A Never Ending Subtle Attack

cropped-New-Logo-PPM.jpgThe Lord is good. He has a way of meeting us where we are at, always. He has a way of knowing when the spinning starts, and a “Stop, now look Me in the eyes”  is needed to settle our panicked hearts. I awoke yesterday morning after a fitful day before yesterday, my eyes were still unable to focus even after the usual letting the dog out and starting the coffee routine. As I sat down with my fresh brewed coffee and toast, I knew I could not dig in the Word for myself this morning, I needed to be fed. So to RZIM on youtube I went, and there the Lord gave my weary soul a drink.

I have a speaking engagement planned for May 3rd. Since the “yes” to this invitation, the spinning has come. The scatter brained, the lost feeling, the instability of uncertainty, all began clouding my mind. As a woman the enemy of my soul always gets me with things like, “You are a woman, how dare you think you have the right to teach. You don’t have a degree, who will honor your words? No one will come to hear you because you are a woman. You know you will be the ruin of their opportunity to share the gospel. You need to quit. Tell them to find another.

True story: When I was twelve years old is when I first understood the gospel and began going after God with all my heart to the best of my ignorant ability. At this time in my life I would have nightmares that would wake me up and I would be so terrified that I would go and crawl in the bed with my parents. There are two dreams that I have never been able to shake. Here almost thirty years later I still remember them.

In the first I was roller skating in some type of rink that was built in a huge tree. The skating lanes wound all up and down and around in the branches. As I was coming down a lane I was grabbed by the throat and lifted off my feet by a huge Goliath of a man dressed in red, also on skates. He lifted me by my throat up above his head and I couldn’t breath and the weight of the skates kept me from being able to kick my feet. Then I still remember clearly him telling me, “Christians like you should be dead!” and then I woke up.

The second is more foggy, but was more terrifying. This one I was asleep in my dream and the next thing I know I awake and am surrounded by small dark somethings that I can’t make out, but they are everywhere around me. Then they pounce on me, once again grabbing me by my throat and they are choking me. I mean choking me to where in my dream I cannot breathe. In my dream I began to mentally try to pray and ask the Lord to help and somehow I managed enough breath to get out “In the name of Jesus get off me” At that very moment as the words were coming out of my mouth, I passed from dream to awake and sat up in the bed as the words were still coming out of my mouth.  I was out of breath as if I really had been being choked. Needless to say, this one sent me to my parents bedroom and I crawled underneath the covers in between them for safety.

As I write this the Holy Spirit has quickened my heart and mind to the parable of the seed and the sower,

“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.”

Luke 8:11-15

For at least twelve years of my life the enemy of my soul did all he could to try and choke the Word out of me. Yet, it was planted in good soil and took root despite his best attempts.

However, I have learned that the sneaky snake still sends his creatures of darkness to creep in and try to grab me by my throat and choke me to silence. He has no couth about him or limits to the tools of deceptions or persons of manipulations that he will use to stop the exaltation of Christ, the Word of God now in flesh appearing. He will twist what he can and distort what he must in his attempts to snuff out the truth. His subtle attacks are sometimes the worst and often work the best because we so many times we are clueless that it is him at work against us.

Last night, as I was picking up the house on my way to bed, after a week of worship, of teaching, of sharing the gospel, of praying, and feeling absolutely distracted and defeated afterwards, I simply could not shake the feeling that somehow I had screwed up royally. The uneasiness, the uncertainty, the spinning… and finally I cried out loud to my God and said, “Father, I cannot shake this feeling! I do not know if it is because I have said the wrong thing or the absolute right thing!” I continued to pray in my heart as I went up the stairs. Then I crawled underneath the covers and rested in the Lord.

Yesterday morning as I went to RZIM’s youtube channel and saw the title of one of the latest uploads, I recalled how earlier this month I had read a portion of a Bible study guide written by male pastor claiming that a woman has no right to be called a teacher… and I realized this was the arrow that the enemy had used to start my spinning.  I had asked the Lord for help… and I believe He gave me this video,

“Isn’t the Bible sexist?”

The video ends with Amy Orr-Ewing sharing this quote from Dorothy L. Sayers:
“Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man – there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature.”
Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

I grow weary so often of the battle between myself and the enemy of my soul. With this video, the Lord reminding me again of these dreams from my childhood, and the Holy Spirit’s quickening to the words of Christ recorded in the book of Luke, and the confirmation through a prayer request sent to a friend… I know that this past week has been another subtle attack trying to choke me, trying to silence my voice, trying to keep me from using the tools and gifts that the Lord has given me to serve Him and share His truth. If a door opens for the gospel I’m walking through it. If any opportunity arises for me to use my voice to proclaim the Word of life and scatter its seed then I must. As long as I have breath I will praise the Lord, I will serve the Lord, I will proclaim His excellencies.

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

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