fighting the flaming arrows of the evil one

For so long I thought I had to be healed to help. 

That I had to have it all together before I could help others get it together. 

That I had to be completely full of light before I could help others out of their darkness // That I had to be completely rid of my darkness before I could shine light into that of others. 

And you know what? That’s a crock of flaming lies from the Satan. 

I’ve experienced that getting out of my head/house, and reaching out to encourage others/volunteer has helped bring light and encouragement to others — even when I am having a hard day or a difficult season. I have experienced one phone call to a friend who needs encouraging taking me from being shrouded in darkness balled up on the couch to bounding around the house like a bouncing ball of light. 

I said to Clay today, “Isaiah was really onto something when he wrote chapter 58.”

I have felt hindered to begin rewriting my book because I am still battling this darkness from the evil spirits that Ephesians 6:12 proves is real. 

I felt like I couldn’t yet start again because I still struggle with bouts of pain and resulting depression. 

But you know what? That’s a crock of flaming lies from Satan. 

Ephesians 6:16 tells us that we must “take up the shield of faith, with which [we] can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” 

And so you know what? I’m choosing today — this day on which I don’t feel perfect, this day on which “the struggle is real” — to say to this evil one, “Not today!” and to put on not only just this “shield of faith” but the freaking FULL ARMOR OF GOD! {Eph. 6:13}

Because if God is for us, who can be against us? If He is with us, what can stand against?! {Romans 8:31; Chris Tomlin, Our God}

We may have to battle against Satan’s evil forces while we walk this earth, but as believers we know to where we run. We know to Whom this race is leading us. We know what the ending of our story is. 

And so if you find yourself in your “Dark Night of the Soul” or your “All Is Lost” moment in your film {screenwriting references!}, know that this isn’t it. Your journey isn’t over. He’s not finished with you yet. He’s not finished writing your story yet. 

Hillsong sings, “God, if you’re not done working, then I’m not done waiting.”

Scripture has a lot of “If, Then” statements. They are “calls” that come with “promises.” No, God is not a genie who grants us all that we ask, but His promises are remain true. Even from this ancient text written so long ago. Nay, ESPECIALLY from this ancient text written so long ago. 

I thought the following lyrics went as follows: “So take courage, my heart, stay steadfast, my soul; He’s in the waiting. So hold onto your hope, let this trial unfold; He’s never failing.” 

Turns out I was wrong. As Lloyd Christmas would say, “I was way off!”

Turns out the correct lyrics are: “And hold onto your hope, as your TRIUMPH UNFOLDS.” {Hillsong, Take Courage}

John 16:33 tells us that in this world we will have trouble. You may be feeling that pretty clearly and heavily today. But we don’t stop there… because God doesn’t stop there. He didn’t stop there. He sent His Son to die so we wouldn’t have to stop there. So who are we to say “no thanks!” to this loving God and stop there?! 

The second half of that verse, that truth, that promise, is this: “But take heart! For I have overcome the world.”

He’s overcome it all. All your darkness. All the darkness and the evils of this world. While Satan may have authority and dominion over this world now, our great God has the ultimate power and authority over all of eternity. He conquered death. He overcame the grave. 

God wins. That’s the end of The Story. And so it’s the end of ours. 

Take courage. Take heart. And watch as God ordains your triumph to unfold.

. . . 

Some of my favorite healthy alternatives from turning to unhealthy means for relief from pain and escape from emotion?

  • turn on some worship music and hop into a lavender bath {1 c. Epsom salt, 1/4 c. Himalayan pink salt, 1/4 c. Baking soda, 7 drops lavender. Exhale. Inhale. Repeat.}
  • curl up with a fire {*by a fire, you know what I mean}, a cozy blanket, and either a nice cup of coffee or if that’s not your thing, or it’s nighttime, a steamed cinnamon almond milk {2 c. organic unsweetened almond milk, shake of cinnamon, 2 dates, pitted; simmer until milk is just about to boil, throw it in your blender or Vitamix, and voila! A sweet drink to accompany Scripture reading! Yes — Truth! Not social media! Not TV! The sweet escape of Scripture. 
  • a 20 minute walk {or longer} in a quiet neighborhood if possible, or even to the ocean if that’s possible for you. It’s amazing when we step outside and see God’s glorious creation up close — from the sun and the jet streams of the sky to the smallest of flowers planted in the ground. Again: inhale. Exhale. Repeat. Music optional. The sound of birds chirping can be very soothing. A babies giggling. 

Y’all, this is all stuff I am still learning every day as I work out my faith. I love sharing God’s great revelations with y’all. It feels selfish to keep them to myself, sitting in the notes section of my phone where my inspiration lands — and all too often sits.

So thanks for reading. And if this was an encouragement to you, I encourage you to forward it to a friend or family member who may need some reminding of Truth and some shining on of light today.

. . .

PS – This photo is from my first missions trip to South Africa. It was taken after two 11 hour flights so don’t judge. But I couldn’t think of a better visual for this post AND bonus meaning — I was in the most difficult season and darkest place of my life at the time I left for this trip. I had so many doubts, felt so weak, and yet God showed up, strengthened me, and even allowed me to shine some light on some people who really needed it — children and adults alike. He’s just that mighty.

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