faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare, Uncategorized

The Battle

I’ve been writing a lot about the battle these past few weeks.  I must admit it is getting pretty fierce. Yet another attack yesterday on a personal level. But I won’t be stopped. I will continue to follow God’s leading.

It’s easy for us here in the states to forget about this battle.  Attacks here are rare because we tend to live our lives in such a way as to nullify the need for them. There’s no need to bring a full-on attack to someone who doesn’t believe there is a battle. There’s no need to bring a full-on attack when we succumb to an arrow now and then. Satan sends a little arrow of hate in our direction and we do the rest of the work for him by attacking ourselves, believing the worst about others intentions, and hiding in a corner to lick our wounds.

But there is a full-blown war going on in every part of the world, even in our very homes.

The good news is that we are not alone in this battle.  We have a warrior king who is sending warriors to fight it.  Like this guy and the host of others behind and beside him:

 12 “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” 14 Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. – 2 Kings 6:12-17

When I am tempted to fear the battle, I will stop and pray and look to my right and my left with my spiritual eyes and nod at those who fight with me, strap on the armor of God and stand.

In the battle today, please pray for:

1. The orphanage, the children and the missionaries who serve there – Pray for protection, for wisdom, for strength.

2. Haiti Health Ministries – an EFCA-supported clinic in Haiti. They are in a pitched battle – pray for protection, for favor with the government and that God will supply a lawyer to help them.

3. Please pray for me personally – that as I leave tomorrow, that I will listen to God’s voice alone, that I will depend upon Him solely for my strength, that I choose to gird myself in His armor and that I seek His will and not my own.

faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

Don’t Put it Down!!!!

Ok, I have to laugh at myself. I’m looking back at this morning, and the three previous days of this week and laughing at my stupidity. (I know it’s a harsh word, but you’ll soon see why it applies.)

On Monday and Tuesday, I was gripped by immense pain so much so that I had to go home from work both days. Most of you who really know me, know that it takes a lot to get me to home from work, but no one had to chase me out either day. I spent the rest of each day, literally curled in the fetal position and other things to delicate to mention here.

On Tuesday morning, word came from the orphanage that there was a very urgent need for prayer regarding a “significant” legal issue and we were requested to pray unceasingly (which I did from my bed).

On Wednesday morning, I was back at work for less than an hour when I was called back to my sons’ school because my youngest was vomiting. No sooner do I get him home, then I receive an email saying the next oldest has received lunch detention for being disrespectful to a teacher, then a call from the school nurse that he’s been punched in the back of the head by another student, all to be followed by the 8th grade principal calling to detail what he had done to provoke the punching.

In the midst of all this, my husband has been suffering nausea and headaches.

Then this morning, I get a text from my daughter-in-law that has me on edge for that family and another email from my husband saying that he’s got that nausea again.

It took me until this afternoon to realize the source of all of this strife this week.

See I had put down my armor…

As I picked it back up again this afternoon (a bit late I admit), I pulled out the prayer at the back of John Eldredge’s book, Waking the Dead. If you haven’t picked this book up yet, it’s certainly not because I haven’t mentioned it over and over.

In the prayer are these words…

I now bring the cross of Christ between me and all people, all spirits, all things.

and these…

Jesus, I also sincerely receive you as my authority and rule, my everlasting victory over Satan and his kingdom, and I receive all the work and triumph of your ascension, whereby Satan has been judged and cast down, his rulers and authorities disarmed,’° all authority in heaven and on earth given to you, Jesus,” and I have been given fullness in you, the Head over all.  I take my place in your ascension, whereby I have been raised with you to the right hand of the Father and established with you in all authority.” I bring your authority and your kingdom rule over my life, my family, my household, and my domain. And now I bring the fullness of your work your cross, resurrection, and ascension-against Satan, against his kingdom, and against all his emissaries and all their work warring against me and my domain. Greater is he who is in me than he who is in  the world.’ Christ has given me authority to overcome all the power of the Evil One, and I claim that authority now over and against every enemy, and I banish them in the name of Jesus Christ.

