Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Talk Tuesday-Knowing You Jesus; Spiritual Warfare in Suffering

Spiritual warfare is real. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12

In my previous posts, I shared about the overwhelming presence of Jesus during my first surgery. The emptiness I felt leading into the second operation foreshadowed the desert experience I was to undergo during my 40 day stay in the hospital. Last week I shared about the additional pain and tests. It turned out that I had contracted bacterial meningitis, a potentially lethal infection in my cerebral spinal cord fluid. Yet, God in His infinite goodness, saw us through it all.

As I suffered in the flesh, warfare was happening in the spiritual realm. Each night was filled with restless dreams of darkness and fire. I would awaken in terror, not understanding why my sleep was not filled with peace. As I looked up, there was Andrew stationed in prayer, interceding throughout the night on my behalf. I determined to fix my eyes on Jesus, yet I struggled through the noise of the pain.

One Saturday morning, a nurse came into my room. I was feeling depressed, worn out and exhausted. She opened the Bible and began to read from Job and Psalms. I began to weep as I realized that indeed the Lord had not forsaken me. He sent His servant to strengthen me.

Then one night I had a dream. Someone was telling me that God had turned His back on me. I was facing this great mountain, that was symbolic of God's back. It seemed so real. As I awoke I cried out to the Lord. The Holy Spirit brought Psalm 23:4 to mind, "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." God sent another of His servants with a prophetic word. It exhorted me to focus on Him, to commune with Him during this trial, and that I would live and not die.

I began to KNOW that GOD was fighting my battles- that He was with me. Finally, the end of the 40 days was near. After another night of excruciating pain, Sunday morning dawned. My family came from church to relieve Andrew, and sit by my bedside. I was wrung out and exhausted. I felt like a runner who had almost reached the finish line but who had run out of steam. I lay there, on my back, weeping, pain eating at my body. The CSF tear had not yet healed. They inserted a lumbar drain in my spine to collect the leaking fluid, putting me on strict bed rest again. I remember this day clearly-it was the day of my TEMPTATION. As I lay there weeping, gnashing my teeth, my family began to cry too.

Then I heard it. I was stunned, yet too weary to say anything. "If you bow down and worship me, I will take away your pain." It as not the warm voice of my Shepherd Jesus. It was a bone-chilling voice, dark and frightening in my weakness. It was said to me in the depths of my suffering and pain. Satan came to offer me relief. I would like to say that I rebuked him in the Name of Jesus. I didn't even answer. I simply turned my face to left, looked out the window and began to sing praises to the LORD, "Blessed be Your name in the land marked with suffering, when there's pain in the offering, blessed be Your name..." tears streaming down my face.

"But Thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel" Psalm 22:3

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you." James 4:7-8

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:8-10

Remember, that Jesus intercedes on your behalf. God will never forsake you nor abandon you, whatever you are suffering through. He is faithful. Remember to hold on-just hold on. He will keep you, strengthen you and then use your testimony to strengthen others. HE IS FAITHFUL. Remember Jesus' words to Simon Peter:

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
Luke 22:31-23 Please, if you need prayer, post on our Prayer Wall. We promise to pray too.

1 comment:

Beloved said...

Wow, thanks for sharing once again. The depths of the audacity of the enemy! That becomes clearer and clearer the more and the longer we walk with the Lord. What a powerful reminder of the power of praise. What a testimony that your response to do just this came so quickly and naturally at your darkest hour. It could only have been this way if that was already your modus operandi ... or way of living ... long before this moment came.

Thank you for encouraging us toward the Lord and toward holding on in faith by your detailed testimony ... "Strengthening your brothers" (and sisters) just like Jesus asked Simon to. Thanks again ...

"He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed..." (Proverbs 11:25).