What is it about stepping out in commitment to Christ that draws a huge target on our chests for the enemy to begin pounding on us? Somewhere in the mid 80’s my husband and I surrendered to ministry, not having a clue what that meant. We felt sure that is what God told us to do after my serving in a part time ministry position with our church in Texas and both of us having gone on overseas mission trips. We actually felt like God has called my husband into full time ministry so he went to seminary. But we made it public and there the story truly begins….

Almost immediately we faced road blocks and discouragement. We began to question the call. But as we continued to pray, we felt like we’d truly heard and must respond and that it was the enemy who was making us doubt, not God.

 

Did it get easier, no! Harder! First of all small things happened, my husband lost his job, lost his company car with the job, most of our appliances were falling apart (we’d been married about 15 years so it was time for them all to wear out at the same time!), and our car fell apart. My mom would call me and ask, “well, what broke today?”. It got to be somewhat funny and painful all at the same time. Then we began having a family relationship issue that was so very painful. The enemy tried to take our possession, when that didn’t defeat us he began to work on our family. But God….

 

If not for His power and strength, we’d have given up many times a long time ago! But He provided all we needed continually. For eight months we had no income (except for a small stipend I received from my church for my position there). Not once did we do without food or clothing, and we always paid our bills. I can’t tell you how that happened. As I tried to put it on paper, income and outgo did not match up. God told me to stop trying to figure it out, just trust Him. It was a huge stretching time for us spiritually, but it was very difficult to stand strong in the face of the devil daily. I remember actually digging my heals into the carpet and saying, “I refuse to allow the enemy to have victory!”. And some days, that’s all I had to make it through the day. Luke 4: 8 goes well here: “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (KJV)  But God….

 

How powerful He is. We know He’s more powerful than the devil. We read in 1 John 4:4, “You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them {evil spirits}, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. “ Do we really believe that? If so, DIG YOUR HEELS IN! Do not allow the enemy victory in your life, your day, your heart.” (HCSB)

 

Our job it to know Him, follow Him and obey Him. God’s job is to fight the enemy. He told the Israelites this in Deuteronomy 28:1, 7, “Now if you faithfully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all His commands I am giving you today, the Lord your God will put you far above all the nations of the earth.  The Lord will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you. They will march out against you from one direction but flee from you in seven directions.” (HCSB)

 

Pretty powerful commander we have! I love what Beth Moore says in Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman. “Some of us with little previous battle experience have no idea why God is allowing us to go through such difficult times in a place we thought was His will. He’s trying to make warriors out of us, Girlfriend! Rise to the occasion! But we aren’t meant to fight unseen forces alone. You and I have the God-given right to lock arms with our sisters and brothers in Christ and defend ourselves with the sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith. Here’s the best part: When we do, we are guaranteed the victory. I said guaranteed.

 

We gain more strength by understanding Deuteronomy 31: 8, “The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” (HCSB) The best part as a Christian is that we never fight the enemy alone! We have the best army there is, God leading, Christian sisters alongside us.

 

When you are struggling, be willing to reach out to those around you for prayer and guidance. More than once I’ve called my accountability partner to pray as the attacks became obvious and it dawned on me, it wasn’t just a “bad day”. It was Satan in my face! Outright spiritual warfare. We have to recognized it and face it in His strength.

 

Tips:

  • Know God so you recognize His power in the face of the enemy.
  •  Know your weaknesses so you know what boundaries need to be in place
  • Memorize scripture so you can quote it in the face of the enemy. It works!
  • Never think this won’t happen to you! That’s when you are at your weakest.
  • Watch the little things. Failure to stand against “little sins” leads to bigger and bigger ones.
  • Ask God to not let you get away with any sin, no matter how small. You want Him to quicken your spirit when you start heading the wrong direction.
  • Remember that at times, spiritual warfare has nothing to do with you sin, it can have more to do with your obedience. You are much more a threat to Him when you are following hard after Christ. But it’s SO worth it.
  • Put on the armor of God daily. Ephesians 6: 10-18. Check out this article by David Jeremiah, Spiritual Warfare and You
  • Do a Bible study to equip yourself with armor. Try Spiritual Warfare by John Franklin and Chuck Lawless and Putting on the Armor by Chuck Lawless.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. This is SO timely for me. I just accepted a new ministry call that has potential to be challenging in regards to vision, personalities and history of this organization. Thank you for sharing your story. I will add the verses you’ve quoted to my memory verse list.

  2. Chris Adams says:

    Thank you for your kind words! I am so glad it was helpful and encouraging to you! Ministry is not easy by any means, but such a blessing to serve.

  3. a group of women are studying berh moore stepping up. on page 124 principle question i have come to a different answer from all the others. question: too many teachers try to convince us that God will make a public spectacle of us over our sins when we get to heaven. according to Colossians 2:15 who has been made a public spectacle? i read it to be answered principalities and powers.. others read the answer to be Jesus Christ.. please tell me the correct response. i have read every Bible translation in my possession and still think it is principalities and powers. please help me understand if i am wrong ,why, and if i am right why. thank you for helping me understand. carole

  4. Chris Adams says:

    Carole,
    Thank you for writing, and thank you for doing Bible study with Beth. Your answer is absolutely correct. The entire letter of Colossians is written to correct false teaching that diminished Christ. In the extended passage in chapter 2 Paul lists things that Jesus has done. The “He” in the passage refers to Jesus:
    * God’s full nature dwells in Christ (v. 9)
    * He (Jesus) has filled us (v. 10)
    * He has spiritually circumcised us (v. 11)
    * He has buried and raised us with Himself (v. 12)
    * He made us alive (v. 13)
    * He erased our sin debt (v. 14)
    * And He disarmed and made a public spectacle of the powers of the devil (rulers and authorities) (v. 15).

    So Beth’s question makes the point that rather than God making a spectacle of us, Jesus already made a spectacle of the powers of hell. I hope that helps. Thanks again for being faithful to God’s Word, and thank you for letting LifeWay be your ministry partner.

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