Heart Condition

A Spiritual Battle in Hindsight

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

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It is remarkable what hindsight and an abundance of faith does for the perspective of a believer.

Two weeks ago, I was in a spiritual battle. While in it, all I knew was that I had the sense I was sinking. I had trouble breathing, and there was darkness closing in around me. I was filled with doubt and losing trust in the promise God had given me. It honestly felt like I was being buried alive, the dirt slowly filling up a deep hole that I occupied, and the more the dirt packed the hole, the less I was able to move and lift myself out.

This was the enemy, shoveling in doubt, piling on fear, heaping on confusion. In a weakened state, trying to toss out handfuls on my own, I was incapable of fighting this losing battle. That’s how he works. He places a barrier between us and the God who is the Strength and Power in our weakness. The enemy blinds us, deafens us in our lowest ebb. We cannot see, we cannot hear God’s quiet whisper in the cacophony of internal shouts: “It’s impossible. It won’t work. You won’t make it. Give it up. You’re not worth it.” I was depressed, angry, afraid. I lost heart.

Until our God rescues us, until we are still, until He touches our heart.

While I continued to pray through that time, I remembered that God is faithful. I remembered that Jesus said, “You will have troubles.” I remembered that there would be a light…eventually. When God touched my heart, I began to rise. I began to see His light, faint as it was. I began to focus on the whisper. I began to find my courage. And the lion faded into the background.

Craig Groeschel, in a sermon called Unstoppable Courage,  said:

“You won’t let any lion talk you out of what your God says you can do. When you have unstoppable courage you don’t look at the lions; you look at God who says, ‘All things are possible.’”

On this side of the battle, I know that I am a warrior, I am an overcomer.

Prayer must be a constant adornment, a perpetual weapon we must wear to be a conqueror. We cannot expect to pray only when we are in need, only when we are in fear. We must pray daily, giving honor and respect to our God who never abandons us.  Our faith must be as steadfast as His love. If we abandon Him, we are left to the voice and the wiles of the one who will put us back in the chains of fear, doubt, and the irresistible urge toward the ego of self-reliance. And that is what separates us from others, and ultimately, from Him.

God created us to be in relationship, to depend upon one another, to understand that we are not alone. It has taken me five decades to learn there is no shame in asking for help – there is strength in calling others to my side. It is a gift I give, and one I now receive with grace. Had I not learned this, I would still be in that struggle, still be covered in the dirt and mud of self-denial, of the ego of self-reliance, never stretching my hand out in humility.

I am at my most humble when I understand it is why God sent His Son – to rescue us, to reconcile us to Himself, to let us know that He is the Ultimate Warrior. He is the One who conquered the enemy; he told us this on the cross when he said, “It is finished.” That was a statement not of sadness, but of triumph. That is why we must be faithful to Him.

18 comments

  1. Susan, this was such a powerful post. I read it from my phone as soon as I received notification and immediately loved it but since there was only a “like” button, I had to settle for that 🙂 (maybe one day WordPress will create a “love” button, hopeful). I bookmarked it to come back and read it again because that’s how deeply it touched me. When you speak of spiritual battle, is as though you were speaking directly to me because this is where I found myself for the past few weeks until I was able to fully release and pour out my soul as I literally cried out to God. There was a moment of deliverance that took place and has taken me to a new level in Christ. Every day I wake with a renewed spirit and refreshed mind, feeling like I can overcome anything with the Lord on my side. For that, I am grateful. God’s love is so powerful. I cannot imagine my life without him. I am a firm believer that prayer works. I always say, “Pray for me and I’ll pray for you and watch God change things.” :-).

    Simply put, beautiful. Thank you so much my sister for sharing your heart. It touched my heart. By his stripes, we are healed. God bless you my sister in Christ.

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    1. Joy, thank you so very much for this. I found this first thing upon checking my mail this morning. Faith is such a roller coaster ride, isn’t it? Yet it depends on the One in whom we have faith, and never upon the circumstances in our lives. It means so much that my writing has touched you in some way. It’s so important that we keep each other uplifted. I think we are champions during the crisis times; it’s in the everyday times of drudgery or doubt that we begin to falter and forget that Jesus is the one to focus on. Never things or people or circumstances that may disappoint, but God, who never lies, never leaves, always loves. Thank you for uplifting me today.

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      1. Yes it surely is. You are absolutely correct when you say, “Yet it depends on the One in whom we have faith, and never upon the circumstances in our lives.” If I’m not assured of anything, the one thing I know is faith saves us. Not how much work we do, who we are, or we are trying to become. Faith heals. Ask the woman with the issue of blood. If she could, she would tell you it does 🙂

        Grateful you were uplifted by it. Isn’t God amazing!

