Do you know we are in a war? Seriously. I’m not asking if you know there is a good and evil. I’m not asking if you believe in Heaven and Hell. I’m asking if you know there is an enemy whose desire is nothing less than your destruction and eternal damnation.
The Bible says the enemy goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. It also says his character, the very thing that drives him, is the desire to kill, steal, and destroy. I think most of us do not realize the ravenous appetite of destruction that drives the enemy. I think we underestimate his hatred. I think we underestimate his cunning. I think we underestimate his willingness to use anything as a weapon against us, including those we love and who love us most.
This is not the stuff of childhood nightmares. This is real, and you better believe you are a target for the enemy’s rage.
Now, let me ask you this: Do you know there is a God who has power over this enemy? Do you know that the greatest weapon the enemy has is death, and it was defeated 2000 years ago when a stone moved and Jesus walked out of a tomb after laying there dead three days? Do you know the same power that caused that heart to pump and that blood to flow after laying there cold and stiff for three days lives in you? Are you aware that the authority that allowed Christ to speak to the sick in body and mind and give healing has been given to you as His ambassador in this world? Do you know as a child of God reigning with Christ you have the same authorities over demons that Christ did? And do you know that the very God who released the power to raise Christ from the dead and was the Father Christ looked to as an example of everything He said and did has declared that no weapon formed against you shall prosper?
Do you understand that whatever the enemy throws at you God has already prepared victory for you? Let me put it this way:
NO WEAPON—NO PLAN OF THE ENEMY TO KILL, STEAL, OR DESTROY THE POWER OF LIFE THAT RESIDES WITHIN YOU AS A CHILD OF GOD—WILL PROSPER.
That is a promise from the book of Isaiah. If you believe Christ truly died to forgive your sins, you can have just as much faith that no weapon formed against you shall prosper.
Let me rephrase that. I, Jerri, know that my God sent His Son to die on a cross for me because He is the Giver of Life, and when I accepted Jesus into my heart, the Lord poured Life into it, and there is nothing the enemy can throw at me that will prosper or succeed against that Life. Jesus is my Way, my Truth, and my Life, and the enemy cannot destroy, steal, or kill that. My Jesus is rock solid, and Life reigns in me.
I bring this up because I’ve been seeing new weapons, and they caught me off guard. Praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit who leads me into all truth, reveals the plans of the enemy, and reminds me of my True identity. If it weren’t for Him, I’d be hiding in a hole right now, and I don’t know when I would come out. However, because God is faithful to reveal the Truth and set us free from any condemnation or shame that the enemy tries to heap on us, I can write you about the weapons used, why they can be effective, and why they won’t prosper.
The first new weapon hit me broadside yesterday morning. We had spent a few days at the beach and were enjoying our last morning in the sun when the enemy whispered, “You only make this trip once a year. You only have three to five more years when the children are going to want to do this. In fact, you probably have less because once they get close to their teens they won’t want to build castles, dig holes, and boogey board like they do now. All these sweet things you love to do will just be memories. Just think about it. Maybe a total of 24-30 more hours of this kind of joy with your children. That’s hardly more than a day. You have less than two days total of this kind of fun left before your children don’t care anymore, and it’s all in the past.”
Now, you are probably thinking, “Jer, that’s crazy. That is just gloom and doom and misery…Jer, it takes effort to be that dark.” If you are, YOU’RE RIGHT!!! It does, and that should be the first sign these are not my thoughts!
When those thoughts came to me, I was standing hip deep in some chilly water letting waves splash by me so my children could laugh and crash (if you have a boy, you know) on their boogey boards. I was laughing and loving the time with my family. My thoughts were, “Wow, God, you’ve done an incredible job of healing me so that I can stand out here and do nothing but watch them play while I fight shifting sand under my feet and absolutely love it. I love being with my children, and I love how much I enjoy them. You are amazing, and I thank you for giving my life to me. This is beyond anything I thought would ever happen.” I'm glorying in the healing and restoration of my heart and family when suddenly, it’s gloom, despair, and agony on me.
My thoughts were joy, gratitude, and life. Those thoughts that suddenly assailed me were death. Those were not my thoughts. Those thoughts were a weapon the enemy was using to destroy my joy and the life the Lord had given me in my spirit and heart.
At first, sadness washed over me. Then I thought, “I’ve wasted so much time. I’ve been so broken for so long, and I wasted so much time. I’ll never get it back, and now time is so short, and I don’t know if I can make a difference, and what if I have done so much damage I can’t fix it? What if the children really don’t want to be around me when they are older? I’ve squandered the time, and it’s gone.”
Again, those are NOT MY THOUGHTS. My thoughts were all about what God had done and is doing. My thoughts focused on God’s restoration and healing. My thoughts were focused on hope and a future. My thoughts were looking forward with excitement. How can thoughts change so quickly? BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT MINE!
Those thoughts were well targeted emotional missiles that were sent to bring me down mentally and spiritually. Those thoughts were sent to destroy my hope, steal my joy, and kill my faith. Those thoughts were death-based. Know how I know? Look at the focus. My past actions. My past brokenness. What was missing. My inability to fix things. Hopelessness. Damage and wounding in me and by me. Fear. Shame. Condemnation.
What might have looked like simple “negative thoughts” were actually weapons designed to exploit areas where the enemy had been successful at pulling me down in the past.
