So what do you think of my title? Intrigued? Yah, me too! I’m sitting here today after a whirlwind of a few weeks of meeting new friends, getting re-acquainted with old friends, participation in an amazing group experience every week encountering spiritual healing, having successful fundraisers and God giving us several ideas for new and bigger ones, excited to continue through this journey of adoption, and then halted by an article full of rumors and unconfirmed facts. <Deep breath>
That’s definitely a whirlwind.
But amidst the excitement of new friendships and new connections, the evil one has been at work. Not just through our adoption with negative comments from others and rumors being expressed and moving like wildfire through the adoption community, but in my heart and in some of my relationships. I’m not going to put the gory details on here, but I can really now see how satan works to “seek and destroy that which is good”. It is quite obvious how sneaky and devilish he truly is in wanting to overcome the amazing relationships that have come into our journey in order to halt our spiritual progress.
This week was # 8 of 16 in my spiritual healing care group, and it has truly been transformational. We have been using the curriculum written by Terry Wardle from Ashland Seminary. It’s a 16 week course walking each individual through healing from deep wounds. We have been seeing amazing things discovered by each person, and every week we are amazed at what the Lord can do. This week was no different as we presented our laments directly to our Father.
As soon as I got home satan began working to receive ground in my life and he succeeded for about 8 long hours until I made the choice to follow God’s nudges to confess the truth and seek forgiveness from some individuals.
Evil is at work.
I’m reminded today, as it is Ash Wednesday the journey Jesus knew He was on and knew the end result. What pain He must have been feeling, yet He stayed faithful following His Father through all of the betrayals and doubts. Evil was at work among the peoples 2000-some years ago, but our God prevailed and died to save EACH one of US, sinners among the One, True, Perfect Being. What an amazing measure God had His Son take in order for EACH of us to be offered the chance for pure freedom and hope, and thus to fight evil.
Yet, evil is still at work, among each and every one of us since the fall of Adam and Eve…BUT, our God is so much stronger than evil. Righteous will overpower evil, and with that, God has given us amazing preparation for the battles around us. I know that I am just now learning how to use this armor better. I’ve always known it to be present, but using it has been a different factor. I have been trying to do the David and Goliath-thing for quite some time to no avail. I must learn to use the armor as protection against the evil! Any temptation, lie, or destructive behavior should be filtered through the armor, and thus, evil wouldn’t be used out of my being if I look to the Father and use His armor FIRST!
*The Belt of Truth- “The truth about You, Lord is that you are a Sovereign God who knows everything about me, both my strengths and weaknesses”
*The Breastplate of Righteousness- “I will not allow my emotions to rule in my decisions. I will set them on what is right and just. I will live today by what is true, not by what I feel”
*Sandals of the Gospel of Peace- “I am available to You, Lord. Send me where You will. Guide me”
*Shield of faith- “My faith is in You and You alone. Apart from You I can do nothing. With You, I can do all things”
*Helmet of Salvation- “You know how satan bombards my mind day and night with evil thoughts, doubts, and fear. I put on this helmet that will protect my mind”
*Sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word- “So, by faith I take up the strong and powerful sword of the Spirit, which is able to defend me in times of attack, comfort me in times of sorrow, teach me in times of meditation, and prevail against the power of the enemy”
Thank You Father, for giving me the tools to fight evil, and guide my choices so that they more reflect the desires of YOUR heart, not mine! May we learn through this Lenten season more of who You are and Your desires for US!
*adapted from Draw Close to the Fire by Terry Wardle & prayer cards.