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  2. I am in the process of reading Stormie Omartian’s new book on being a Prayer Warrior. Prayer really is how we fight this battle — on our knees. I also find that putting worship music on in my home during seasons like this helps me immensely. Blessings to you, my sister. Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

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    1. Yes, He is. And I just heard today at worship the suggestion for putting on music during my daily home prayer time. Apparently, that’s exactly what I need to do! That you for that confirmation. 😉

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  3. A powerful post Susan. It took me a very long time to learn to ask for help. The enemy of our souls does indeed roam about looking to steal our joy, our peace and our very lives if he can. I always hold on to the scripture that tell us “He that is in me is stronger than he that is in the world”. Sometimes, though when we are beaten down (and I have been many times, so I do understand, my friend), we find it hard to remember this. But, He is still always there, ever-present and bringing us through. He is faithful indeed. I also remember that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. Where would we be without this promise? Bless you dear Susan and thank you for sharing your heart with us.

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    1. Thanks, Sherri. Yes, every single morning His mercies are abundant and new, just like the rising of the sun.

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  4. Just remember that God will never give you anything you can’t handle. He’s still holding you in the palm of His hands, He never let you go. Anytime I’m ever so low, I know the joy that follows right after that is so high. Life really is like a rollercoaster. Whenever I face fear, doubt, confusion, and worry, I repeat to myself “perfect love drives out fear…” then I think of loving people and it goes away. Just think of loving me. Hehe! 😀 I just had an ugly episode yesterday. It’s like a lesson all over again to be humble. There’s something very beautiful about vulnerability. I believe that those who value, understand, and embrace it are stronger people than those who don’t. And since we have our faith in Christ, our strength is in God. There is no doubt we’ll come out stronger. How are you holding up?

    ❤ 🙂 Sheela

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    1. Oh, I will be praying for you, Sheela. I am uplifted by Him and am facing forward and doing fine. His light and love have pierced my heart; I pray that His beauty overcomes the ugliness that faced you yesterday. Love to you.

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      1. Felt your prayers. More love to you. God bless your heart and soul! 🙂

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  5. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelations 12:11

    God in His infinite wisdom, knowing us before the creation of time, chose us to battle and defeat the enemy. It has been prophesied in Revelations that we will defeat him. It is US that will accomplish it! God, who could create and destroy anything in the universe carnal or spirit, chose those whom He created to defeat darkness. That is profound in the sense of His heart and love for us. That we were created for victory. He gave His Son so that we might know Him and in turn become great for His delight!

    I pray God will continue to strengthen you and that you learn to operate in the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus, whom lives within you! That “the the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ…” (Ephesians 1:17-19) We were made for victory, love, and joy. Even when we don’t feel it, and the enemy is hounding us, and we are weak, thankfulness calls forth the light for above. He moves at the sound or voice and I believe His heart is always yearning for us to cry out to Him so He can help in the heat of battle. Be encouraged! If He is for us than who can be against us!!

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    1. Thank you. I am always encouraged by His power and might; by His promises and wisdom. His rescue is always so perfect and gracious, isn’t it? He does give me hope, and fills me with His everlasting love. It is truly amazing, time after time, the gift of His blessings are delivered with such grace that I am in His debt and forever thankful and humbled.

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      1. Amen. Beautifully put. Couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂

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      2. Amen. “Delivered with such grace.” So beautifully put and a great way to sum up what He loves to do 🙂

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  6. Susan, I have been in that cloud, under the volcano, in the deepest part of the ocean….wishing for death. Although, I realize this depression is from grief, it makes me empathetic towards those that suffer under clinical depression or other mental illnesses. The following scriptures have been close to my heart since my son died. I am so glad we serve a loving Lord who empathizes with all we are going through. Can you imagine how Jesus must have felt when he sweated blood? I am so thankful that there is absolutely nothing that can cause Him not to love and care for us. My skewered thinking is off and on like a light switch…but that is the Spiritual War going on. I believe that we have battles here on this earth but ultimately we know who the winner is. God is on our side forever. Below is from The Message but you can go to http://www.biblegateway.com to find any scripture in any translation or language that you so desire.

    Romans 8: 31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

    They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
    We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

    None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”

    Much love to you, dear friend.

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    1. Love that Scripture, and it sounds so beautiful and powerful in The Message. Yes, I use biblegateway.com often.

      I never think about Spiritual Warfare until I’m actually in it, and forget how powerful the enemy can be; yet God is so much more POWERFUL. Learning to reach for Him in the midst of it has been an effort sometimes, but it gets easier to pierce through the fog each time it occurs. He is always there with His ready embrace. Experience after experience testifies to that.

      Thank you for your ever present encouragement, love and support.

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