When the Enemy Comes

It was just after my husband got baptized when they asked me to do a video of my testimony. Life was going really well. I was working at the church, we had a stable small group, I was volunteering in women’s ministry; about to embark on leading my first Bible Study. Everything seemed to be in place. I felt innocent and free so I said, “Yes!” Being convinced of the power of healing and transformation through faith in Jesus Christ, I sat in front of the camera with joy. Little did I know that my pot was about to be stirred.

It started pretty small. A few offenses here and there, constant banter of gossip trying to deepen the offenses, a rift between me and my supervisor at the church. I thought I was being stalked. You read that right, someone was watching me and it scared me. A new manager was hired at my husbands job. This man was out for blood and his aim was to take out anyone who didn’t dance on his command. For months, my husband walked on eggshells. He worked long hours and weekends trying to keep the peace. Life was growing difficult with both of us working on the weekends. I resigned my position, on my last day of work, my husband called to tell me he was laid off and on his way home.

In the middle of all of this, the video was finalized. The enemy was doing everything he could to keep that video from seeing the light of day. About a month before the video was to be released, a storm sat over the foothills where we live. A torrent of water rushed down the hillsides into the cities that lay at their feet. The home where the film edit took place was flooded. Thankfully, a first draft had made it’s way electronically to the pregnancy center. Nothing is left of the video other than the few scraps that were taken out of the initial edit. After all of that, the pregnancy center was talking about not using it at all. It grieved me. It is a true miracle that this video made it to the airways.

I honestly thought I would be blessed as a result of telling my story. To have so much commotion at one time left me confused. I blamed myself, believing that I sinned and grieved God. It never occurred to me that the video would be a player in what seemed like my life being laid bare. Instead of landing on my face in prayer. I fell on my back. I was a dead bug scrambling to hold on to life.

It’s been four years. I have learned a lot. Most of it lies in how I was being raised up in Lord. It is called sin doctrine (a.k.a. religion). I was believing a lie. Religion says that you are a sinner striving to do good. When bad things happen, there is sin in your life. I’ve had to go back to the beginning of my faith cry. Jesus died for all my sin, I am forgiven past, present and future. I am forgiven. Religion and grace cannot coexist. I choose grace. There I can put the blame on the one who caused the calamity, Satan. I declare God is good and the lover of my soul. Satan is my enemy. The mistakes made during that time are covered by the grace of God. 

If there is calamity on your life, take a look at what you are doing for the Lord. You are likely stirring up the powers that aim to keep the Kingdom from growing.  The enemy is after God, not you. It isn’t personal. If you can take the blame off of yourself and God, things will start to turn around. Remember: God is for you, who can be against you? If Satan comes against you, he is already defeated. What is coming against you has to end. It is a matter of getting understanding from the situation, putting the blame on the one who caused it, and seeking God for relief and restoration. God cannot fail in this because His promises are always true. Freedom lies in understanding that we have overcome by the blood of the lamb. When the enemy comes, land on your face and pray!

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The Rhythm of Life

“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.” John 10:10

I awoke at 6:00am. My body was telling me it was time to get up. The warmth of my bed was yelling no. I could hear the cat clawing under my bedroom door. Breakfast time. I dressed in my morning comforts and open the door. The cat runs ahead of me, chattering and purring as if she hasn’t eaten in days. I feed her, mostly to quiet her. I grab my water kettle to start my morning brew. I glance at a plaque on the wall, it says, “Good Morning! This is God. I will be handling all your problems today.” Huh. I put coffee grounds in a french press and wait for the water to boil. All that fills the kitchen is the sound of the boiling water and the cat crunching her food. I breathe deep, staring at the wall. There has got to be more than this.

The rhythm of my life was a single drum beat. I was waiting on God. It’s a story only the enemy could conjure. A month after we bought our house my husband was laid off. The purchase was a victory over our past. We had been in a period of desperation turned to joy. Then we just fell off a cliff.  I didn’t have it in me to be desperate again. Now I was holding my breath. I was mad at God. Not wanting to admit it, I turned numb.

I poured my coffee and sit down in my chair. I opened my Bible. John 10:10. Abundant life. I thought, Jesus! I don’t feel like I have an abundant life. I am living the definition of insanity! Jesus responds in my Spirit, “You are alive.” Of course I am alive. What do you mean I am alive? Again, He said, “You are FULLY ALIVE.”

I didn’t get it right away but the words stuck with me. As I kept pondering those words, a basic truth was revealed. To be alive is to have the Holy Spirit. God was telling me that my numbness was producing death. I was forgetting He was in me. That I could just talk to Him. I might always be loved but I can only give and receive love if I am willing to open up and communicate.  One moment I sensed nothing, the next moment I sensed gratitude as I told God, “I am really mad at you.” When I decided to let go of my circumstances and talk, the position of my heart changed from circumstantial to hope. Hope lead to expectancy. Expectancy lead to faith. Faith moved the mountain of my circumstances. Turns out, He knew everything all along. My confession changed my perspective. A whole new world opened up to me, as I sensed He was always with me. A new beat began to play in my heart and I came alive.