"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."
I never quite understood spiritual warfare before I met in head on. I'd even, humbly, admit I was naive to its existence. But I would get a 'crash course' on it whether I wanted to believe it existed or not. I learned some very important lessons about the devil and his thrifty and cunning ways of deception...
First, he'll use anything he can to lure you into depths of despair, and once there he will try to keep you there. He will shackle you arms and legs to a ball and chain called, "self." He will attack you where you are weak, get you to give into that 'selfish desire' and will then hold you there held captive by the shame you feel because you allowed yourself to give in to it. Or, rather, maybe someone has done something to you - has inflicted pain that cannot be expressed to the degree appropriated through mere words. Sensing your pain, he entices you to feel justified (you don't surely deserve this). And then just before the curtain closes, he will take from you that which will end the show for good - your hope (what's the point you ask yourself).
In hindsight, I can now see many incidences of spiritual attacks on my life, one of them being my fear of SPing. You see, my fear was that I wouldn't have enough patience. Would I be able to give my children enough love? Could I possibly teach them everything they needed to know? My thoughts were flooded by "cant's," "no-ways," and "not-possibles." This thinking had taken a hold on my mind. They had become 'strongholds' originating from the devil who was so "graciously" (NOT) sharing them with me. As long as I continued to think this way, I couldn't move into being the mother God wanted me to be.
So...I asked God to come to me in my fear of being a SP. I did this by reading His Word, talking to Him about every aspect of my life and writing (that which I believed to be from Him). I asked Him to give me peace and quiet my troubled mind from thoughts of "can't" to "will do!" And...God responded by showing me what an amazing gift He gives to those who choose to follow Him. "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16-17) and our minds have been renewed when they are in Christ (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:22-24).
Here's another amazing gift. God recognizes the whole world is under the control of the evil one and that the devil is the ruler of this earthly existence (1 John 5:19) . This is why He gives us His authority and power to fight the devil (Colossians 2:9-10). He gives us His power and comes in our suffering and struggle to partner with us. More "mysteriousness" yet again as one might ask how is this possible? This does not make sense to my "logical human brain!"
I've been a SP for over a year now (and it is still strange for me to write that). There have been days I have gone to work on two and a half hours of sleep and have then had to come home and care for my babies by myself. There are still days when I wake up more exhausted than when I went to bed. Physically, there is no explanation that could logically explain this repetitive cycle of extreme sleep deprivation minus the crash and burn result (let us also not forget the mere fact that these sentences are somehow fitting together to produce a coherent thought is witness to God's magnificence).
I do not claim to know much, but what I do know is that every time I ask God (okay - plead) for His strength to cover my weaknesses He does. No longer are my thoughts focused on "cant's" and "not-possibles," because with God all things are possible (Philippians 4:11-13). God is more powerful than anything the devil can try to throw at us. But, here's the thing. God will not force Himself upon us. He waits for us to seek out His help, and He offers this amazing gift called PEACE (Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 107:13-14). Who couldn't use a little more P.E.A.C.E. in their lives?!
Here's a little something I wrote to help remind me "it's a battle out there" and I have the Lord's authoritative power to fight against it. It is based from Ephesians 6:10-18.
Put on the Armor of the Lord
This morning as I rise,
I pray for Your guidance to be wise.
Please cover me with Your grace,
And set the breastplate of righteousness firmly in place.
Buckled around my waist, may the belt of truth be tight.
With fitted feet, may I be ready with the gospel of peace and prepared for the day's fight.
The helmet of salvation please put upon my head.
You give me the shield of faith in order that I may be led.
In hand and heart I take with me the Spirit's sword.
And combat the enemy with the Word of the Lord.
Be with me in this day.
This, I most certainly do pray.