“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
So, as I’ve been sharing, God approached me with a mission at the beginning of the school year and I spent the first month peacefully choosing to not only accept my part in the mission but inviting my child along because there was a piece to the mission only he could accomplish.
Then came the weekend where I took my eyes off God and allowed fear to settle in, trying to set up camp. I’ve found for me, God sends encouragement in a variety of ways to remind me to focus on Him, not the enemy. First, He reminded me we’ve taught our children since they were infants to listen to the Holy Spirit above anything we say. Second, He used our pastor’s sermon, and lastly through a friend who had gone through a similar experience with fear. She not only knew how I was suffering, but she reminded me I had a choice. It would be hard at first to choose faith when the enemy was persistently hissing lies in my ear, but soon God’s truths would drown out the enemy and I could again walk in peace. However, I had to choose.
By Tuesday afternoon I was able to choose faith again, and I was feeling God’s peace permeate. I was feeling pretty good actually. God was answering prayers, our child was continuing to fulfill His part of the mission and God had given me three more opportunities to show His love as well.
I’m not sure what the trigger was, but Friday morning I woke up after a disturbing dream and the fears all came rushing back. That’s when God reminded me, “Cheri, you have a choice. We defeated this particular test of fear versus faith. Do you want to pick it back up again, when it could possibly come back stronger, or do you want to stand in faith that it has been conquered and choose to walk in the peace I gave you on Tuesday?”
It was a no-brainer. I chose faith. Was it hard? Sure. There were moments throughout Friday when I had to deliberately remind myself, sometimes three to five times in one minute that I was choosing faith. This particular battle was already won and I don’t have to pick it back up to fight it again. The enemy, in all his craftiness, chose to mix things up a bit and try a few different tactics, all along the same subject, to try and get me to come back to his side, but I wasn’t listening.
In fact, by Friday evening, still choosing to walk in faith, I had to chuckle a little bit when I overheard our children talking about one of the topics that had fed into my fear earlier that week. I heard a matter-of-fact answer to the topic and asked, “Who told you that?” I wasn’t surprised to hear the simple, yet incredibly truthful answer had come from their dad. And because they trusted their dad, they were able to walk in faith. I realized that because I trusted my Heavenly Father, I also was able to walk in faith despite all the ammunition the enemy was trying to use against me. This time, it simply wasn’t working.
The weekend before was a rough weekend. I won’t lie. However, having come out of the battle victorious, I hope I remember this feeling for the next battle that the enemy uses to try and defeat my spirit. Because I do know this: he hates to lose and until Jesus returns or I’ve died and received my homecoming in Heaven, he won’t give up.
That’s okay. I’m not afraid. When I fight the battles God puts in front of me with His armor, victory can happen. When I continue to keep my eyes on God and His plans, that victory comes sooner. I don’t just want to be ready for my battles, I want to be ready as a prayer warrior for the battles my family and friends face as well. While I can’t fight their battles for them, I can pray and ask God to help strengthen them so they too can be victorious as others have so blessed me by standing in prayer for me.
© 2016 Cheri Swalwell