It's always darkest before dawn, I've heard it said. I'm not sure that's always true but I can attest to the fact that there is often something that happens to dampen our spirits just prior to the delivery of good news.
There are often battles to be fought and won just prior to success.
They're called spiritual attacks.
They are real.
And they often seem most powerful before battles are won.
They're called spiritual breakthroughs.
They are most certainly real.
Because sometimes, heading toward good news requires a trip through the bad first. Sometimes, it's as if we're strapped on for a ride, as if we're atop a rocket for blastoff into outer space under seven million pounds of thrust. There's a lot a body goes through before reaching main engine cut-off where thrust drops off to allow for float, all pressure vanished.
Assuming our destination is reached, and all is peaceful there, the ride is worth it. Am I right? It feels so good to float!
Do you feel like the season you're in is fraught with conflict? Do you feel as though you are constantly dodging flying arrows or ducking fire? As if your body is backed by solid rocket fuel that's thrusting you into physically demanding atmospheres?
Or do you feel carried along against what energy you have, as if in a canoe, headed over rapids in a direction you don't wish to travel?
On the longest river a mind can imagine?
Maybe your journey isn't anything like the above, but maybe, just maybe it feels a million miles long. Maybe it's caused you sorrow. Maybe it's worn you out. Maybe it feels as if you're fighting all of the time.
I can relate. And right now because of all of that, my journey seems poised for breakthrough!
That's what I'm reminding myself of, as I feel pressure mounting and busyness reign. Recognizing I'm in the perfect season for elevated warfare. I feel them--those very real spiritual attacks. If you aren't aware of such phenomenon, let me tell you, they exist. Spiritual aggression is most assuredly authentic and not only are we largely unaware of it, we've no idea how to deal with it efficiently.
We blame circumstances, other humans, exhaustion, hunger, hormones...you name it. These are legitimate factors, to be sure. There are things we can change about ourselves that will make a difference. But so much of what we experience originates in the unseen.
That shouldn't freak us out. We have power over it! The first step in tapping into and utilizing such mightiness is recognizing it for what it is. We must know what we are dealing with in order to properly align our minds with the strength we have in our God. We must know what weaponry we are to use.
Prayer, constant petitions to our God for assistance, along with the belief that he will come to our aid, is more powerful than we can imagine. We have the strength of the almighty Spirit of God within us and on our side, when we choose to follow Jesus.
And so, when we remain in prayer, when we choose to see beyond what anchors us here, we can be mindful and encouraged through the process. When we feel particularly discouraged and yet, have tuned our senses to be receptive to the spiritual world, we can take heart. The best is yet to come and good is right around the corner! We don't need to dwell on the bad, but focus on what is lovely, honest, praiseworthy, and true.
We're turning into the sun, where dark clouds are beginning to part for a radiant day. There we can float in zero gravity for a little while. Where there are plenty of flowers, of course.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places ~ Ephesians 6:3