Saturday, November 27, 2010

Attack Right Back!

My sister-in-law, Mary Hilger is someone I consider a spiritual mentor. She has the most beautiful Christian heart - and I admire her inexhaustible enthusiasm and commitment to God. Her faith walk has progressed in amazing ways over the past decade. She's been on pilgrimages to Yugoslavia, India, Italy, Nigeria and she's travelled all across the Continental US promoting her ministry: Spiritual Hands ( http://www.spiritualhands.org/ )

A retreat I attended with her and my other beloved sister-in-law, Kathy, almost fifteen years ago was a turning point in my life. It opened my eyes and heart to the abundant grace, love and mercy of God. This is a truth I can never again take lightly. It changed my life in so many wonderful ways.

But Mary has a saying she related to me once that always stuck - especially when I feel like my life, and the lives of those I love, are in tribulation. Her saying is this: Satan is powerful, too, and he's never, ever happy watching people do God's work.

Boy, is she right. Once he gets wind of Christians on the march, what does he love to do? He loves to go on the attack. My heart overflows as prayer requests pour in lately: professional distress and doubt, getting slapped down when you're doing your best to honor God and His pathway, health issues, family issues in trials both economic and emotional in nature.

My editor and I spoke recently about the fact that we've both taken a good long look at things lately and have simply had to say: "Satan, GET OUTTA HERE!" and our conversation gave me the idea for this post - as did conversations both public and private on a couple of the social loops to which I belong where person after beloved person is facing all kinds of trouble.

I'm learning that it's not easy playing on God's mission field, relating his glory and truth and love. I lose confidence very easily. I watch others progress with seeming ease and grace in their writing ministry and I get down on myself, not feeling quite 'up to snuff.' Know what that is? It's satan, robbing me of the joy I find with each story I write, each move forward I've made to share my stories with others. He does that via a most potent vehicle in his arsenal: The emotion of self-doubt, and it's poisonous.

I fear for the happiness of those I love. I see particular people in my life trying so hard to do what's right and pave their way in this world with righteousness and a good heart. Then, despite efforts full of valor, they get slapped down. Know what that is? It's satan, planting fear in their hearts...and mine.

I hear about health issues being faced so bravely by those I care for, and I deal with a few of my own and I get so frustrated. Know what that is? It's satan, planting fear and anxiety in our minds, which can only hinder the body and its natural healing processes (the mind is a powerful healing mechanism!)

So, time and time again I have to remember to go back to God's word, and keep on trusting in His goodness and the beauty of His plan - for ALL of us. I then rest peacefully in the fact that no matter what, satan is NOT going to win. Oh, he'll probably take a round or two as I struggle with my imperfect humanity, but he won't win the war. No way. God's already seen to that through the love and sacrifice of His Son.

Game. Over.

What's on your heart as the seasons of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year arrive? Whatever they are, please know I pray for you to rest in the palm of God's hand and live in his peace - knowing you are precious, and His will for your life is nothing but what is good. When you feel under attack by Satan, remember three important words: ATTACK RIGHT BACK!

Until next time, God bless ~ and keep fighting the good fight!

Marianne

28 comments:

Danielle Thorne said...

What a beautiful post. We all need to be reminded of that quite regularly!

Donna B said...

Thank you, Marianne, what a wonderful uplifting post. And yes, in the worst of times, we have but to look up and He's with us. He didn't promise it would be easy, but He did promise He would always be there! God bless all who need prayers, may your health and hearts be strengthened by our maker.

Marianne Evans said...

Danielle, thanks for your visit - and it's so true, especially when we end up in the land of doubt, that we need to remember who ends up victorious. :-) Blessings!

Marianne Evans said...

Donna, you nailed it - He never promises "easy" - but He sure does promise GOOD. :-) Your prayer is beautiful, too. Thank you for sharing it!

Delia Latham said...

Very true. Very timely. I was just telling a friend today that God is not the author of confusion...or self-doubt...or anything else that is NOT faith. And if God is not the author of these attacks, then guess who is? Marianne, you nailed this one, girl! :) Beautiful post!

Annabelle Ambrosio said...

