Oh how I wish sometimes ministry wasn’t so hard, and life wasn’t so hard especially when serving Christ. But the enemy is alive and out to keep God’s followers defeated.
Read how guest blogger Leighann McCoy faces her battles daily. As leaders we can all benefit from these disciplines.
It’s a Battlefield Sister, not a Recreation Room!
…a fight and not a game! The summer after 7th grade I went to youth camp and heard a group of radical Jesus-followers (long hair and sandals) sing this song:
“Run if you want to, run if you will but I’ve come here to stay. If I fall down I’m gonna get up again ‘cause I didn’t start out to play. It’s a battlefield brother, not a recreation room, a fight and not a game-uh! Run if you want to, run if you will but I’ve come here to stay.”
I don’t know what happened to my Jesus friends but their song still echoes in my heart. When I surrendered my life to the mysterious “call” I had some idea that I’d given myself to a higher purpose, but I did not have a clue about the spiritual forces of darkness that would work against me. I thought that it “only took a spark to get a fire going and soon all those around would warm up in its glowing.” That’s what they told me at the campfires!
But then…I found out that there are battles within and battles without. There are these very strong things called feelings and watch out when they get hurt! There’s insecurity and anger; shame and confusion. There are lies and deceptions, attitudes and preconceived notions. All these things work together to whittle away at our courage and deflate our dreams. Perhaps you were like me and when you accepted your position you felt like a program director on cruise ship, but then discovered you weren’t on a cruise ship at all—you were assigned to a battleship!
What do you do then? You learn to fight! And you remember that the victory is already won. I’ve learned that there are 3 things I can do that will help me win the inevitable battles in my life.
1. I report for duty every day—first thing in the morning, I sit down with my cup of coffee and the Bible with no agenda of my own. When I lay my day before the LORD and acknowledge Him as sovereign over whatever I am facing then I am reminded that there is nothing the enemy can do to me that hasn’t first passed through the perfect love of my Savior. I read the Bible and choose to trust that God’s Word trumps any mountain that seems to stand in my way.
2. I spend time with women who share my battles. Oh, the victories that are won at the WindFarm Café in Spring Hill, TN! This little coffee house is home to many warriors who gather to share strategies and encourage solders. Just today my prayer partner and friend Marti reminded me that yesterday is gone. She waved her hand with a “pish posh!” when I tried to rehash a mistake I made last year. “There’s nothing you can do about that. Today focus on what God is doing in response to your prayers and move forward.”
3. I recognize the FACT that much of what I deal with is fiction. Attitudes, preconceived notions, confusion—most of these things sink their fragile roots in the realm of what I feel rather than what I know. I cannot base my ministry decisions on my feelings. I must base the choices I make on the Word of God. (Thus the significance of reporting for duty every day.)
If you are facing the reality of battle you can know this…you must be doing something so valuable to the kingdom of God that your enemy is concerned. Don’t be afraid—Satan was disarmed and declared defeated at the cross. All he has in his arsenal now are lies, deceptions, and a powerful bluff. Nothing he has can take you away from the power and love of God. If you are feeling the brunt of his attack—thank God that He considered you worthy to partner with Him in kingdom building that met resistance. Stand firm and take heart, “for greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.” (I John 4:4)
Leighann is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is the senior pastor’s wife at Thompson Station Church, Thompson Station, Tennessee, a mother of three, a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier and a writer and speaker. Currently, she serves on staff at Thompson StationChurch as the prayer and women’s minister, and is a frequent speaker at women’s events and prayer conferences. Throughout her ministry, she has served in several denominational positions relating to children and women’s ministries. She is the author of nine books, most recently being Spiritual Warfare for Women, published by Bethany House. In addition to her website and personal blog, you can read more about her ministry here.