I have to confess every time I read the line about bringing the cross of Christ between me and all people, spirits and things, the mental picture that comes to my head is this one…

I was discussing my week and this mental image with a brother of mine and the fact that I hadn’t really been warring in prayer over my family. The first thing he said made me laugh out loud.  “Satan has that same pasty white skin and the plastic fangs and the scary look but when we hold up the cross of Christ, he cowers in fear.”

The second thing he said was this, “Satan never stopped coming at you, Natalie, you put that cross down and had it down all week.” Ooh, that hurt.  And therein lies my stupidity and the reason for the title of this post.

Peter reminds us of Satan’s tenacity in I Peter 5:8:

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Satan only cowers when we invoke our authority, when we don’t he roams around looking to see what damage he can do.

I put my guard down this week, but I’ve picked it back up.  Don’t put yours down! Make him cower in fear at the authority you have in Christ Jesus!

If you don’t know Jesus as your personal savior, take a few moments even now to ask him into your life and make you new from the inside out. He’ll give you a new life!

adoption, Bible Study, faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare, worshipping

Waiting and Worshipping

As I wait on the Lord, I am worshipping. I thought I’d share some of the great worship songs I’m using.

Natalie Grant – Greatness of Our God

Hillsong United – You

I’m heading to Haiti on March 18 to be available to jump hurdles that can only be jumped there.  Brian will join me later in the week.

Please continue to pray the hurdles down! Please pray for our children here in the states too, that they would be safe from the fowler’s snare and the arrows that the enemy loves to shoot.

We so appreciate all of you who are praying with us!

 

Bible Study, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

How Could I Forget So Easily?

The fierce warrior spirit of last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday fell apart over the weekend and the seeds of doubt started to sprout.

But I’ve been weeding the garden of my faith tonight, forcefully ripping out anything that doesn’t remind me of the God of the Angel Armies whom I choose to serve with my whole heart.

This was the sound track playing in my head as I wrote this post:

But I’ve been weeding in the garden of my faith plucking

Bible Study, faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

Faith Without a Doubt

It’s been a fascinating 10 days since I published my post, “A Call to Prayer.  You can find it here. There have been many skirmishes and one major all out attack, but the overarching strategy is to get me to doubt.  Here are some examples:

  • Why would God talk to you?
  • Your reputation is on the line.  Don’t you think you should back down a little?
  • You were praying for a specific date before, and look what happened then.
  • You can’t trust the people you’re dealing with. How do you know the birth mother won’t change her mind?
  • Your husband’s reputation is on the line.  You’re both going to end up looking like fools.
  • Isn’t your blog just really an attempt to get attention?
  • You can’t trust God.

Really the list of lies swimming through my head could go on and on and on and on. And it’s difficult sometimes not to listen, to remind myself that lies are what they really are.

The past two days God has used scripture to remind me that He is faithful, that He is able, that He is trustworthy and that He is mighty in power. To my amusement, He had me finding all of this in the book of Numbers. Why was I amused? I usually pass over this book since in my head, it’s about numbering all the people in Israel and usually that bores (full-blown honesty here) me to tears.

But I read Numbers 10 and 11 yesterday and 12 and 13 today. And here’s what God taught me:

Lesson #1 from Numbers 11:18-23 – God brought each person 60 bushels of quail that day.  Is the LORD’s arm too short?  I don’t think so…..

Lesson #2 from Numbers 13:26-33 – If God says the land is flowing with milk and honey, trust Him, it is….

Lesson #3 from Numbers 14:26-38 – Faith is rewarded – Joshua and Caleb would live to see the day that the Israelites entered the Promised Land because they believed God. Doubt is not rewarded….

Lesson #4 from Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 2:1-12,  Mark 5:25-34, Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43 – Bold requests are answered when they are made with absolute faith!

Lesson #5 from Mark 9:14-25

Lord, I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!!!!!

Bible Study, faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

Wait for the Lord

So I have been following the Life Journal Reading Plan through youversion.com for a little more than a year now.  Today’s reading came from Numbers 10 and 11, Psalm 27 and Mark 1.

Today, these verses spoke to my heart.

Numbers 11:23 The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

When I am tempted to doubt (which I freely admit happens daily and sometimes multiple times in the day) these verses and those that I have posted earlier are what I will be turning to.

I am still standing firm that we will be on a plane back from Haiti with our sons on March 25.

