What a crazy intense week we have had! Spiritual warfare has always been something that I have been aware of, but there is a big difference between general battle with the enemy and hand-to-hand combat. This week, Nancy and I have seen God move in powerful ways. In two days we experienced the salvation of four of our contacts and had many more encouraging conversations that we pray will eventually lead to that point as well. The Holy Spirit has moved us to be bold in our approach of the Gospel with people because God has prepared the hearts of people to hear. People are ready, and Satan is ANGRY.
In light of all the great things God has been doing this week in Nancy and I’s ministry, we have been under heavy fire. Satan has brought just about everything possible in an attempt to discourage and wound us, but he has not been successful. Yesterday when I woke up for my devotional time, I was broadsided with a myriad of things from the accuser. “You are useless. Everyone else on your team is effective in their ministry, but you are just an observer. You have no fruit. You are doing everything you know to do and still not seeing results. There is something internally wrong with you.” He then continued to bring accusations, and I cried out to God. I asked Him, “Is there something that is standing between You and me that would cause me to be ineffective? Is there sin in my life?” It was amazing to me that from three different places, God confirmed His presence in my life. I opened my Bible to Psalm 26 and read the words:
“Declare me innocent, O Lord,
For I have acted with integrity;
I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me.
Test my motives and my heart.
For I am always aware of Your unfailing love,
And I have lived according to Your truth…
I wash my hands to declare my innocence.
I come to Your altar, O Lord,
Singing a song of thanksgiving
And telling of all Your wonders…
Now I stand on solid ground,
And I will publicly praise the Lord.”
Satan attacked harder. I felt so heavy. I opened up Jude and read these words from verses 24-25:
“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into His glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to Him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are His before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.”
I heard in the song I was listening to at this precise moment declare, “FAULTLESS!” and I began to nearly wail as tears streamed down. I went back to bed still struggling to tell my emotions the truth, but the seed had been planted in my heart. When Nancy and I woke up later in the morning, I shared with her what happened, and we talked again about how intense this week has been with attacks. I am so thankful to have a great partner who recognizes what is happening as well and that we can speak truth into each other’s lives when warfare happens. There are so many times when she has held me up, and I hope that I have done the same for her.
During the day, I just became angry at Satan and everything he was trying to do. I was angry at him for all the horrible things he says and does to God’s children. I was angry at all the evil that he brings into the lives of so many people. He started throwing fiery darts back to back to back. As we were standing on the sidewalk waiting for the bus, I began rebuking him in the name of Jesus with my voice. Ephesians 6:10-17 says:
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
I can see how God has used every piece of this armor in the war that has been raging this week. I needed truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God; I had all of these. However, just like a soldier can have a loaded gun and never use it, we can have these things and not be armed and ready for war. I had to choose to stand my ground. I had to declare truth, pray for God to confirm His righteousness in my life, and decide to walk in peace. I had to lift up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows and hold my head high, knowing that I was covered in God’s salvation. Not only did I need to rebuke the devil, but I had to expose His plot and declare the Word of God. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the One who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.” We have everything we need; we must be ready to use it. This is not boot camp; this is the real deal. This is war. This week, we invaded the devil’s camp and took four of his captives home. It only makes sense that he would be angry.
In the power of God, and depending completely on His protection, I continue to declare to Satan: “You have no place in my life. You lost that battle forever. You have no place in our ministry, in our church, or in our team. We are covered by the blood of Jesus. You cannot win here.”
God has been speaking to me this week about light and darkness. He is light in the darkness. I was in the car one night with our friend David and my partner Nancy and we drove by a mountain that was incredibly dark but was covered in city lights. In the midst of deep sadness, God spoke to my heart, “Chelsea, you know that if light and darkness were to go into battle, light would win because light is stronger than darkness. The same is true with my light. I am stronger, and I am in you. You are not defeated, and as long as you are standing strong with my light shining in you, you will never be defeated. Lift up your head, for victory is yours.” There’s a song by Hillsong that says, “Darkness trembles in Your holy light.” I love that picture. I love that truth. I choose to walk in that.
I opened my Bible this morning to the Psalm for the day, Psalm 27 and read:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—
So why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
So why should I tremble?…
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
My heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident.
The one thing I ask of the Lord—
The thing I seek most—
Is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…
For He will conceal me there when troubles come;
He will hide me in His sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
Above my enemies who surround me…
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
So I will praise Him. I will be brave and courageous. I will declare that God is my victory. He is my hope and stay. I will not waver. As I listened to song after song by Hillsong Chapel this morning, I was challenged and encouraged beyond words. “In all of my life and in every season, You are still God and I have a reason to sing; I have a reason to worship. I will bring praise, no weapon formed against me shall remain. I will rejoice and I will declare, God is my victory and He is here.” I just kept singing in my heart, “You are stronger…Jesus, You are Lord of all!” How incredible it is to be able to live in this confidence and victory. The Lord of all lives within me. So I will lift up my head and stand strong in Him.