Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 10:: Fighting What We Can't See

Some days I wake in a war zone.

Only I don't realize it until the first missile strikes hard.

Then another. And another.

The day can seem a complete loss, and there is the temptation to surrender and let it be taken over.  I can't seem to find footing as I try to recover while flaming arrows are aimed straight at my struggling-to-beat-heart.

I must remember what I really struggle against.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." ~Eph. 6:12

 We are all at war against the unseen. It's not in your mind. The battle is real.

How can we protect ourselves from an enemy we can't see? How can we train our children to protect themselves from such rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and evil spiritual forces?

This world is dark and it is His word that is the lamp for our feet and the light for our paths. His word is essential for having correct focus.

Peace, a true fearless advance, is found in the truth that the Lord is the leader, pressing forward and striking down and making way. We are His armor bearers, following after Him.

The fight is real and it is His word that is our sword for offense and our shield for defense. These are our spiritual weapons.

The sword of the Spirit is the word of God.

The shield that can extinguish unseen flaming arrows is one of faith--and faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. But understand me, the paper and ink of the Bible is not what shields us. It shows us the strength and wisdom and love of The Word Himself, Jesus, Who is our Shield. Our very present Help. The scriptures help grow our knowledge of Him... and we ultimately trust what we know. Who we know. We must know Him. 

They must be known, memorized, hidden in my heart, so I won't sin against Him and blind myself to the One who has conquered, who has overcome, who leads the way.

I must know them, because other things are also hidden in my heart. And my enemy knows it. And it's not because he can read my mind or heart. He can't. There is no scriptural evidence of that. But... there is this...

From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. 
~Luke 6:45

My Enemy doesn't have to guess or read my mind, I speak many words which lay out a perfect blue print for the structure of my heart, and where my weaknesses are. The heart, it is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked... I know this all too well.

These deceitful things in my heart... these lies... they are the native language of my Enemy.

The scriptures pierce light through every confusing smoke screen. They lay bare every false thing. They shed light on the language I'm believing.

I know his spiritual language well because I spoke it continually for years. I lied so much I believed the lies and began to act on them. I became spiritually blind, without discernment, and my lack of focus on Christ and His eternal purposes led to many kinds of death... including the abortion of my first child.

It was through months of reading God's word, and memorizing it, that I was transformed, and renewed, and freed. He made me a completely new creation.

In this battle, we are told what we must guard. "Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
~Proverbs 4:23

The New Living Translation reads "... for it determines the course of your life."
And the King James Version "... for out of it are the issues of life."

If I want to know what destructive things are in my heart before they come out of my mouth as future ammunition for my enemy... I must know the word. Because it is the word that  penetrates and judges the thoughts and the attitudes of the heart.  As my sins and weaknesses are revealed I can turn to God for wisdom, forgiveness, and strength. 

Not only does knowing the word through memorization help guard the heart, it reminds me Who my Refuge is. It reminds me when the arrows start whizzing closer and closer that His Name is a Strong Tower and I can run to Him and I will be safe. 

And the whispered suggestions and lies that are hidden in our deceitful hearts? They are critical to expose in this battle because the Enemy can not snatch us out of the safety of the Father's hand, so he suggests we walk away from our protection.

Our Enemy suggests in our pain and ever-changing feelings that God is not trustworthy. He suggests God isn't good to keep from us what we think we need. He suggests that God's protection isn't really protection at all... but a prison.

All the while he has blows aimed straight at our hearts and minds should we leave our Shelter, lower our shield, forget our sword. These blows are intended to keep us critically wounded and unable to run back to our Refuge Who heals and keeps us safe.

But our Lord Jesus... He overthrows evil by the mere breath of His mouth. 

And all scripture is God-breathed. 

We must know it!

We can't fight what we can't see without knowing the Word. 

If we can't fight, our focus will not be on Christ, but on our woundedness, on pain, on mere survival.

Let us use the sword and shield God has given! He gives us His shield of victory, His right hand sustains us, He stoops down to make us not merely survive... but to make us great.

No mind can even conceive the amazing things God has prepared for us who love Him... but we can get glorious glimpses through His word.

"A Bible that's falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't."
~Charles H. Spurgeon

Have you found that reading the word and scripture memorization has helped you keep your footing, and your focus? Please share a scripture in the comments that God has used in a powerful way in your life! 

*This is a series of 31 Days of Things that Help Me Focus. See the rest of the series here.
Don't forget to check out the other 31 Dayers! There are some life-chaning series being written. I'll share some of my favorites tomorrow!*

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