Today, Lord, even today let us receive the needed presidential dispensation. But, not my will, Your will be done, Father.

adoption, Bible Study, faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

Storming the Gate

When I wrote the post “A Call to Prayer” on Monday, I was reminded of a scene from a movie Brian and I recently watched. It’s a perfect visual of what happens when a stronghold, such as a castle, or a stronghold in the spiritual sense comes under attack. Here it is, albeit missing the battering ram which follows on the heels of this.

We, and our prayers, are that attack on the castle.

Whenever a castle was attacked in medieval times, those attacking could expect archers on the ramparts, a hail of arrows and vats of boiling oil poured out as they approached. There’s a desperate defense that’s deadly.

I knew when I wrote that post that there would be a desperate defense, an attack from the ramparts, that there would be a pitched battle. But we, we will not relent. Though we are attacked, we will continue to pray for the fall of the strongholds.

If you’re praying with us, be sure to gird yourself for battle, because you’re in it.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, 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 loans with truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 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 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

The first arrows have already been shot at us. There have already been counterattacks from the enemy. Put on your spiritual armor and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition.

Pray for protection and against discouragement and despair:

  • for the orphanage and the missionaries who serve there –  Jasmine, Greg, Laura, Ayla and Betsy
  • for adoptive families all over the US who are discouraged and anxious over their adoptions
  • for our prayer warriors, of whom there are many.

I will keep you up to date with how you can be praying.

Thank you for your faithful remembrance! Keep praying for the day when the gate is in flames and the files come flying out…..

Bible Study, faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

At War

There is no war is the subtle-but pervasive-lie sown by an enemy so familiar to us we don’t even see him. For too long he has infiltrated the ranks of the church, and we haven’t even recognized him. (John Eldredge. Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive (Kindle Locations 1730-1731). Kindle Edition.)

By the way, if you haven’t read John Eldredge’s book referenced above, run don’t walk to the nearest bookstore, or download it immediately onto your Kindle. As a matter of fact, click here for a link to it. If you’re a Nook owner, here’s your link.

Shortly after the location of the quote above, Eldredge discusses the use of the phrase, “The Lord Almighty” and his research of the meaning of it in Hebrew.

“The Hebrew means “the God of angel armies,” “the God of the armies who fights for his people.” The God who is at war. Does “Lord Almighty” convey “the God who is at war”? Not to me, it doesn’t. Not to anyone I’ve asked. It sounds like “the God who is up there but still in charge.” Powerful, in control. The God of angel armies sounds like the one who would roll up his sleeves, take up sword and shield to break down gates of bronze, and cut through bars of iron to rescue me. Compare “Joe is a good man who is in control” to “Joe is a Navy Seal.” It changes the way you think about Joe and what he’s up to. Why don’t “most readers today” understand about the God of angel armies? Could it be because we have abandoned a warfare worldview? Who sold us that crock of sanctimonious puff-and-fluff?” (John Eldredge. Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive (Kindle Locations 1736-1742). Kindle Edition.)

We are at war with an enemy who is out to destroy us. But most of us don’t believe it. Whenever I need a reminder of that, I have only to think of my friends Jasmine and Greg Martinson who live on the front lines of the spiritual battlefield in Haiti or look at my two teenage sons who battle the demons of their past every day or recognize the voice of the thief in my own head trying to get me to agree with him that I’m no good or his favorite lie for me, “You didn’t hear God speaking to you, Satan’s trying to tempt you into believing you’re hearing God speak. Why would YOU think that God would speak to YOU?”

When I am tempted to make an agreement and believe those lies, I listen to a great song by Tye Tribbett & G.A. called “Stand Out”

When I’m in the midst of an attack, I listen to another great song by Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers called Giants.

But we serve a mighty God-the God of the Angel Armies-and we need not fear the attack, but we do need help to stand. Ecclesiastes 4:12 – And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. So, when I’m under attack, I call some friends to pray for me and stand with me. And then I listen to songs that remind me the God of the Angel Armies will rescue me. Here a couple great ones. The first is my current favorite – Northpoint Alive’s No One Higher/The Stand

or JJ Hairston’s Lord You’re Mighty

Don’t stand on your own, you’ll fall. Call some friends, email me, but most importantly seek the face of the God of the Angel Armies and call on His name.