Tuesday, February 2, 2010


If you’ve lived in the world of charismania for very long you’ve sung a bunch of songs about the devil. When I was a little girl, I learned that:

 The devil is a sly ol’ fox, if I could catch him I’d put him in a box,
I’d take the box and throw away the key for ol’ those tricks he’s played on me.

This was followed by hand clapping to a rousing chorus of:

I’m so glad I’ve been converted (3x just in case the first didn’t take) I’m trusting in the Lord.

I guess they are still teaching this meaningful song to children. You really should check out this little boy singing it. He hasn’t been converted though, he got salvation. See it here, it’s adorable.

I suppose this song is supposed to build up ones faith just like the more adult versions such as:

I went to the enemy’s camp and took back what he stole from me. He’s under my feet.

I tell you I’ve gotten quite moved by that song a few times as I put the devil under my feet with excited jumping and stomping. If you watch this video, you’ll see quite a few people very excited to put the enemy under their feet. You’d think with all of this, the devil would never show up again.

Or how about this one if you are a little bit older:

Victory is mine, victory is mine, victory today is mine. I told Satan to get thee behind. Victory today is mine.

It seems Satan likes that King James English too and the use of the word thee.

If you are singing along with me, some of you are no doubt shouting by now. We could have a Holy Ghost breakdown if we tried. A few strong exhortations with some hallelujahs would have our faith exploding. We’d be ready to whip that sly ol’ fox’s butt. If only it were that easy.

Several years ago, I was a camp counselor. Of course, they told me that there was some unwritten rule that you had to be under the age of 30, preferable under the age of 25 to be a camp counselor. However, one of my daughters begged me. The old mother  went to camp, slept on a cot, took showers in cold water in the centralize bathroom outside our cabin, dealt with little prima donnas who would have preferred a cool college age counselor, and almost got saved all over again. After all everyone gets saved during church camp. Every day in chapel we’d sing another catchy song about the devil and spiritual warfare.

I don’t think the song ever caught on like the sly ol’ fox one or stomping the devil under our feet. So you probably don’t know it nor has any one put it on youtube. That year at camp though, it was our theme song.  With extreme enthusiasm, we asked God to take us to the front lines of the battle – where the Lord is marching on.

God answered that prayer for me. If you’ve been in the frontline of a spiritual battle you realize this wasn’t exactly what you bargained for…All that stompin and excitement can give way to exhaustion and lack of faith.  After months of frontline detail, I found myself severely battle fatigued.

One day when the spiritual fatigue was particularly bad, I thought about that camp song. I remember clearly that I was engaged in a great spiritual activity, I was changing the sheets on the bed. As I walked around the bed several times, tucking and tugging and straightening, I said out loud with more enthusiasm than I had at camp:

God, you know how I sang that song about going to the frontline. I don’t want to go to the frontline anymore, I take it all back. This was followed by my ranting about how stupid that song was, that they should never have taught me that song and work me up into a spiritual fervor to declare such a thing.
This went on for a while. Then I thought about how driven I am to excel, to be the best. I thought about how people tell you, this is a spiritual test. I always thought I should be in the spiritual AP or honors class.  I was strong, and ready to face all the challenges. After all, I’d been putting that sly ol’ fox in a box since I was about two years old. That day I asked God to put me in the remedial class. I said no more AP or honors classes for me. I just want to pass with the ordinary class--No more of this frontlines business for me!

Okay, so you thought this week we were supposed to talk about victory. Doesn’t this sound a bit like defeat? I should have known I had power because I had sung “We’ve Got the Power” and “Faith is the Victory.” (Thought I’d throw another song or two in there to pump us up a bit so we don’t get too deflated.)

This is about victory. This is about realizing your own limitations and that you can’t fight alone.  I fought on then and I am still fighting on. I didn’t give up, God didn’t answer my prayer and send me to the remedial class. God gave me more strength to fight another day.

Several years later, I saw Lord of the Rings. As I watched Aragorn at the Black Gate, ready to go into battle, my spirit leaped with excitement. This time it was a more realistic excitement than stompin the devil under my feet.  For I now understood what it was like to rise up out of my own weariness, weakness, defeat and fear to fight on another day.

I need to hear this often – maybe you do too.
Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight!
By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!
Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13


David said...

Spoken like a true warrior - well except for the remedial class line. ;o)

For anyone that has ever seen real war up close, it isn't romantic and it ain't pretty. We can pump ourselves up with fighting songs, but only faith and perseverance - godly perseverance gets us to the finish line.