That was beautifully written.

Elizabeth Pina said...

k you so much for the reminder, Marianne. It's never easy, but it is possible.

Clare Revell said...

nice post...
but right now he's won. Esp after the last few days. And it being Sunday isn't gonna help.

Neecy said...

Thank you, Marianne.
What a lovely post. I am truly blessed to have a friend like you in my life.
Love,
Neecy

Victoria Roder said...

Hi Marianne,
Thanks for sharing the post and your heart. You are an inspiration.

Marianne Evans said...

Delia, thanks so much! Great reply! Blessings my friend!!

Marianne Evans said...

Annabelle, thanks for your visit, and your kind post. I appreciate it! Blessings

Marianne Evans said...

Hi, Elizabeth! So true!! Reminders to keep up the good fight always come in handy - most especially when we're feeling down!

Marianne Evans said...

Hey, Clare ~
It being the Lord's day will definitely help - and if satan has won a round, keep pushing through. Remember God's grace, and focus on the blessings He has given you! Our paster gave a great analogy about patience / waiting / Advent: 'God gives us what we're ready for, and what He needs from us. Nothing more. Nothing less. And that grace is sufficient.' Praying for you!

Marianne Evans said...

Neecy, that blessing is a road that goes BOTH ways, believe me! :-) God bless, and glad you stopped by!

Marianne Evans said...

Victoria, thanks for visiting the blog - and for a lovely response! I appreciate it - but God's the 'author.' I'm just one of the instruments in His band, like everyone else. So glad the post touched your heart!!

Andrea said...

Amazing message Marianne thanks for sharing.... we're so lucky to have you in our lives!

Lorrie said...

Fantastic message and inspiring post.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Marianne Evans said...

Hi, Andrea! Thanks for your visit - I appreciate it! And believe me ... the blessing is mine as well!

Marianne Evans said...

Hi, Lorrie - and thanks! I was telling someone - 99.99% of the time I struggle for ideas to blog about. This one kind of wrote itself. Sometimes that's the best way to go! LOL!! Blessings!

Tanya Hanson said...

Dearest Marianne, what a lovely, timely post. As one who has benefited recently and privately from you with this reminder, I thank you again.

I am so thankful this holy season of my hubby's successful battle against cancer, the fact that the entire family is hale and healthy, the safe arrival of our first great-niece...but a beloved one has been out of work for almost two years, and my heart breaks daily. I trust, he trusts, but the slog is hard.

Thanks for the peace and hope of this blog post. oxoxoxo.

Marianne Evans said...

Tanya, thanks so much for your support, love and encouragement as well. This writing journey we share is an enormous blessing! I'm so glad for your DH's return to health and the health and happiness of your family - but even happy families are full of loving concerns, anxieties and fears. Trusting in God should be automatic, but it's a discipline, too - because "you know who" just LOVES to get in the way, yes??? ;-) Blessings my dear!!

Carol Ann said...

Thanks, Marianne! We all need reminded from time to time that He is always with us and that we do have the power to turn Satan away if we only trust in God.

Marianne Evans said...

Carol thanks for the visit! You're right - reminders like this come in so handy. I need to learn to live by the words of this post 24/7!! LOL! Blessings to you!

LoRee Peery said...

I say, amen, Sister. Except for the personal connections in your post, I'd say we've been on a parallel wave-length. Just this morning, when I had two lists of things to do inside and out, I kept taking deep breaths and reminding myself that any chaos and anxiety comes from the enemy. My Father is all about peace and the jobs will get done in His time. The other day I had time to sit down and write; but I couldn't. What did I do, instead of praising the Lord that I had a quiet day and my husband is up and walking around, despite blood clots? My head got all filled up with my inabilities as a writer... I'll never finish the revision of my WIP, etc. I left my desk and concentrated on praising Him. There is another day, in His time. Sorry this is so long.

Robin Bayne said...

Thanks for that lovely post!

Marianne Evans said...

LoRee, keep sluggin.' God bless you! I'm praying for you and yours.

Marianne Evans said...

Robin, thanks so much! I appreciate the support and your visit! God bless