Like Job, there are lots of calamities that God can allow the adversary of our souls to inflict upon us. After all Satan went to God to ask if he could attack Job and try his faith. The only skills on his resume, are theft, murder and destruction.
This week your Kingdom Bloggers are going to tell you how they hold the shield of faith in the face of the Devil's fiery darts and survive spiritual attack.
I have heard it preached that the mind is the battle ground of Satan, and for sure it is one of the fronts that he works on to discourage us. As I read Job this morning, the passage about the clay pots and boils made my skin feel itchy. The death of family members and all the loss that he sustained, it made me sad. However; I think there is more to the story. Before I give Satan all the credit, consider this passage:
Luke 20:18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.
Apparently there are two choices, be broken, or be crushed; pick one. I will take broken for $100. In the very same way the fragrance was released from the alabaster box by breaking it, so the spirit of God is released from you and me. It is not released through our own skill, talent, ability, or confidence, but in our utter dependence on the Lord - you know, when we are weak he is strong - that sort of thing.
What does that have to do with spiritual warfare and having our heavenly clock cleaned by the enemy of our souls? Everything. Paul said that our faith was a shield that could extinguish ALL the fiery darts of the enemy. (Ephesians 6:16) Jesus said that there is violence in the Kingdom as well. (Matthew 11:12) The writer of Hebrews assured us that we are not those who shrink back. (Hebrews 10:39) And certainly we know that letting the sun go down on our anger is a foothold for the Devil. (Ephesians 4:27)
So who is this spiritual giant of the Bible that responds to this sort of biblical truth? Not me.
Here is how that translates in David's life. For many years I have desired to serve the Lord - more than I care to admit. It seems that each time I step out, there is a significant demonic backlash. (I have written a 4-part series on the demonic HERE) Getting to Brazil for a mission trip was one of those times. (HERE is that story.)
I have had enough interactions with the demonic realms to know they are real, but the toughest and most common of the Devil's wiles, are the subtle ones. They are the everyday emotions that don't line up with biblical truth. They are connected to the roller-coaster of thoughts the day I have a review at work, or someone from leadership calls and leaves a message: "We need to talk.." They come on strong when I haven't held my tongue with a family member, or I say something to a co-worker without thinking. Even the stress that I feel during the commute, none of it is God. I know, pathetic, right?
As I start to look at the root of some of these things, I see all sorts of negative shaping, and lifetime of wrong responses. Then, when the chips are down, I have a plethora of old movies to play; I am overwhelmed. That's when I read Job and I feel a little better. This morning I was pondering why God would have picked him. Here is what I found:
Job 3:25 What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.
26 I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
What I found interesting was that he feared, past tense. Before any of this ever came to visit his life, he feared it would happen. Otherwise he would have said, "I don't know where this came from, it was totally unexpected!"
As much faith as I have for certain things, I also have some fear. Fear is not of God, and like Job, it can be an open door for spiritual attack. When I act on that which is NOT the truth of God, then I am just asking for trouble - and I have often found it. The good news is that even when I fail in the battle, God uses that for my own good - but more on that next week!
How about you, how do you stay in the battle? Do you have fear?