Spiritual warfare is real…every time I read Ephesians 6:10-12 I am reminded of that fact; however, sometimes something happens pretty close to home…like what happened with Charisse last Friday…
Friday mornings are usually my mornings to “sleep in.” Usually I do so until around 7:00…but last Friday I was very tired and wound up staying in bed until around 8:15 or so. I finally got out of bed, turned on my coffee maker and then walked upstairs to Charisse’s room where Lucretia had been for about 45 minutes or so.
(For new readers…Charisse is my four year old daughter, Lucretia is my amazing wife!)
Whether Lucretia or myself gets Charisse up in the mornings it is pretty much the same routine. We spend some time chatting with her when she first wakes up then she makes up her bed (with a little assistance from us) and then we sit down and read her children’s Bible and a devotional with her.
When I got into the room on Friday morning Lucretia had “that look” on her face, the one that says “I’m frustrated.” (If you are a husband then you know that look quite well and usually your biggest prayer is “that look” has something to do with the kids and not you!!!)
So, I asked her (with a touch of nervousness) “what’s wrong?”
She said, “It’s been a frustrating morning, Charisse hasn’t been paying attention to her Bible or devotional and has been actually resisting wanting to read it and/or listen to it. It’s never been like this and I knew something was wrong. It took some time but she finally told me what was happening.”
I was curious and so I asked what Charisse had said, to which she turned to Charisse and said, “tell daddy what you told me about why you didn’t want to read your Bible.”
Charisse looked me and said, “Daddy, I had a bad dream last night. Satan was in my dream and he told me that he didn’t want me to read my Bible anymore or even listen to it and that when you or mommy tried to read it to me that I needed to cry and be not nice and not pay attention.”
I was stunned.
I have read about things like this. Heck, I’ve talked with people about spiritual warfare issues…and I’ve even experienced some things personally that I do not talk about publicly that much (because it would simply bring out the people who happen to see a demon behind every bad thing that happens!)
But this was real…it was serious…and it was happening in my home!
(AND…for the record let me be VERY clear. We do not allow Charisse to have a lot of television time…and so she doesn’t know about “scary movies” and such. We don’t talk a whole lot about the devil in our house. We’re always talking to her about Jesus. This was not something she had seen on television or the computer.)
The enemy launched a direct attack against my daughter…and his attack on her was the same basic attack he launched on Eve in the Garden of Eden (and that he launches on us every day)...don’t listen to the Word of God. If he can get us to doubt and discard God’s Word, then he can ultimately destroy our lives (see John 10:10)...and he does not care how young or old we are…he’s on the attack (I Peter 5:8) and warfare is real.
Lucretia and I spent some time with her that morning explaining to her that Satan is a liar (see John 8:44) and that anything he says is meant to hurt us, not help us. She received what we were teaching her and went on to listen to the Bible stories and the devotional like normal…however, that event was a divine slap in the face for me as I was reminded by the Lord that I need to pray more fervently for my family (see Lamentations 2:19)...that we would be ROOTED in God’s Word and protected from the enemy and the schemes he has to attack and destroy our family. (II Corinthians 2:11)
Spiritual warfare is real…it happens everyday and the main goal of the enemy is to get us to doubt and discard God’s Word!
I do not write this to scare you (and for the record, Charisse does not live in fear about this bad dream she had!) I write this to encourage you to pray like you’ve never prayed and to DIVE into God’s Word…because if the enemy is trying to keep you away from something then it MUST be good for you.
I’ve never met anyone who was sold out to God’s Word and God’s ways confess to me about a past life that they regret…however, I’ve had numerous people who have followed the way of rebellion tell me that they wish they had it to do all over again.
God can use all things for His glory and our good…and He has done so with this event in my life, I hope that me writing about it encourages you to be aware that we have a real, live enemy…and that you will not fear him but rather take up the fight against him through prayer and applying the Word of God in your life.