In the book, “The Insanity of God,” author Nik Ripkin is having a crisis of faith. He asks some hard questions. For some reason, these questions struck a cord with me. I have asked similar questions over the last year. Do things always work out for the obedient? I wasn’t so sure. What will I have to sacrifice? Is it really necessary to appear so different from everyone I know? I wouldn’t have said I was in a crisis of faith. I was just experiencing “growing pains”. I had lots of questions and I didn’t feel like I could give voice to the fact that things were just really hard.
I was doing what I knew to do but nothing seemed to be working as I thought it should. In fact just as I thought I was getting somewhere it all seemed to fall apart again. I have heard for months that I have little to say to shine my light in this world. For awhile I believed it. I felt that I was barely treading water. Even when I knew better.
I was learning things but I felt like I had no clear authority from which to speak. I couldn’t explain why I knew the things I did or tell you I learned it this way. The things I was learning came from divine inspiration of the Spirit. I was beginning to get an education on spiritual warfare. It was the strangest thing. I was always blind to the battles around me…until suddenly I wasn’t. So I hesitated to try to share. I felt like I was putting far too much emphasis on the enemy and that was never my intentions. The thing that remains is that everything looked like is was going to fall into place. Then they fell apart instead. It was frustrating.
I am learning to identify a pattern in my life when it comes to spiritual attacks.
First Level: Battle in the Mind
For me, they start first in my mind. The enemy will start with the lies from the past. If I fall into them my progress is hindered. God began to show me the areas of weakness that I have. Uncovering the deceptions. So I was able to learn to withstand. Soon though there would come another attack.
Second Level: Relationship Attacks
This one was targeted at my relationships. If it wasn’t my family, it was something to cause division among friendships. As God showed me to stand against them I would think I can still move forward. If the enemy was successful I would feel bad. This would hinder forward progress until the Lord corrected me. However, if I stood my ground with the help of God the attack would ramp up another level.
Third Level: Physical Attacks
The next level was the physical level. If I could withstand the attacks on my mind, in my relationships, then I would see a loss of energy. I would be so exhausted that I almost couldn’t do anything. If I stood against that soon I would see an outbreak of MRSA. At this point, I became very well aware that this was a spiritual battle. At one point I was seeking God for wisdom as to why these outbreaks kept coming back. My prayers were not making it go away. Then God reminds me that I can’t do this battle on my own. So I leaned on some other sisters in Christ who are stronger than I am. It seemed as soon as I reached out for prayer things would clear up…almost instantly.
I can’t be sure that you will see the same patterns in your attacks. I want to also share something I heard in a sermon this past year. It resonated with me and I have seen this pattern play out in my life again and again since I have heard it. The Sermon was “How To Live Stable in Unstable Times.” There are 5 points:
- God acts (speaks to you)
- You Respond (Yes or No)
- Satan reacts (tries to steal the Word-He attempts to stop you)
- You Respond to Satan (Rebuke the Devil)
- God Counteracts (You Win)
Share with me have you identified a pattern to the spiritual attacks in your life?