In the Spirit World
Freckles are sprinkled across her nose, and two pigtails braided loosely are woven messy.
Her helmet is too big.
And her sword is covered in fingerprints.
Her tutu is tattered, and her skin peeks out from a hole in her tights.
But this ballerina is a warrior.
The enemy slithers to her side hissing his favorite slander….
“God does not love you.”
And then he sits back and watches as the soldier-ballerina dances through her day stumbling here, twirling there, falling as she makes her final leap.
In the Real World
As she cooks Hamburger Helper for dinner, the baby sits in his high-chair refusing his green beans. His shrill cry elevates an octave every few breaths.
The bank calls to tell her the mortgage is overdue.
And her internet had stopped working that day.
Was that bill late too?
She feels the oppression closing in, and she is so, so done.
A strand of hair falls over her eye as she prays. “Help me Jesus!”
As she prays a thought drifts through her frazzled brain . . . Turn on some worship music.
So she does.
And then another thought urges . . .lift up your hands and dance.
“But this is a battle!” She cries.
I know. replies the whisper inside.
So, there in her kitchen, she begins to dance. She lifts her hands to the heavens, closes her eyes, and offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise, her ballerina outfit replaced with jeans and a baggy mom-t-shirt.
The baby stops crying. He likes the music, and he likes watching Mommy dance.
Peace floods her soul.
The internet still refuses to work, and no money has fallen from the sky to pay the mortgage, but peace is there. She has hope.
And that’s all she needs.
I really don’t know how many of the bad things, difficult things, quirky things that happen during our day are caused by the enemy. Sometimes I think it’s just life. It’s the order of things on this planet. But the Bible does tell a story about a man named Job who had a lot of terrible things happen in his life, and Satan was the cause.
One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (Job 1: 6-12)
It sounds awful, doesn’t it? God picked Job to suffer. But why Job? I believe Job got the job because God trusted him. He was one of God’s favorites.
His friends told him he had sinned.
But Job wasn’t being punished, Job was in the middle of a spiritual battle much greater than he could fathom.
A Battle for our Minds
We are in that battle too. The fallen world is all around us.
But for us, though it plays out all around us, the main battle is in our mind.
Satan wants us to doubt God’s goodness, kindness, sacrifice, and love. He wants to remove the power of the cross or at least confuse the truth of its power.
He wants us to doubt that God has good things planned for us, so when bad things happen, we think God is punishing us or wants us to suffer.
But here’s the deal:
The Cross Wins
All of God’s punishment for our sins was poured out on Jesus on the Cross. There is now no more punishment for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
The cross ushered in a new covenant of the blessing of the Holy Spirit.
The old covenant was one of blessings and curses. If you obeyed, you were blessed. If you didn’t, you were cursed. But all the curse was placed on Jesus on the cross. (Galatians 3:13).
The Kingdom has come.
We want to be victorious!
We want to be strong.
We want to fight this battle well.
We want to live lives of peace and hope.
We want to be salt and light, but it’s hard to do when it seems we’re continually being slammed.
But we just need to be smarter than the enemy. We must be aware of his schemes.
There’s a place where we can go where the attacks and mind games no longer have their power.
It’s a place of trust.
A place of loving God and assured of His love for us.
Perspective in the Battle
In the story of Job, the enemy was looking for someone to attack, but who was ultimately in charge?
I see this story as an analogy of the bigger picture of humanity. I don’t believe God is up there hand picking who will be the next victim.
God loves us.
But what happens to Job at the end? It’s one of my favorite parts. After his friends try to understand Job’s suffering, and Job tries to vindicate himself, Job comes face to face with the Living God. Before the trial, Job’s faithfulness was a religious duty, done out of fear, but after the hardship, he knew God. And he was blessed.
I am learning to take this new perspective when I feel under attack or life seems to be unravelling and pray:
“Okay, Daddy-God, what are you showing me? You be glorified in this hardship, this pain, this wound, this grief, this fear.”
Then I get out my arsenal of weapons, Scripture, to demolish the enemy’s bullets, lies, and fiery arrows.
Are you ready?
These are not your typical warfare scriptures. Each one empowers our trust of God and His goodness no matter what we are facing. Trusting God’s goodness and faithfulness is Satan’s kryptonite.
Sneak Peek of Scriptures and the Truth that Wins the Battle: (Get the Printable)
- God is with us in the battle:
Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
• Write down what you’re facing right now. Ask for His strength and courage and ask for eyes to see His Presence.
- God is for us:
Romans 8:31: What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
• God sent His Son to die for us. The Greek word for God is Theos. Theos means Judge and Creator. What does it mean to know that the Judge of our souls is for us? How does this affect our today?
- God works all things for good:
Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
• Ask for God to show you how He can turn your problem into a good thing.
- Hardship makes our faith stronger.
Romans 5:3-5: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
• Why does God let bad things happen according to this bite?
- Jesus Redeems:
Job 19:25: I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
• Who wins in the end? Ask God to redeem (turn it for good) the struggle your facing now. And when he does, write it down!
- Trusting God takes the power out of the enemy’s tactics.
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
• Why can you trust God based on what we know in the Bible?
- God is merciful and faithful.
Lamentations 3:22-23: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
• Go watch the sunrise, and worship Him.
Wednesday Night Bible Study
Hey, join me this Wednesday night for a virtual small group. :) Come over to my house via Facebook at 7:30 PM ET, and we will dig deep into these scriptures. Come get a shot of encouragement and inspiration to make it through the rest of the week victoriously. If you’re not a FB peep, subscribe to my YouTube channel to get the latest teaching.
Need a Weekend of Faith Renewal?
It’s time again for the Beauty for Ashes Women’s Retreat at Wrightsville Beach, NC! This is our fifth one, and this year’s theme is Testify! We’re so excited about what God is going to do. If you want to know more, check out the Beauty for Ashes page.
I’m praying for you! Go out there and be a threat to the enemy with these fighting words–scriptures for those days of battle.