Going Down Swinging
This day started on the wrong foot. It’s like a continuation from yesterday. And the day before. And the week before. Yeah. It’s been a rough few weeks. I woke up this morning exhausted from one kid coughing all night long, my throat scratchy, a junked up nose, and a kid who needs at least 10 hours of sleep or they’re a monster and they barely got 8. (If we cross paths today, excuse my little monster’s actions. This little person still has my heart, even in their bad days.)
Spiritual warfare. Something I don’t remember hearing much about growing up but I’ve learned first hand since I’ve graduated high school. The enemy hates you. He despises your mere existence. He wants to destroy every fiber of your being just because you’re breathing and have a desire to serve your Savior. His favorite image of you is when you’re on the floor in a dark room shaking in the fetal position. Sounds like we’re set up to fail, doesn’t it?
John 10:10 tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..” 1 Peter 5:8 warns us, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” We’re introduced to spiritual warfare in 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.”
Sorry for the scripture overload. Well, scratch that actually. I don’t apologize. We have to know the enemy’s battle plan. The Word makes it clear to us that the devil isn’t our friend. He wants to see us curse God, our plans fail, and us feel isolated from those we love and from God. He wants our blood to boil when we see a whole bowl of soggy cereal wasted on the kitchen table. Or for us to throw our hands in the air when our kids wake up at the crack of dawn after going to bed super late the night before and being up crazy early that previous morning. They need sleep. I need sleep. Nobody got much sleep. It may sound stupid to fret over this mess, but welcome to my morning. That’s just where I am today. Tiny mine fields are hidden everywhere.
If we don’t know what our adversary’s game plan is, we have no hope of victory. We have to familiarize ourselves with them. We need to get our hands on his treasured play book. We need to know what moves they’re going to make before they make them. The more we know about them, the better equipped we’ll be to fight back. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to lay down in defeat. I’m going down swinging, baby!
I may get knocked down, but I’m fighting back. I know the other half of John 10:10 gives me hope, “but I come to give life, and life more abundantly”. I know that Philippians 4:13 tells me, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” We are over-comers, not underachievers. Not failures. We’re not worthless. God hasn’t given up on us. He still has a plan for our life. Don’t listen to the lies and taunting from the enemy. You have what it takes. It’s been weaved into the fabric of your soul. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
I hope the amount of truths from the Word has encouraged you like it has me this morning. I pray this day gets better and I’ve begged God for grace to make it through today. But if the punches keep coming, I’ll cling to the armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18. I’m going to let you go read that one for yourself.
Before we part ways, can I share part of my retaliation efforts with you? Encouragement is so powerful. Sounds impossible when you feel like you’re the one who needs to be on the receiving end. I beg to differ. A few weeks ago, I was having a really rough day. Similar to today, actually. History repeats itself, I guess. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. Most of it before lunch time. I decided I would make a change. Make a difference. I paid it forward and encouraged someone. I honestly can’t remember for the life of me what I did; mommy brain and sleep deprivation currently prohibits my recollection of details. But I do remember how it changed my day. Knowing that I helped better someone else’s day uplifted my spirits at the same time. Encourage someone. It’s powerful! And a great way to remind them they’re not alone in this journey. And neither are you. Grab a battle buddy.
There’s one thing about spiritual warfare. The more you’re in the enemy’s crosshairs (that’s the little thing on a gun, right? That’s what I’m referring to. lol), the more you learn how to guard yourself. Don’t step in the battlefield without arming yourself. The Bible is filled with wisdom on how to be prepared when the heat gets cranked up. Don’t cave under pressure. Think positive. You are what you think. If you think you don’t have a chance in the world, you probably don’t.
Let the words from Philippians 4:8 marinade your worn out heart today. Take off those boxing gloves for just a minute. The world can wait a few minutes so you can get yourself back together. I’m praying for you. And I would love your prayers. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
Living Life Unscripted,