By LESLIE LUDY
As I’ve studied the lives of many great Christian women throughout the centuries, I’ve noticed that many of them had an incredible understanding of how to put on the full armor of God and resist the fiery darts of the enemy in the power of Christ’s Name.
I was greatly inspired by the fearless confidence of Gladys Aylward when she was a young missionary on her way to China to fulfill the call of God on her life. In Russia, she was detained by corrupt government officials. As she sat in a hotel room, thinking about a way to escape, the owner of the hotel tried to force his way in.
Boldly she told him, “You are not coming in here.”
“Why not?” he smirked.
“Because this is my bedroom.”
“I am the master, I can do with you what I wish!”
“Oh no, you cannot. You may not believe in God, but He is here. Touch me and see. Between you and me God has put a barrier. Go!”
The man stared at Gladys, shivered, and without another word, turned and left.
Imagine having that much confidence in the protection that God promises His children! Not just hoping God will come through for you, but knowing He will. Not cowering in fear when the enemy tries to attack, but rising up in the strength of God and trampling him under our feet.
Christ has already conquered the enemy of our souls. The only thing Satan can do is put on a magic show; using smoke and mirrors to trick us into taking him seriously and letting him have his way in our lives. But if we stand firmly in the power that Christ has given us, no weapon formed against us can prosper. (See Isaiah 54:17.)
Take some time to study the nature of Christ vs. the nature of Satan in Scripture. Make a list of any of the attacks in your life that are clearly coming from the enemy and not from God. Instead of simply accepting the harassments of the enemy, deliberately choose to put on the armor of God, stand upon His promises, lift the shield of faith, and repel the fiery darts of the enemy. Once you recognize that you don’t have to accept his harassments and that Jesus Christ has given you power over all the power of the enemy, you can walk boldly and confidently in your position as a protected child of the King. (See Luke 10:19.)
As we trust in God’s protection, we can rest confidently in the fact that the enemy cannot “have his way” in our lives (see Luke 10:19; James. 4:7). Yet this doesn’t mean that God will never allow us to face difficulties, or that we as won’t walk through “trials of many kinds” such as persecution or false accusation. (See James 1:2; Luke 2:35.)
So how do we know we’ll be able to handle difficult circumstances if and when they come?
In her book, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom shares a story from her childhood when she told her father about her fear of facing hardship and suffering.
“Corrie,” he began gently. “When you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?”
“Why, just before we get on the train,” she replied.
“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of him, Corrie. [When the time comes for you to suffer], you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.”
Fretting and worrying about “what ifs” shows a lack of trust in our God. We envision all the possible trials we might face, but fail to look at them through a heavenly lens and remember the grace, strength, and victory that God offers for every challenge we must walk through. We must remember that God gives us the grace we need for specific trials right when we need it, and not before.
Rather than worrying about what might happen in the future, we can rest securely in the knowledge that:
• God can turn anything the enemy means for evil into good in our lives. (See Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28.)
• He will not allow us to walk through trials we are not able to handle. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13.)
• Even when we walk through difficult circumstances, we can triumph through every challenge when we put our hope in Him. (See Psalm 25:3.)
Worrying about “what ifs” is not only dangerous to our spiritual lives, but it also distracts us from “being all there” for the work God has called us to today. Elisabeth Elliot wrote,
“Worry is refusing the given. Today’s care, not tomorrow’s, is the responsibility given to us, apportioned in the wisdom of God. Often we neglect the thing assigned for the moment because we are preoccupied with something that is not our business just now. How easy it is to give only half our attention to someone who needs us – friend, husband, or little child – because the other half is focused on a future worry.”
When we lay down our worries at Jesus’ feet, and take up “the shield of faith” to repel the fiery darts of the enemy, we’ll experience the “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow” that God intends us to have.