Saturday, March 2, 2013

it does exist

Just in case people don't want to believe it, spiritual warfare does exist and we are all susceptible to be attacked.

Our small group (community group, fellowship group, whatever you want to call it) is doing Jennifer Kennedy Dean's Living a Praying Life study.  We met Friday night.  It was a great study. 

Our dynamics of our small group have changed over these past two years.  Long story but when we moved to where we are currently living, one of the things that helped it be "bearable" was our church and our getting involved with a small group.  I'm not one to usually get involved in something like this but within weeks of starting to attend the church, I knew I wanted to connect with a small group and we signed up for one.

I'm sure it was God's nudging for me to do so.

The leaders of the group were wonderful, made us feel welcomed, we had a great time with getting together, discussing various Bible studies, having potlucks, etc.

One of the leaders of the group (a married couple) got cancer this past summer and required extensive surgery and now is on a 7 month course of chemotherapy.  We didn't meet for several months while she was recovering from surgery and starting her chemotherapy.  We only recently started meeting again this past month.

We decided to do the Living a Praying Life on my suggestion based on me hearing about it on another person's blog and getting the study myself, doing it on my own and just absolutely learning so much from it.

Because of the energy it takes to go through chemotherapy and the family dynamics involved with it all, the leaders of the group knew they couldn't lead this particular study. I asked hubby, who is an excellent leader, he led a study through Romans in the summer and it was highly received, if he would lead the study but I would do all the prep work. Get the questions ready, copy things that needed to be copied etc.  He agreed.

I enjoyed putting together questions under the direction of God. I know he was leading me for what to discuss.

Like I said before, Friday night's study was great.

Friday we get home from group and things fell apart.  My computer had to have some maintenance and I couldn't get on it for the night. I love my computer time and I felt "cheated". I got into a terrible mood that lasted all that night into the next morning.  By the grace of God, hubby was pretty tolerant of my childish behavior.

I wanted to pick a fight and though I really tried to restrain my words, they were still itching to get out.  I was bringing up things that still bothered me from a few years back and wanted to "duke it out" with hubby.  Thankfully he showed a lot of restraint. 

Finally this afternoon at the grocery story after I was just ranting about this and that, I stopped and said "do you know what this means". Hubby said "what?".  I said "we had a great study last night.......someone wasn't happy about it".  I was under attack.  I gave into the attack, sadly I did.... I hope next time I won't give in (sadly I'm sure I will).

But it has happened so many times in the past. A great time of fellowship with God, a great lesson, a great message, a great quiet time. And then attack like this.

Elijah experienced the same thing.  He at one time challenged the prophets of Baal to a "duel" their gods against his God. He set up where there would be a sacrifice. Whosever god/God consumed the sacrifice would be the true God.

In a mere few words, Elijah says:

1 Kings 18:36-39, he says And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, "LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again." Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!"

The other prophets of Baal had shouted all day for their "gods" to consume the sacrifice and nothing had happened.

Elijah was victorious.  Yet a few days later he trembled when he heard this: 

1 Kings 19:1-5.  Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

Elijah had this incredible experience that God sent down fire from heaven, yet a few days later he was terrified and worried about his life.

I've learned spiritual highs are followed by spiritual lows. 

There's a battle out there we are living.

But take heart, the battle ALWAYS belongs to the Lord.

and he always wins........

read Revelation.........

we know the end of the story.......

thank you Lord that you are and have always been victorious

help me to just be a bit more sensitive in the future when I am under attack to realize it and to pray to you and to remember you are fighting EVERY single one of my battles.

3 comments:

  1. so many good points in your post! We need other believers to do this thing called life, especially life for Christ! Small groups are an integral part of the church. I think it's great that you and your hubby stepped up to lead when the leaders could not. I think sometimes we think leading a small group is just too much but's really just being a facilitator. helping things along. we can all do that! :)
    I will pray that the next time you are under attack you will recognize it sooner, and that by the Power of Jesus you will halt the enemy right there in his tracks. I know we are under attack, constantly but I think sometimes we give satan too much power. we think he's gonna defeat us but the truth is he was defeated when Christ rose from the dead! We have nothing to fear and we have more power than we truly realize!! Whoo Hoo!!!! Go get 'em!!!!

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  2. Very, very interesting. I never thought of times when I've felt that way that I was under attack. I must be more vigilant. Thank you so very much for pointing this out.

    Love,
    Janie

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  3. Great post! I don't think people acknowledge spiritual warfare often enough. We don't always recognise it and as a result give into it. Thank you again for sharing your experiences and for your words of encouragement

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