‘Put your dancing shoes on’

In my last post, I talked about my very real experience of spiritual warfare throughout most of 2016.

This is a continuation of that story, but it’s a more hopeful chapter.

While I rested at my parents’ home over the Christmas break, the Lord spoke to me a bit about 2017, promising a year that would see some victories; a year for me to watch Him do something amazing.

And then he told me something strange: “Camilla,” He said, “I want you to go into the New Year jubilant and celebrating. Put your dancing shoes on… dance with me into 2017.”

I promise you that dancing or celebrating in any way was the last thing I felt like doing at the time. So I didn’t, at first.

I said to God that I didn’t feel like it, but He told me that that is the whole point of faith: to push past what is seen into what is unseen; to trust God’s promises and not my own feelings.

So on January 2 I got back to London, turned on a worship set, and danced like a crazy person in my living room. And as I did so, I felt the joy of the Lord fill me head to toe and I could feel the truth of His words.

I went back to work the next day and got back into my usual routine. Naively, I imagined that all the spiritual warfare in my life would cease from now on and that I would simply cruise along for a while.

It didn’t. In fact it escalated (as it did for some of my friends), and I realised that God was not simply going to halt the onslaught of attacks coming at me. He was simply going to teach me how to equip myself to overcome them.

Because interspersed with these moments of feeling knocked around, I’ve seen so much hope and encouragement. Since the start of the year I’ve been seeing everywhere that this will be a ‘year of breakthrough’ and a ‘year of restoration’. This has been confirmed from different Christian leaders and I am standing on those promises for myself and for the people close to me.

One person I am close to was diagnosed with myeloma (bone marrow cancer) in December, and in the natural realm it looks bad. But God has given me people who will believe with me for her complete healing. We fast, we pray, we thank God and we contend. We declare the Word of God over her situation over and over.

Several people have tried to sow seeds of doubt over her healing, most likely completely unaware of the impact their words could have had. If I wasn’t so keenly aware of how I am stood in the middle of a spiritual warzone, I might have let it throw me, discourage me and cause me to give up.

But to be honest, (and I don’t mean to sound flippant), I’m used to this now. And my Father in His overwhelming goodness keeps sending us reminders that we are doing the right thing. He has used church sermons, family members and friends, even the internet, to remind us of His nature and His will for healing; he has used visions and dreams to spur us on to a greater level of faith than I at least thought I was capable of.

So I shake off the negativity and the doubt. God’s Word tells us to ask and not doubt.

The fight continues in other aspects of my life and the lives of those around me. From small and subtle manoeuvres, to bold lies, false prophecies and attacks of physical sickness and emotional heaviness, I have seen the enemy try repeatedly to halt what God is doing and where He is taking us, and over the past month or so I have had to pray like never before.

I have also noticed that sometimes, the more I pray into these situations, the more opposition I seem to face. But in one of the primary areas I am struggling in, God has led me to discover more about what exactly I am up against. What once seemed vague is now specific – and this is a huge step forward. The first step to overcoming a battle is to identify your enemy. (Just to be clear – this is not about fighting with people. Ephesians 6:12 –  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”).

My Father is showing me how to see through His eyes. I asked Him one night why, if this is supposed to be a year of victory, things seem worse than ever.

He replied, gently: “Camilla, you can’t expect to see big victories over small battles.”

Again and again, He reminds me not to give my wavering emotions any weight but to trust Him when He says that things are better than I think they are. Because He has an aerial view; He sees it all.

I am currently visiting my parents, so I went back to my old church this morning. Amazingly, the sermon and the worship were all about spiritual warfare.

There is something so comforting and so powerful about seeing the impact of the Lord’s perfect timing. To know how deeply He cares… to know that He would use people I rarely see anymore to speak into my situations and pray with me. He is eternally good, endlessly kind, mighty to save, my rock and defender and shield.

He has been close to me in such a tangible way during this time, and He has used the months of pressure to draw me to Himself and mould my heart. And I don’t know about you, but I am so stoked about this year.

If you know God and can relate to anything I’ve written about, I want to encourage you – don’t give in to fear. Don’t accept defeat, or imagine that feeling low, heavy or constantly knocked down is how your Heavenly Father wants you to live. It’s not.

You are a child of God, and greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. If you are serious about running after God, you will come under greater opposition, but you were designed to overcome. You were born to kick the devil’s butt and stomp on hell every single day.

And that’s pretty cool.