Many times victory involves casualties.

John Paul Jackson wrote a book, Needless Casualties of War. In it he describes the insanity of spiritual warfare where the participants have no idea what the power of the can do to destroy lives - like throwing hatchets at the moon.

If we believe God heals, than we better believe that Satan can rob, kill and destroy. Yet we know that He that is in us, is still greater than him that lives in this world.

In Hebrews it says we do not shrink back. We can't, and finish the race of faith. Today we will have victory; today we will stand our ground because of the work of the cross, that which destroyed death.

And for those that are called, faith will extinguish the fiery darts of our oppressor.

If the Lord be with you Joyce, who could be against you!

Joyce Lighari said...

Very good follow-up. I remember that book - I read it years ago. It is about perseverance though. Same with marriage and a lot of things, it is not about strength alone, but about a steady perseverance - I think I could get the preach on with this one.

photogr said...

In the future we will all be called to stand up for the Lord in His battle over evil. Will we be ready to persevere?

~ Jan ~ said...

"I remember clearly that I was engaged in a great spiritual activity, I was changing the sheets on the bed."
"That day I asked God to put me in the remedial class."
"I think I could get the preach on with this one."

LOL, Joyce! And to think these comments came from a woman who claims herself to be too serious. You have a cute sense of humor. Thanks for the giggle.

You know that old saying, whatever grabs your attention holds it? For me, there has never been a statement more true as this one, especially during a spiritual battle. I become fixed on the issue at hand - almost obsessive/compulsive and if the battle lasts for months on in, I find that my prayers become another avenue of fret and worry. When I grow weary in prayer, I know I am suffering battle fatigue.

Last year, while in such a predicament, the Lord brought to memory Ecclesiastes 4:10-12:
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his friend...but who will help up the man who is alone.
Again, if two lie down together, they can keep each other warm - how can one keep warm by himself?
And though one be overpowered by another,(Satan), the two shall withstand him and a threefold cord is not easily broken.

For me, this was a call to assist others in prayer, but with a fresh insight. How many times have you reached out to others with the same prayer request, I know I have. Yet, all along, you remained on the battlefield with your prayer warriors when you were to weak to utter anything but the name of Jesus. Your prayer warriors are loyal to you - when you can no longer walk, they carry you on their back as they advance forward. When you are vulnerable, they encircle you, battling in your defense.

But what if you, the battle wearied soldier, were relieved, taken out of the field, led to still waters and laid upon green pastures for the Lord to restore your soul? The remaining troops would be freed up to move in the offensive on your behalf.

This gave me an idea. I spoke with my friend, who was going through a similar situation as I, and proposed, for just one day, that we lay our prayer burdens at each others feet, depending on the other to present our request to the Lord without taking any concern for ourselves or mentioning our personal needs in prayer. As prayer warriors, this would free us to battle offensively for each other.

I felt a great sense of peace fall upon me. The strength that alluded me when I prayed for my needs, I regained when praying for her. I have to admit though, it wasn't easy - like I said, whatever grabs my attention holds it but whenever I caught myself praying for my situation, I quickly gave my undivided attention to her needs.

There was a lesson the Lord was teaching me through all of this. He is so understanding of us. He realizes how difficult it can be for us to have faith in the unseen when we are at our breaking point. He said the more I practiced placing my prayer burdens on others and leaving them there, confident that they will be prayed for, while loyally taking there requests as my own, eventually, I would be able to transfer the confidence I have in the saints on earth to Him, the unseen God and have the ability to leave my needs at His feet with no concern for myself, freeing me up to do His work and to battle offensively in the spiritual realm for His Kingdom when needed.

Our God is an awesome God, He reigns in victory. Being an heir of God and a Co-heir in Christ, we too have access to the same victory in Him. Praise be His name.

Be blessed,

Joyce Lighari said...

I think you are so right. I think one of the things that I am lacking now as to some extent I did then too, are intercessors. I tend to go plowing into the battle or at the least try to hold a position without adequate prayer.
My excuse used to be that I didn't want to bother people... now I know better. I know that just like I love to preach more than anything else, a true intercessor loves to pray the same way. However, right now I don't have any one who is an intercessor.
I do believe that God has intercessors for us that we often don't know about. Intercession is not my main calling; at times I do have a real spirit of intercession come over me. I will know that I am really interceding for someone, somewhere but don't know who it is. I assume then that God does that for me. However, to have that relationship with someone, where you can really share the depths and they will pray.
Thanks again Jan!