As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Monday, October 19, 2009

Practical Warfare

I often write about warfare being faith to stand in the truth no matter what the circumstances. Most of the time, people associate that with big things, like waiting for a job, wanting reconciliation in a relationship, return of a prodigal, healing. However, no victory is attained through one mighty act. Victory comes through a million actions that are done correctly with one goal in mind.

Let me explain this from a practical perspective.

I confess. I'm a lousy patient. When I'm sick, I'm whiny, and I want someone to take care of me. I don't want someone to drop in periodically. I want a nursemaid, hand and foot, beckon call. Yeah, I'm that needy.

Reality--I don't have anyone that fits that description.

What I have are friends who pray for me, call and check on me, fix meals when needed, and drop emails to say they love me. I have two children with hearts of gold who draw me pictures, get me drinks, read me stories in my bed, and close the door when I fall asleep. I have a husband who does his best to step into shoes that he is not used to, meet my needs, make sure I take my meds on time, feed the children, run the errands, keep the house, walk the dogs, and generally keep the ranch running.

A pretty good bunch, don't you think?

So here is my truth:
My friends love me and really will do all they can to help me.
My children want to help and will do what they can.
My husband tries to carry what he can so I can heal up.
I'm loved.
Folks are on my side.
God provides for my healing in a myriad of ways.

That is the truth.

While I have all those good things, I also have this voice that likes to whisper in my ear and say things like:

"Your husband really doesn't care or he would be in here rubbing your aching muscles. The children are in there making a mess in the bathroom for you to clean up when you are finally better, and they don't care that you are sick. In fact, they don't care that you are trying to sleep. If they did, they wouldn't be playing so loud. And what about that person you made roast for when her family had the flu? Has she even bothered to email and see how you feeling? No. Ungrateful. And why is that you can do all these things for everyone else, but no one can do anything for you when you feel lousy? And how come no else knows how to pick up clothes but you? Why can't anyone else put a stupid cup in the dishwasher for goodness sake? Do these people ever listen to you? Do they have any respect for you? If you just got in your car and left, do you think they would notice? No! And you know what? This sinus infection is turning into respiratory infections, ear problems, and hospital stays for people all over America, and now your immune system is shot, so you are more likely to get something worse, like the flu..."

And on and on the insanity goes.

This is the lie.

The lie says:
Those people I call friends, don't really care. If they did, they would do something. I don't know what, but something. They are just not trying hard enough. They don't value me. They don't care if I'm miserable.
Those children have lousy character, lousy hearts, and just stink.
My husband...well, we all know about him and how he hates doing anything for me, right? If he really loved me, he'd be more attentive. He'd be doing something. I don't know what exactly, but something! And since he's not doing it, he obviously doesn't care about me.
And that means this marriage that I have worked so hard for all this time is just not what I wanted. Other women have husbands that love them. If Rob were like them...
And God. Well, God didn't keep me from being sick with this, so what makes me think He'll keep me from being sick with something else or something worse?

Are you laughing? It is laughable. The insanity is laughable. And yet, it isn't.

When our minds are clear, we look at the above and think, "Great googly moogly! How did you make that kind of a stretch? That's nuts!"

But when I'm sick, tired, weary, lonely, wounded, or hurting, I hear those voices, and instead of calling them insane, I nod and say, "Yeah, that's right."

THAT, my friends, is where the warfare lies, and that is where victory is to be found.

Satan will whisper all kinds of lies, but we have to respond with the truth. When he says, "Your friends don't care about you," I have to say, "This friend has emailed three times today to see if I need anything. This friend offered to make me dinner. This friend is praying for me."

When he says, "Your children don't care," I have to say, "My daughter did dishes for me. My son read me a book. They made me pictures."

Whatever his lie, I have to respond with the truth. I cannot allow myself to agree with one single lie because if I agree, my mind becomes imprisoned in the lying way of thinking. Then no matter what my husband does, I put it through my broken filter.

For instance, my husband camped out with our son in the backyard one night while I was sick with a sinus infection. The truth is every sound hurt. However, Satan taunted me and said if Rob really cared about me, he would be with me, not having fun. See the lie: Rob loves fun, not me. If I allow myself to agree with that, everything Rob does will go through the filter of "he doesn't love me." That means when he makes me soup, it's because he has to, not because he loves me. When he makes supper, it's because he has to, not because he loves me. When he runs to get my medicine, it's because he made a promise that forces him to do it, not because he loves me.

Now look where I am. Not only am I sick with this raging sinus infection, but my husband doesn't love me and actually sees me as a burden and would be having fun without me!

And Satan rubs his hands with glee because he is one victory closer to dividing my family and leading us right into divorce court.

Crazy? That doesn't really happen? Don't think those little thoughts are that big of a deal? According to Proverbs 23:7, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (KJV)." In other words, if I allow myself to think on those lies and be in agreement with them, THAT is my reality, and I will see the world in accordance with those agreements, and I will live in defeat.

It is easy to look at big things and see the war raging. It is also easy to overlook the more subtle "fiery darts" that are launched at us daily through the subtlety of our thinking or long-time thought patterns. Instead of becoming fixated on the large areas of defeat in our lives, we need to stop and ask the Lord to reveal the small areas of defeat that led to the larger crises. We have to allow Him to show us the lies with which we agree so we can hear and speak the truth that sets us free.

It's amazing how quickly the battle turns when we quit aiding the enemy by supporting their cause.

Praying for you to victoriously stand against the enemy in the Truth of His Word...


Jenny B. said...

How very, very true!

sharilyn said...

TeNoR PLAy? :)

i needed this today as i've been sick this week and, being single, feeling a little unloved and unlovely... oh, how the enemy loves to play upon those lies...

God is good... all the time.

Jerri Phillips said...

Sharilyn, it is so true, isn't it?! We get tired, sick, or just moody, and Satan is all over us telling us how crummy we are, how worthles we are, how no one likes us. I've been battling that the last few days. Odd things trigger it. CRAZY!!! This morning the Lord had me up at 3:39 am doing warfare over my family because Satan was gearing up for an offensive. I had seen hints of it, and when I woke up, it was like I could feel it in the air. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to protect us and stand guard over us!