I am doing the Armor of God bible study with a close friend. It is SO good. (But would we ever expect anything less from Priscilla?) We read scripture and analyze the enemies strategies in week one. Outlining who the enemy is and what he’s up to in our lives. Truthfully- when working through it I jotted down some obvious enemy attacks most women probably experience- or even people: insecurity, my relationships, my peace. Not dwelling or meditating too hard on where he is after me specifically. (Perhaps my apathy was also an attack….) and moved on with my week.
So the time came for my friend and I to discuss what we we studied over the course of the week. We moved through the questions- sharing and discussing. When we reached the section about how the devil attacks us individually I felt tears welling up in my eyes and I just blurted out:
“He disarms me with despair“
I didn’t expect to say that. My tears caught me off guard as well as the magnitude of the statement that flew out of my mouth. What I had so easily glossed over just days before was now wrecking my heart. The realization that it’s not my circumstances that are holding me back but rather the veil of despair that clouds my vision and keeps me from living the abundant life God promised. I had to pause and process this.
The enemy targets each of us in very specific and detailed ways.
He knows exactly what I’m believing God for, exactly where my faith is being stretched thin and exactly what will make me lose focus on who God is and what He says. And He knows the same for you.
The enemy loves to send me into an overwhelming sense of utter hopelessness and despair. He will bring a dark cloud of lies and try to convince me that my God doesn’t have my best interest at heart and that the things I’m praying for will never come to pass. He tells me that my prayers are pointless and Gods promise of exceedingly and abundantly more doesn’t apply to me. He tells me I’m not worthy of this or that. He says there is no use in fighting back because I am not equipped to do so. He says I am weak, useless and powerless. In many moments it’s felt all consuming, one hundred percent true and inescapable. It can be crippling. But fortunately, none of that is true.
God gave me everything I need to battle the enemy in His word.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.- Ephesians 6:14-17
In my despair, I’m often unable to confidently declare scripture over my life therefore my sword is laid down. My faith feels non existent or unfathomably low so my shield is useless. I’m wrecked with anxiety so my shoes of peace are off. My belt of truth is missing because I’m drowning in lies of the enemy. So I’ve got a helmet and a breastplate… and thats it.
The armor I’ve been given is not being utilized when I allow myself to be overcome by what is happening around me.
I’m essentially- disarmed.
BUT…Despair is an illusion. Just like every other tactic of the enemy. So instead of believing him, I can reset my mind to be on guard. I can make an effort to anticipate when and where the enemy might try to tip me over into despair and disarm me. I can pray against those attacks and WHEN (not if) they come I can instantly recognize them and fight back with prayer, praise and the word of God. I can have scriptures memorized or placed strategically in my home, car, office – wherever, so when I’m overwhelmed, His word is not far from my eyes and heart. I can be intentional about looking for Gods goodness and writing down when I see it to reflect on later. I can dig deeper in the word and store it up in my heart. I can choose to believe the promises of God even when my circumstances don’t appear to reflect them.
I can do whatever it takes to keep my armor of God on and fight back.
I encourage you to think about where the enemy IS after you and create a strategy to stand against him. For me, it’s despair. But for you it may be anxiety, doubt, worry, anger, pride or something else. (Also – I encourage you to just do the bible study because it is #lifechanging.) Don’t allow yourself to be disarmed, defeated or drowned out by the enemy. You’re a daughter of the King so the battle is already won. You get to fight FROM victory not for victory.
Stay sober, stay alert! Your enemy, the Adversary, stalks about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.- 2 Corinthians 10:4
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37
Reclaim your weapons today and declare victory over the enemy. Get up, fight back, and stand strong. You ARE a warrior.