I had a pretty rough day yesterday. I was not feeling good, having slept little. By evening I began to feel truly wretched from lack of sleep and weakened from fasting. So last night (really early this morning) I found myself preyed upon again by the enemy, attacking me with a migraine.
Peter was right when he said: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,” (I Peter 5:8). If you’ve ever watched nature shows, lions are opportunistic. They hunt the young, the weak, the crippled, and any prey that have strayed from the fold. The majestic males leave the hard work to the females, then bully them away from the best parts of the kill. King of the beasts? Hardly! Lions are lazy, proud, bad-tempered, and opportunistic.
Just like a lion, the enemy attacked me when I was at my weakest: asleep. In fact, that’s when these attacks usually have occurred. So still desperately needing sleep, I woke up with a raging headache. Usually I can pray these attacks away in an hour, but I was so weakened and in such pain that all I could manage was a wordless plea to God.
The pain subsided and in came His voice: “You’ve got to fight the enemy. Fight with all the love in your heart.” Immediately, I understood that when the pain is so bad, I have always longed for death’s release. But instead what I got was Heaven’s response. I understood that fighting with all the love in my heart means fighting for the love of my children and my grandson, fighting for the love of the missionaries that I’m here to serve, fighting for the love of Europe and her lost people. Most of all, fight for the love of my Savior, who called me from the womb, and has a plan for my life.
When I thought about these people I love, the passion for them made my heart burn and suddenly all weakness was gone. I stood up. I took authority and told the enemy to get out of my house in Jesus’ name. Then I started to praise my God—the best release for this kind of burning passion.
After a little while I returned to bed and slept. This morning I awoke feeling much better. The time I spent in prayer was delightful, and I didn’t want to stop.
I have heard many Christians say how tired they are of always engaging in battle. Well, that’s life! We live in a battlefield, like it or not. We ignore that fact to our very great peril. The good news is this: if we fight, we cannot possibly lose. We are fighting a winning battle in a war that has already been won. And the only thing we are told to do is to stand.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people, Ephesians 6:10-18 (emphasis mine).
Stand, fight with all the love in your heart, and win! God is good!