I admit when they first hit I was sent reeling for a moment. Then the Spirit said something simple, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” FREEDOM! I did not have to stay in that emotional mire any longer, and instead of expending a bunch of energy to “overcome”, I simply said, “Yeah, your right. The Lord already handled that.” When my emotions didn’t line up, I prayed, “Lord, the enemy threw death at me. I know it is a lie. I want to enjoy the Life you gave me. Please restore to me the joy I had before.” And He did.
Now, as you know, the enemy does not get rebuffed once and go home with his tail between his legs. He has to see if he can wear us down, and I had to declare several times that no weapon formed against me would prosper. I even said aloud, “I will not choose death. I choose Life, and I choose the joy the Lord has provided. I am bound to God and His heart for me, and I will walk in nothing less.” Sometimes I had to confess mentally wandering down the “someday” road, which is another weapon. God says to pray for today’s bread because anything beyond that is His domain, and we don’t need to be worrying about His domain. "Someday" only makes us anxious wondering if we are doing enough today. I had to confess entertaining the thoughts (i.e. playing with the enemy's missiles as though they were harmless toys) and ask forgiveness and get back in agreement with the Lord. He is faithful to forgive and restore, and we were back on track.
I have to confess that I was feeling pretty good about my victory when I went to bed last night. I had heard the Spirit. I had walked in the Spirit. I had taken thoughts captive. I had stood in my identity in the Lord. I won, and really, it wasn’t that hard, and I was sort of excited that the old weapons weren’t working so the enemy had to try something new. To me that meant I was growing, and that was exciting.
Then came this morning.
The enemy didn’t come with a weapon. He came with an entire platoon. I’ve been overcoming an impacted sinus infection for a week. The medicines I’m on are attacking the infection and allowing the gunk to drain but have the effects of legalized Speed. I have been sleeping 3-5 hours each night, and that has been in increments. Today the stuff in my head is really breaking up and draining, so my ears ache. My throat is sore. I am nauseated and dizzy, and the room spins a lot. Between the fatigue and the meds, to say my thinking is fuzzy would be an understatement. To say my temperament was lagging also would be an understatement.
Unfortunately, I thought too highly of my spiritual victories, and after overreacting to a few things, I decided the family was better off with my trying to get less done, so I tried to find a place where I was accessible but not obstructive.
At one point, I was just sitting trying to read and keep the information in my brain long enough to remember the last statement my eyes had followed when Anna asked, “So, Mom, how is your day going?”
“I’m having a great day.”
Anna sighed and said, “I’m sorry, Mom. I just had an ugly thought, and I’m sorry. I just thought, ‘Please don’t say you’re stressed like you always do.’”
This is what happened in the next few seconds:
I looked at my beautiful daughter who was clearly second guessing the wisdom in her confession.
The Holy Spirit said, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
The enemy said, “See, you are such a crappy mom. Your daughter is afraid for you to talk to her. She is afraid to even ask how your day is. Do you see what you’ve done? You’ve taught your children to dread asking how you are. Their hearts are hard against you, and you know all the ways they’ll try to find love and acceptance and someone who won’t be stressed. You’ve condemned them to a life of seeking what you failed to give them, and they’ll look in all the wrong places. They are wounded, and it’s all your fault. You are just like your dad, and they’ll be just like you.”
My spirit rose up and raised my sword and shield and looked the enemy in the eye and said, “I have a new name, and I won’t walk in your shame and condemnation any more. I will glory in the healing and deliverance of my God.”
I said calmly to Anna, “Anna, have I answered that way lately? Have I been stressed lately?” She shook her head. I continued, “Anna, I used to be that way, but just like God is doing a work in you, He is doing a work in me, too, and I am not the high strung person I used to be, and I’m not stressed. I need to go to bed and get well, but I’m not stressed. I’m blessed, and I am thankful to be your mom.”
Now, I could go on for a few pages and tell you the truths of my past. I was high strung. I was so busy trying to be the perfect mom and perfect wife and perfect person that I didn’t enjoy any of it, but the Lord has set me free from that. I enjoy being a mom. I enjoy being a wife. I’m excited about who I am and what my life has in it. I’m excited about where I am going. Yes, time passed while I was broken, but God holds time in His hand, and He can do what He needs to with it. The enemy tries to steal the Life the Lord has planned for us and placed in us, but no weapon—not past brokenness, not today’s illness—will prosper against the purposes of the Lord in my life or the lives of my children.
I love how the Amplified puts it:
17 But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord. – Isaiah 54
Every tongue that rises against me in judgment. The tongue of the Accuser. The tongues spewing half-truths or misinterpreted information. Any tongue that wants to steal, kill, or destroy the Truth about me or in me.
This peace, security, and triumph over opposition is my heritage because I responded to God’s love by acknowledging Christ as my Savior, and Christ is being replicated in me. Everything He had and was is being replicated in me.
And all of this is a gift from my Heavenly Father. It is His work and His impartation. He has declared it to be so, and therefore it is.
And so, I am going to bed having battled through the day, knowing the enemy will be ready to attack again tomorrow. The weapons will look different, and I might take some hits, but despite knowing that, I am so peaceful because I know my God. I know His character. I know His promises, and I know no weapon formed against me will prosper.
copyright Jerri Phillips @ 2007