His Encouragement #210

Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.

Stay sober, stay alert! Your enemy, the Adversary, stalks about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Stand against him, firm in your trust, knowing that your brothers throughout the world are going through the same kinds of suffering.

1 Peter 5:8-9 (CJB)

The devil is real. No, he is not the silly, buffooning cartoon character with a bifurcated tail, horns, and a pitchfork who twirls his mustache and laughs maniacally when he gets someone to do something bad. Rather he is a real, alive entity who becomes whatever he needs to be to get us to fail God. He is our adversary and he HATES us. He is a roaring, never-satiated lion roaming this earth to-and-fro looking to devour those who are not paying attention (Job 1:7).

I wish most Christians took spiritual warfare seriously. Then maybe I could talk to someone. I could share my struggles and get some guidance and prayer. But every single person I know (except my husband) who claims to be Christian laughs at the idea of spiritual warfare. They scoff at it like it’s foolish nonsense, or they make fun of me for watching too many episodes of X-Files. No one I know outside of my husband takes it seriously. And this just makes me sad…and mad for all of us who are truly struggling and would love some help and comfort.

I have paralyzing night terrors that torture me and leave me feeling absolutely disgusting. I hate them. They make me angry and scared and helpless. I’ve had them since I was a small girl. I didn’t understand what they were until a few months ago when I discovered that other people have the exact same type of night terrors. For over 30 years I have lived with this shameful feeling that something was seriously wrong with me and my brain. In actuality, it’s just been the Adversary laughing at me for decades as he attempts to devour me.

I’m typing this post after having woken up from yet another night terror, so I am a little raw, but I am trying desperately to stay on God’s narrow path here and not be a Negative Nicole. My go-to, especially in the last 8 years, has been to immediately go to God as soon as I am let go from these awful dreams. I pray hard, I cry a lot, I ask “WHY?!”, and I read my Bible. I try to hold on to verses like 1 Peter 5:8-9 where I am told by Peter that I am not alone in these struggles, that there are other “brothers” out there struggling just like me, and that we all need to hold fast to our faith and our trust in God. I take comfort in verses like Job 7:13-15: “When I [Job] say, ‘My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint,’ then You scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions, so that I would choose strangling and death rather than my bones.” I am not alone in my struggles (an neither are you!). Even Jesus fought hard against the Adversary, and He won!

In 1 Peter 5:9, Peter tells us to stand against, resist, the devil. Prayer is #1 in my book for resisting our Adversary. If we are in prayer with Jesus, how can the devil get to us? I also believe being in God’s Word as much as possible is of the utmost importance. Reading, annotating, praying on what you are reading — these are all ways to keep our focus on God and not on the things prowling to get at us and our souls.

In addition to praying and reading God’s Word, I also put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). I’ll be honest, I haven’t really understood what that meant until recently. It’s never really made sense to me. I get the passage and what it is saying, but how do I do that? How do I put something on spiritually?

Something that has helped me in the recent months is to pray about the full armor of God. It goes something like this (and you can pray it to if you want):

Thank you, God in Heaven, Yahweh, Lord of Armies, for blessing me with Your full armor. Thank you for Your belt of TRUTH that I wrap around my waist. I am wrapped in Your Truth! Thank you for Your breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS that protects my heart from the devil and his schemes. Thank You for Your sandals that are the GOSPEL — may my walk today be like Jesus’s! Thank You for Your helmet of SALVATION (Yeshuah) that I put on so every minute of today I can take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). In my left hand, thank You, Lord, for arming me with Your shield of FAITH. I am surrounded by trust in YOU! And thank You, God, for in my right hand arming me with Your Sword of Spirit, which is the WORD OF GOD! Thank You, Yahweh, for giving me a way to fight the Adversary who hates me. I pray this in Your Name, Jesus the Christ. AMEN!

It may be a simple, ineloquent prayer, but it works for me. When I am diligent and pray it daily, sometimes multiple times in a day, I find that I have less struggles with my sleep. When I forget and get bogged down by the cares of this world, my night terrors tend to come back. Not right away, mind you. That’s how the devil gets you. He makes you think you’re out of the woods. Then, BAM, the warfare is back and the struggling ensues. So I do need to be even more diligent in my prayers, but God has given me a way out, and I hope after reading this post today you see that He can give you a way out of your spiritual struggles too!



4 thoughts on “His Encouragement #210

  1. I am really surprised that the Christians you know don’t believe in spiritual warfare! How can you not?! Have you read Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer? Or see the movie War Room starring her?! I think you would enjoy both. Here is something that has been encouraging me lately: https://encounterswiththedavisfamily.blogspot.com/2023/02/favorite-picture-from-january.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love War Room. The books I will have to look up. Thank you!
      I’m in So Cal. It’s a very progressive place, even in the “Christian” communities. Pastors self-help in large part. From my personal experience. I feel pretty lonely out here believing as I do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that is really hard. When we lived in Greece I struggled, it was my darkest time. It was during that time I found Proverbs 31 Ministries and started doing their Online Bible Studies, they were a lifesaver and a light in a very dark tunnel. We moved to Ohio in November and are still trying to find our Church home. We still seem to be in the “Bible belt” so I am sure we will find a church that is not progressive.

        Liked by 1 person

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