Take up your sword again

Just to give a little context to this: A lot of good has happened this year and I recognise that my life is full and it is blessed. That being said, spiritual warfare is very real and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it so constantly as I have this year. In a way that’s really encouraging because the enemy doesn’t attack you unless you’re a threat to him. But it has still been quite painful and quite frustrating. So, here’s a little honesty, and a little hope. Happy New Year.

Get knocked down, lie curled in a ball as the pain comes in waves, wait until the breath comes back into your lungs, climb unsteadily back onto your feet.

Take a deep breath, run forward again, win some ground.

Sooner or later another blow comes and once more pain takes over for a little while. 

Put on your brave face because it’s just not convenient to break down.

You see, this is what the enemy of your soul does. He plays his game until in no aspect of life is security to be found.

He disturbs the peace of the mundane, wreaks havoc on the home, worms his way into relationships. He jeers at your disappointments. He tells you that the suffering of those you love is your burden to bear. You feel exhausted. Your mind feels clouded, your whole being under a lead weight. Sick and tired, like you’re being very slowly poisoned. 

And when your defences are down he hisses in your ear: ‘Who are you anyway?’

He tells you you’re not enough. Too much.

But you are not blinded to the truth: he is a destroyer of all that is good and a stealer of joy. He’s a worthless Liar.

So through all this bruising you look towards the One in whom your hope is found. You give thanks that in Christ alone is peace and security to be had. You give thanks that He has promised you victory. 

The perceptive ones around you threaten to shatter your fragile mask, and sometimes you wish you were unreadable, inscrutable. But in truth, without those people, you’d feel a little lost. So you embrace the vulnerability because healing is found there.

You retreat; but not to run away, never that. You find refuge in Him and in the midst of some difficult questions, you turn once more to seek His face. He reminds you that you were not designed to walk into battle unarmed. Nor partially armed. And your armour, He reminds you, is never to be anger, pride, or anything to do with you at all. It is found in Him alone, and your weapon is His Word. His battle, not yours. 

He is gentle, never condemning. He stretches out His arm and grabs you by the hand and pulls you back onto your feet. He wipes the dirt from your face and pushes the hair out of your eyes. 

Clothe yourself in all that He is and call all that seems dead inside you to come alive. Take up your sword again. Go forth.