Though I shouldn’t have been, but I was caught off guard.
For the last 7 years or so I have been reawakened to the Gospel through the ministry of Ransomed Heart. That means that I understand, believe and war against the attack of the Enemy – “We live in a world at war” & “Every movement toward God will be opposed.” For the last year, through a very long stretch of unemployment and financial difficulties (many of my own making), God has been transforming me, drawing me closer to His heart. God is bringing my wife and I through a turbulent time that threatened our 20 year marriage and is transforming us both individually and as a couple.
Our pastor is doing a series called “Thrive”. Essentially, how to thrive during turbulent times. This past Sunday he asked that I do a question/answer session with him in front of the congregation. “Not too big of a deal”, just 10 minutes or so of some background and what it has looked like to walk with God through it all so far – it’s definitely NOT over. There is so much I wanted to say but I focused on - “I am dearly loved” (Rom 8:38-39), “We live in a world at war and every movement toward God will be opposed” (1 Pet 5:7-9), and the “Daily-ness of my walk” (Matt 6:33-34 & the Daily Prayer). I prayed before the service and over the message that I would get out of the way and that God would say and do His will through our talk. Everything went very well during the service but then I got hammered.
It started out as a subtle feeling of “That didn’t go very well did it?” and over the course of the day it moved to what I can only describe as a haze or mist over my spirit. Like I was in a fog spiritually and mentally. Looking back, it was primarily Diminishment and Doubt – “That was a waste”, “It didn’t really help anyone”, “You have nothing valuable to give to anyone”, etc. That opened the door to Frustration, Anxiety, Fear and Confusion – “You shouldn’t have done that”, “It just stirred the pot with Deb and got her upset”, “What are you really doing with your life”, “What a jerk you are”, etc. All very subtle, slowly pinning my heart down. All the while my heart was crying out “NOT TRUE!”, like a drowning man desperately struggling for his last breath before going under; and I, not fully recognizing what was going on, trying to hold on, in my own power, to what I knew was objective truth.
And yet I still I didn’t recognize the warfare … all day Sunday as it snuck up on me; little by little. Sunday night I slept but it was fitful and I awoke tired and fully engulfed a couple hours early at 4am. I didn’t want to go to work, really struggled getting ready, pushed myself into the car and then … it hit me … I was under attack. I normally pray The Daily Prayer as I drive into work every morning, have been for 5 or 6 years. As I turned my heart and my mind toward God, not even starting the prayer, just turning to him – clarity came. I was under attack.
And I prayed. Prayed as I have only seldom done before with power and anger. Yes, anger. Not rage but anger that the Enemy and his agents were trying to take me out. I brought the Name and Authority of Christ and the full work of Christ against Diminishment and Doubt first and then went against the “hangers-on”. I was loud, REALLY loud, and by the time I got to work, less than 30 minutes later, I was free.
There is more to the story – the Enemy went after my wife and my pastor as well. More battle to come I am sure and no more “Nice little life” … “Open war is upon me, whether I would risk it, or not”.