide us!

A pillar of cloud to guide us!

As I watched the horror unfolding at the school in Connecticut, yesterday, I was reminded that our Lord holds this world in His hands. He told us that it would continue to become darker as the light would get brighter.

What does this mean? Well, if one is now forced to acknowledge evil in this world, then we must also understand that there is a force of good. A supreme being which controls this universe. The eyes of those in darkness are now opened to the Truth.

In the face of tragedy, those long-held beliefs of us becoming our own god, that truth is relative to each person.How can this be, when our own Lord tells us, “The heart of man is evil, who can know it?” We see that this cannot be. How can all of us live according to our own dictates? As this would mean that this horrible act of murder, is fine, if this was this man’s truth.

I was reading about Winston Churchill’s beliefs being challenged, when he was in the midst of war. All the philosophical ideas, which he purported, now came into question. As he realized none of them held up when facing his enemies. He revisted the Christian ideals which his nanny had instilled in him. He stated that it isn’t when times are easy, that people ponder the question of eternity.

No, we must acknowledge that there is a moral code, programmed into each human being. We know that these acts are evil. Our Lord told us in His Word, that “His laws have been written upon every mans heart, so that we have no excuse when we stand before Him.” (Hebrews 8:10)

Truth is absolute. It is one of our Lord’s names. He told us that by this Truth, we would also be hated, by those who choose to continue in their ways. But this Truth guides us and protects us. We must understand that we are in a world full of evil. But if we look to Him, for guidance, He will always lead us. He loves us and desires us to “turn to Him in our time of trouble. And He shall deliver us.”

The god of this present age, has tried to push Him out of the picture. Saying as the serpent did, in the garden, “Did God really say that you shouldn’t eat of this tree?” Questioning God’s authority is the beginning of our downward spiral. As a nation founded on God’s Word, and as a world system. We cannot move forward without His lead.

On my trip to Israel, the Lord reminded me of this in a very profound picture. As we stood around the Menorah, in front of the Knesset, we began to pray. Suddenly, clouds appeared as pillars, above the Menorah. It was a most incredible sight and I was grateful that I caught it on my camera.

A reminder that, “He would guide us as a pillar of cloud by day, and fire by night.” Of course this was just a word picture, but I knew He had done this same thing for Moses and the Israelites. To give them a concrete picture of His presence. I have show these pictures to many people. I don’t need this reminder, as some people do. But the Lord wanted me to share this very powerful picture with others, so they know, He is always watching over us.

His desire is that we turn to Him, as children run to their father’s in times of distress. We need to go back to the foundation. The very beginning. Where things began to turn bad. As Nehemiah did, we must also recognize that it is only with our God, that we can and must rebuild.

If it were not for our Lord, no one would have been able to escape Egypt. It is for this reason, He told them to depend solely, on Him. For guidance and all their needs, while wandering. Yes, He delivered them from Egypt. A picture of our world in this day. But because of their stubbornness, He allowed them to wander. Even in the midst of their wandering, He taught them, that all of their provision comes from Him.

But we as people, like to repeat history. And it is; HIS story. He allows us each to go our own way. But in spite of this, He provides for us. Until we can come to the realization, that He is our Father. And like a Father, He doesn’t want us to turn to Him, as children who are caught doing wrong. Or to get something in return. But He wants us to turn to Him out of love and devotion. And as the Prodigal Son came running, He stands with His arms opened wide! Patiently waiting for us to realize that this world has nothing to offer us. He loves us. Stop running and turn to Him.

Rebuild the Foundation

I was talking to someone I love about this the other day. I wanted to speak to her about this in our lives, as I could see the enemy destroying our family and the ones around us. He is very clever in his tactics and I could see the deception was taking its toll on all of us.

“Let’s get together and talk, so we can rebuild the foundation.” I told her. I actually left, and mulled those words around in my head. That must have come from the Holy Spirit, I thought. As I was returning home to a kitchen which was about to be demolished. Her son was going to be helping with this project.

I was not relishing the fact, as I have an elderly mother to care for, and a host of other concerns. I do have a teenage son, and his nephews, which is a joy for them. This I thought would be the only bright side of the whole event. And the fact that I would be leaving on a vacation. But then again, I would be returning to this.

