This study is reminding me that though I may forget from time to time that the devil is real, at work among us, and I can be influenced by the "forces of evil." (Ephesians 6:12)
It has been sad for me while companioning and encouraging grieving moms through the years to watch many get stuck in a place of anger at God. These hurting moms not only question the timing and cause of death of their child, but actually blame God and turn away from Him in their darkest moments, just when the need Him most.
I did not turn away from God, I turned toward Him and drew closer to Him in my sorrow, me, and I know now it is because I had been exercising my spiritual core for many years before our son, Kevin, died.
Nevertheless, the enemy did attack me, my husband, and our family many times after our son's death. We were all heartbroken, traumatized, in shock and consumed by our grief; we were not prepared and were ill-equipped to fight against the attacks being waged against us by our enemy. I call him "our" enemy, because he hates God and he hates us because we love God. Satan was able to use death to distract us, drag us down and to try to pull us away from the God we love.
I highly recommend Priscilla Shirer's study to anyone who may not be aware, has forgotten or simply denies that the devil is real and is prowling around looking for who is weak and heavy-laden with sorrow and grief. He knows our weaknesses and whether we want to admit it or not, God's Word tells us that he is very mindful of us, because we are not on his side of things. He uses strategies and tactics to distract, discourage and convince us that God isn't good, and I believe that we have to know our enemy, if we are to withstand the attacks against us.
Priscilla focuses our attention not only on the reality of the devil, but how we can put on the "full armor of God" so we can stand firm and experience victory in Christ over the forces of evil that come against us. This study is equipping me to be a stronger, more courageous woman, and I fervently pray that it makes it way into the hands of many precious "moms like me."
The enemy knows me, knows my weaknesses and that I become complacent and lazy, misconstruing these for a false sense of peace. When I get too comfortable, that's when the enemy pays special attention to me and goes after me - not face to face, but covertly, using his lies, deceit and trickery in trying to get me to doubt God and spend little time in His Word, in prayer and fellowship with Him and His people. it is when I am tired and weary of the battle, loss and grief, that I am vulnerable and encouraged to think that God isn't enough.
After only one week in this Study I am stronger. I am putting on the full armor of God, one piece at a time. I am "girding" (encircling my spiritual core) with truth and I'm already standing up taller, gaining spiritual energy, more in balance and experiencing a greater sense of stability and strength. Back in line with the other soldiers of God, I will be able to better resist spiritual attacks and push against the enemy's strategies and schemes against me.
One way I know when my "spiritual core" muscles are weak is when I am too sensitive, easily hurt or offended. It was such a great reminder when Priscilla Shirer shares that feelings, "have no intelligence." When I rely on my feelings, that's when I begin to be tired, weary, out of balance, unstable and an easy target for the enemy.
This is the week that all that changes. With God's help I will put on the full armor of the "Divine Warrior."
How about you? Are you fully armed to resist and withstand the deceptions, lies and attacks from the enemy who will most certainly try to use your heartache and sorrow against you? How's your "spiritual core?" Are you girded with truth or do you rely on your feelings to guide you through life? I know firsthand that this great loss we are living with can be the catalyst for abundant living or it can derail us and even destroy our relationship with God and others.
It is my hope and prayer that you are fully equipped, but if not, I encourage you to put on the armor . . ."be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything to stand firm, Stand firm therefore having girded your loins with truth (our spiritual core) and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (being right and at peace with God) and having shod your feet (put on the spiritual shoes) with the preparation of the gospel of peace (good news of what Jesus has done); in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one, And, take up the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God). With all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray!" (Ephesians 6:10-19)
If you have a chance do Priscilla Shirer's Armor of God Bible study - as our son, Kevin, would always say, "Just Do It!" If it's not available in a local church, you can get the the study book and probably watch the video online Maybe there is a group of moms that you are connected to that would be willing to go through this study together.
Praying that you will be armed and able to stand firm, and will be an active part of our great resistance against the "forces of evil" in this troubled world.
With Faith, Hope and Love,
Angie "a mom like you"