Spiritual Warfare

I'm not normally the type of guy who sees a demon in every bush or blames Satan for all my issues, but I really think I'm in the middle of a pretty heavy season of spiritual warfare right now.

I'm easily depressed, constantly worrying, having a difficult time being patient with my family, and starting to think defensively about a lot of things. But here's the deal--I have absolutely no reason to be feeling those things. In fact, I should be on top of the world. My life is pretty great right now. I have the love and support of my family and my church. God is blessing our church in some amazing ways. I'm losing weight. We're paying our bills. This is why I'm bold enough to call it spiritual warfare. Because externally things are great, but internally I feel like a mess. I really feel like I'm under attack for the purpose of getting me off of the road I'm meant to be on.

I keep trying to remind myself of all the reasons I have to feel the opposite of the way I feel. Jamie's been great--stopping to pray over me occasionally and smile at me when I don't feel like smiling. 

The other day I felt like I really needed to get some place quiet and spend some time with God. At first I drove to the Davis Arboretum, but I couldn't find a place to park so I headed back to Dixon. The only place I could think to go that would be peaceful and I wouldn't be interrupted was the Dixon Cemetery. (You're probably thinking if you want to stop feeling depressed, stop hanging out in cemeteries! I know, I've already thought it, too.) As far as cemeteries go, it's an awesome one. Lots of really old stones. There are people buried there that were among some of the first to settle California. Lots of big ol' trees, too. I grabbed a Bible out of the car and walked to the center of the cemetery and just sat down on the ground up against a big tree. I prayed for a while. Read the Bible for a while. Prayed some more.

There was no one else there. I was the only living human around. But it wasn't quiet. There was more life in that cemetery than any place I've been in a while. Thousands of birds and other creatures moving around and making quite a bit of noise.

I felt a lot of different things while there. Grateful that I drove myself there and was sitting above the ground. I was hit by a feeling of smallness, too. There was so much noise from the birds, that I realized my voice isn't the most important or even most prominent that is praising God. I felt relief from being able to get an hour or two away from the phone, the computer, my climate-controlled house, the noise of the TV and every other man-made distraction.

I don't know why I tell all of this other than to say, Satan may keep attacking me, but I'll just do my best to fight it and keep being faithful. This is the awesome thing about doing battle with Satan--he's beaten already. He's annoying. He's distracting. He wears you down sometimes. But ultimately he's nothing. Watching him attack me is like watching some annoying punk kid pick on a much bigger, older, tougher individual. It's distracting and frustrating sometimes, but I can still smile because I know whom I stand with. Satan's got nothing on us. All he can do is come at us with dark feelings, temptations, and circumstances to try to take our eyes off of God.  But we serve the God in whom there is no darkness and the darkness flees from him. We serve the God who promised that not only will he not tempt us, but will not allow Satan to tempt us more than we can handle. We serve a God who lives in us and gives us the ability to find joy and wisdom in any circumstance!

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