Well, as things go, my washing machine, broke down right before I left. I wasn’t happy about this. My pool turned a sickening shade of green, and refused to clean, regardless of how many chemicals I dumped into it. I was calling my pool service back. I had suspended it last year, in the hopes of saving money, and now was forced to look at this out my kitchen window, with the added shame, of having Mike, the Pool Guy, look at me with the, “I told you so, look. I promised him, I didn’t cheat on him with another pool guy. However, he knew I probably spent more money trying to do it myself.

The vacation I have to say, was eternally priceless. I saw the stage I have reached in the care of my mother. I have been stretched by the Lord. She tested me in every area possible. But this was something different. Last year, she refused to sit in a wheelchair, making it impossible to take her to a theme park. I so wanted her to see the things, my brother, Chris had seen, before he died. This was his last wish, to go to Disney. And we were able to take him.

This year, she was much more compliant, and I was incredibly surprised, that she not only went to the Magic Kingdom and spent the whole day, but I went with her, all alone, to Epcot, and she also spent the whole day. I was also surprised, at the closeness, I felt to her. I wanted to see everything through her eyes. I pointed out every detail to her. I wanted her to know what my brother saw, so that she would be excited.

I realized at the end, that I had changed. I wanted this honor to be her servant. I knew this was the highest honor that could be bestowed on anyone. I had never looked at it this way before. I complained and whined. At times, I felt exhausted and resentful. When she was ungrateful, I would be angry that my needs were not met, and “who was taking care of me?” Forgetting that the Lord is always watching over me. Then, He reminded me that if He gives these precious souls to me, why would He not give me the things I need to care for them?

I had a new perspective. As I cared for my mother like a child of mine. I was so protective of her. I cried at the thought of one day losing her. She had become my baby. And my children would one day become my protectors. I wanted them to learn the meaning of empathy. I wanted them to watch and learn.

This is how we build the foundation. And if this foundation is flawed, we must then go back and rebuild this. We are told by the Lord, “to train a child up in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from this.”

When, we returned from the trip, I had forgotten about the washing machine. I got online and researched what could be causing this problem. I found it would not go through the rinse cycle. Other’s seemed to be having the same problem. In an article, it stated, it was an easy fix. An order from a parts repair and it should save hundreds in repair costs. I talked to my ex husband and we decided to try to fix it ourselves.

I ordered the part. And it looked easy enough. Well, it was an ordeal. As instructions go. They never quite give you the whole picture. I looked at it as an analogy for life. They take you part way there and leave you hanging. And just when you’re about to give up…you decide, whether you want to figure out the rest or not. We had to learn the language of the instructions. And I realized a long time ago, he doesn’t have a lot of patience and a rather bad temperament. So, I pointed out what I thought were the places to remove some things. He is mechanically inclined which is good. But he doesn’t like to give credit to others for knowing anything. But I don’t mind. I just do what I do. We finally took apart the  machine, for the one little part. We clipped it in. Then we had to put it back together. That’s where we had a problem. He was ready to throw in the dirty towel. (Yes, pun intended.)

I said, alright, I’ll just call to have repair come and set it on the frame. This frustrated him. Since we were all the way there. We took a break. And I went in to look at it. “Hey,” I said. It looks perfect. It’s sitting on the frame, the same height as the dryer. Unless, someone supernaturally adjusted it. I see, nothing wrong with it.” He came in and started putting the screws in. He said, “That’s weird. Let’s just put it back.”  He started it up and it went through the rinse cycle immediately.

My son was in the next room, as he heard us cheering. But to me that was the most important part. My daughter said, he turned to her and said, “They must have fixed the washing machine.”

My son has learned sexist remarks, and all kinds of negative things from his father, which I try to correct. He says, he just joking. But there are strongholds which I try to tear down. These become belief systems.

Those are just the type of remarks I don’t want my son making, or believing. And this is the type of foundation, I don’t want him to have.

So the foundations which we give our children are very important. They must be based in truth and I am a believer that God’s Word is truth. We cannot be wrong if we submit our lives to His Word.

He tells us that “the enemy comes to rob, to kill and to destroy, but He comes to give life, and life more abundantly!

So just when your life seems stuck, and you can’t get it to move forward, don’t be confused by those messages that you are getting. They’re like the instructions that come with a washing machine. Meant to confuse to rack up bills. You call on the Lord. He keeps things simple, His burden is light. “Behold, though your sins, are like scarlet, I will make them whiter than snow.”