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.

Discipleship and Suffering

The innocence of youth

Wow, had I really forgotten all of this? Yes, I made the statement of faith,(below), that I had walked in so strongly for many,many years, but had started to fall. And falling hard. In the book of Daniel it outlines this in great detail. “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or  plundered.” Yes, we cannot look at these words in the natural either, but fall by attacks of the mouths and people bringing slanderous accusations against us, robbing us of our livelihoods and burning us with their words and taking us captive with their lies. Yes, many will fall prey to these attacks. This is from Daniel 11:33  Now verse 34-35 “When they fall, they receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will join them, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.”

And what does our Lord say about His bride when He returns to bring her home? “That she shall be pure, without blame, and spotless”
So we know that this purging will continue until the time of the end.
Why would I have forgotten this? Well, because it is sin that hardens the heart and I had my eyes darkened.
It is the whole purpose of his allowing us to “fall by the sword.”
The Holy Spirit brought a memory back to me this morning which I shared with my son. When I was a little girl, my brother had bunk beds in his room. My father told us to go and lay down for a nap I was on the bottom bunk and he was on the top. I was about 5 and he was 4.
We were talking and he was fiddling around with the light fixture above his bed.At this point he asked; “Hey do you want to switch beds?”
“Yea!” After all, who wouldn’t? It was like getting the front seat in the car! I couldn’t understand why he was offering but thought it quite nice of him.
I had been on the top bunk for less than a couple of minutes when the light fixture that he had just been playing around with, came crashing down. I remember the sickening sound as it hit the floor and smashed into a million shards of glass.
I could hear my dad running down the hall and throwing the door opened to the room as he yanked me off the top bunk and screamed in his drunken voice for my brother to follow us down the hall into the living room.
He stood me in front of him with my brother at my side and yelled into my face, “Why did you break that light?!” I was terrified as I looked into his red face and I said “I didn’t do it.” At this point he took his open hand and slapped me as hard as he could. “Liar! That didn’t fall down by itself! Now tell me again! Why did you break that light fixture?” “I didn’t do it dad!”
Again, he pulled his hand back and slapped me. “You are a liar!” This time my lip had cracked and it was bleeding.
I looked at my brother and I was sobbing. I told him, “he was on the top bunk and we switched.” At this point he told me that I was worse than a liar to be blaming my brother for something he didn’t do, and I think I learned a valuable life lesson.
I hurt that my own father was calling me a liar. I felt compassion for my brother too as we shared years later. He said, “you didn’t really think I was going to confess when I saw him slapping you around like that, did you?” lol
I realized that I couldn’t possibly defend myself against these accusations. If a person is going to believe what appears to be true and the more I tried to defend myself, the more I appeared to be lying. It just seems that the Lord had to take me all the way back in my life to show me a simple truth.People believe what they see. That is why the gospel message is difficult. Faith is unseen. He tells me to stop my defense and these are wicked spirits with wicked schemes. I am called to just stand. Just as I did when I was that little girl.
 It didn’t change the love I had for my father or my brother,
Of course to have knowledge of my heavenly Father would mean to rectify the image of all of the early memories I had of this type of discipline. And disciple being the abbreviated form of discipline is what the Lord has been trying to teach me.
It has nothing to do with what my earthy father has taught me.
I had nightmares of him chasing me with a belt. I would hide in a little closet so that he wouldn’t find me. I know my father loved me, but he had no understanding of true discipline and usually it was under the influence of alcohol and anger.
It was a short stint in our home at any rate and now I see the reprove of the Lord and the suffering of a true disciple is so much different in its intent and its purpose.
“Matthew 10:17 “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them, and to the Gentiles.
v22″All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
v27″What I speak to you in dark, speak in the daylight;what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.”
Yes,in all these circumstances, the Lord can still use us broken vessels. The wicked spirits, keep on trying to engage us in the same natural behaviors. It’s a constant battle which requires the armor of God being applied daily.
One day though, as I continue to “submit to God and resist the enemy, he will flee.”
I see him, I”m not ignorant of his devices nor his schemes and I know he is all smoke and mirrors.
So, lie as he does and he is speaking his native language, I shall not be moved. I know my defender, The Lord of Hosts the Kind of Kings- will stand ready with my plea at the final judgment.And I”m not worried one bit.