Encouragement for Today - July 30, 2012


Tracie Miles

July 30, 2012

The Invisible Battle
Tracie Miles

"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:17 (NIV)

I was in a field, in the middle of the night. Others were around me, but I could not see them clearly; only moonbeams pierced the dark.

Out of nowhere, unseen forces pressed me to the ground, keeping me from defending myself. Hatred spewed from the invisible evil. Fear and confusion encompassed me. I sensed God whispering to me that His Word was my only hope. I knew His truths held power over this wickedness.

As could only happen in a dream, I shrunk to the size of a pencil. I threw myself onto an open Bible, grabbed a handful of pages and rolled with all my might. The papers tore from the creases as I wrapped myself tightly in God's Word. Instantly, the faceless enemies retreated.

I woke up listening to my rapid heartbeat and staring at the 3 a.m. blackness. My thoughts stumbled over one another, trying to figure out what had just occurred. Although I knew I was safe in my own bed, my heart was ravaged by this battle I'd experienced in the recesses of my mind.

I felt an overwhelming need to pray and spent the next hour talking with Jesus. Fears, hurts and longings of my heart overflowed. Soon a sense of freedom and peace washed over my spirit; one I hadn't experienced in a long time.

My family and I had been engaged in fierce spiritual warfare. The past year had been marked by one harsh blow after another. Instead of giving credit where credit was due, I'd merely attributed it to 'life.'

God showed me, like in the dream, we were under oppression. He helped me see I'd been trudging through life unknowingly carrying the crushing weight of disappointment, resentment and stress.

Negative emotions which stemmed from being hurt by someone I loved, various family concerns, as well as frustration and discouragement regarding circumstances in my life, had all erected a barrier between God and me.

I'd grown weary of praying prayers that seemed to go unnoticed. My feelings overshadowed my faith and I'd been relying on my own advice for handling adversities, rather than seeking God's wisdom.

As a result, I'd given the devil a foothold in my heart. So much time focused on my circumstances and feelings had inadvertently minimized my time focused on God's Word and His truths that would set me free.

Although I was feeling alone, God had never left my side. Deep down I still knew that only He held the power to release me from my oppression.

Through this dream, God opened my spiritual eyes to see I had not been choosing the right weapons to fight this battle. His Sword (His Word) was what I needed to deliver me from the stress and oppression, just as today's key verse explains.

Victory can only be found by spending time with Jesus and choosing His Word as our weapon - not only against life but also against the enemy who wants to steal our hearts.

God never leaves us to fight battles alone. His Word tells us many times that the battle is His, but we must choose to wrap ourselves in His promises and believe that He's our Protector who will fight to the death for His children.

In fact, He already did.

Dear Lord, set me free today from the grip the enemy has on my heart. Forgive me for thinking I could fight this battle on my own and help me to wrap up in Your Word. Intervene in my life and my circumstances, and lead me to victory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Visit Tracie's blog for more discussion on choosing your weapons to fight spiritual warfare.

Tracie's new book, Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World, will be releasing soon! Visit her blog to find out when the book will be available and how to sign up for her upcoming 10-Day Stress Detox.

We need to soak in God's Word so His voice is louder than the enemy's. Jesus Calling is a wonderful devotional book to help us tune in to the Lord's truths.

Reflect and Respond:
Have you felt oppressed lately and inadvertently given the devil a foothold?

Have you been focusing on your problems, or how God wants to work in the midst of them?

Power Verses:
Ephesians 6:13-18, "Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out." (MSG)

Proverbs 4:23, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." (NLT)

© 2012 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Monday, 30 July 2012.