By Nancy Strackney
I’m finishing up a study on Spiritual Warfare and despite knowing what to expect and even recognizing when I’m in a spiritual battle, I’m not always adept at avoiding those flaming arrows or able to use the weapons God has supplied for the battle. If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get caught off guard by the enemy. That’s one of his tactics, the sneak attack, and he knows our weaknesses. But he also has no power over us unless we allow it.
The other day my daughter called and we were discussing one of her decisions concerning her two year old. When she told me what she was planning on doing, I said, “I think that’s a mistake,” and then gave her my reasons. She immediately became hostile, and it was not like her. In retrospect I realize she was feeling criticized and defensive, and I believe she learned it from me.
I have been defending myself all my life and it’s exhausting. Recently God has made it clear to me that He is my stronghold and my defender and I don’t have to be. So I told my daughter I was sorry but she brushed right by my apology and went on the offensive. It wasn’t the daughter I knew, but I was not going to let the enemy win this. I said again I was sorry, I was wrong, that I would try to respect her decisions in the future and that I loved her. She didn’t relent and finally I let her go as I felt that all too familiar “feel sorry for myself lump” rising in my throat as I said one last time, “I love you”.
After I hung up the phone, all I felt was praise. I thanked God for His grace, His mercy, His strength and wisdom. God had done what I could not. He was changing me! He had enabled me to send the enemy running by the power of a humble and contrite heart. Instead of my old response and a pity party, I felt peace and Gods presence. He strengthened my faith, as I saw the fruit of His Spirit working in me.
Within a few minutes my phone announced the arrival of a text and it was from my daughter. I was praising God again as I read, “I’m sorry I upset you, and I appreciate your advice, I’ve followed it many times. you’re a good mom, and I love you!” God is so faithful; He blessed me for doing it His way. I quickly sent a text back, thanking her and again reiterating my love and apology. I told her that I wanted to know when I was saying something that hurt her, even though it was hard for me to hear, because that is how I can change and grow.
I told her our words have power and I only wanted my words to encourage and comfort her, not hurt her. As it sent, I prayed that with those words God would plant seeds of Christ’s love in her heart just as He had planted them in mine. God helped me win a battle and bring me closer to to my daughter in a new way. I don’t want warfare but I’m readying myself for battle and I’m in it to win it. Every battle brings me one step closer to victory. I am a soldier in Heaven’s army, and I’m on the winning side!