So, My wife and I agree on a lot. We agree on how we parent our son, our favorite sports teams, and even that boxers are better than briefs. Over the past few months we have agreed on the name for this season. Spiritual attack. Not only have we agreed but confidants, close friends, and even our own child can see and sense the attack.
I decided to spend this blog not complaining about it but sharing with you what life is like in the midst of it. Yes, we are looking forward to the life on the other side, but right now we are in it…and…it…sucks.
I don’t trust many pastoral voices in my head or my space. In march one of the three Pastors I trust and I had a really interesting conversation. Let me take you back to my March.
Our church had 31 days of prayer.
We had an all men and all women baby shower
My wife was 7 months pregnant
We had just finished our nursery
We both lost a good amount of weight and worked out consistently.
Life was great. Life was good. Everything was clicking. I mean I was heaving full court shots blindfolded and they were going in.
In the midst of that here was my conversation.
Me: Pastor, how are you?
Pastor: I’m alright. I could not sleep I’ve been up all night praying for you.
Pastor: God needs you to know that Satan Desires to get you. To sift you. He hates the season you’re going into. Jesus is praying for you.
Pastor: It’s this season that will make you ready for real ministry.
You can imagine how I responded to this. I wrote it in my journal, Told my wife, and prayed about it for 3 days…and left it at that. Nothing happened in the three days after so we were not too concerned. And then…well now we are here writing a blog.
Listen, the notion of spiritual warfare is real. Its not a phony made up phenemon that preachers or your grandmother use to make sure you read Romans 6. It is not something used to that “prophets” can get you to sow a $200 seed. It is a real life serious battle when God allows Satan and his demons to afflict you until they find the one thing that really hurts you. That’s where we are.
So. What have I learned? By no means do I have it together but this is what I’ve learned while I'm still in it.
1 – When you think its warfare, immediately get your armor on.
This is where I slacked. I went through a season where my sin and weakness, namely anger, was louder than it needed to be. I’m working through it now, it was this season that made me realize it’s a problem. Romans 6 outlines armour…Put it on daily so when situations arise you're already ready.
2 – Prayer is your strongest weapon.
Prayer is the only thing we have to access the Holy Spirit. Pray. Surround yourself with likeminded people who will pray with and for you. Period. Prayer is what reveals to us the agenda that God has for you. Its crazy, God has an agenda when he allows Satan to work. (let that sink in) Its as if God has a meeting agenda and he will begin to share with you, or through others praying for you, the agenda he created. Sooner than later he will share with you that the meeting is adjourned.
3 – Everyone is not qualified to pray for you.
Reread the point. Did that? Ok, stop posting “pray for me.” Everyone is NOT qualified to pray for you. Everyone is not qualified to pray with you. Some people are cursing you in their coverage. I remember in the middle of this season someone told me, “I’m praying for you.” I looked back at them and said, “Stop.” The bible qualified prayers in seasons like this. James 5:16 – Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. There is a lot here.
1 – Sin has been confessed
2 – There is a journey towards healing…made known
3 – A lifestyle of prayer is evident
4 – They are considered righteous.
If they fit that criteria, ask them to pray and allow them to pray. If they don’t…don’t ask them to, don’t inform them you need it, and don’t even allow them to cover you!
4 – You are equipped with the knowledge. Now its time for wisdom.
Every book, scripture, devotional, prophetic word, sermon you have heard is etched on your mind. Wisdom means God’s word woven with your experiences. I am learning that experiences are not always positive, at times they are heavy and hard. And let patience have her perfect work….and let patience have her perfect work.
5 – Don’t ask God to rush the season.
One night I called my wife after praying for an hour and said, “babe God said, “its over.” She responded, Did God say it or did you say it? Of course I said it because I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting. Storms run out of rain…Don’t forget that. Too often I have asked God accelerate success. I am learning Accelerated Success means slothlike storms. Let God destroy, remove, and prune as much as he wishes. It means you will have a great season after!
This has been the hardest season to preach, pray for others, write, and read. That was until I admitted that the season is a time of warfare. That realization made me write this. It's therapeutic! With that, let me give you two next steps that I have also taken.
1 – Get a therapist.
Get someplace to cuss. Get someplace to talk for an hour…even ifyou have to pay for it.
2 – Get a Hobby.
Get someplace to release you inner emotions. Mine is the weight room and basketball court.
With all of the hurricanes that have come on American soil I saw something powerful. The storms come and wipe out whole cities and put them back at their cores. All of the new development, new opportunities are gone and the core of the city is all that is left standing. Spiritual Warfare is God allowing a storm in to wipe out everything to get you back to your core. God is flooding you with love, peace, joy, and care to get you to realize that’s all that matters. As I tell you that, I tell myself the same.
I’m not asking you to pray for us because we have people that God has allowed us to share this season with prior to this blog. I cannot wait to rejoice with you when we see the sun shine again!