Terrorist Attack

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Terrorist Attacks

When we hear the term ‘terrorists,’ most of us will think back to the terrifying events of September 11, 2001.  We weren’t doing anything to warrant such a vicious and unexpected attack, and it became very clear in the days following the attack that it was a very strategic one.  It was carefully planned to have the utmost impact.

I remember discussing the idea of starting this Internet ministry with a dear friend.  I was wanting her thoughts and any wisdom she had to share.  Her husband quickly mentioned that I should be on guard against attacks of the enemy.  After much prayer and input from other close confidantes, I launched this ministry and was amazed at how fast it took off and began to flourish.  I kept watching for an attack, yet none seemed to be coming.  Finally, I became lax about being watchful for the enemy’s attacks.  Satan caught my laxness and launched a vicious attack against me and my family.  A spiritual terrorist had invaded my home, and I was completely unprepared for the war in which I found myself fighting.

It started slowly — we discovered those nasty carpenter ants had invaded our home.  Shortly after we began treating that, a tornado went directly over our home.  Thankfully, it didn’t touch down until it has passed over us.  I breathed a sigh of relief and my heart was turned to praising God over and over for His watchful care and protection.

Suddenly, within a period of about three weeks, Rachel developed a chronic cough that not only was untreatable with codeine, but we discovered after two sleepless nights that codeine was a stimulant to her system, rather than a suppressant.  My husband has faced a myriad of problems with his job — nothing really big, but rather, those little things that tend to nag at you, destroying your sense of peace and order.  Nevertheless, it’s been quite trying for all of us.  Then the car had some major repairs.  When I went to pick up the car, it never even made it home!  Thus, more costly repairs followed the very next day.

The ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ for me was Mother’s Day weekend.  That is a very emotional weekend for me, being that I miscarried my first baby only a few weeks before Mother’s Day.  Even with as thankful as I am to have Rachel, there will always be the memory of my first Mother’s Day, spent with a heart that was grieving, dreams that had been shattered.  This same weekend, Dean made some critical comments to me that really wounded me.  I was an emotional wreck anyway (but he didn’t realize that), and then when adding to my fragile state-of-mind that words of affirmation is my primary love language, you can understand why his words were so hurtful.  Anyone who thrives on words of affirmation is crushed when someone is critical of them.  Any criticisms must be spoken gently, and with much love.  Instead of having an enjoyable weekend, I spent the entire day crying.

Not realizing that a spiritual terrorist attack was underway, I began to listen to the lies of the enemy.  I’m sure that many of you have heard these kinds of lies coming from Satan:
–You have no business teaching other women when it’s obvious your husband isn’t happy with the way you are taking care of things here.
— And to think that you were thinking of yourself as one who is becoming a Proverbs 31 lady!  You’re not even close!
— Who are you to teach others about submission when your husband thinks you do a terrible job in that area?
— You do a poor job of showing biblical love to your family, yet you think you have something to do teach others!  Get real — you can’t do ANYTHING right!
— You are a terrible housekeeper, a terrible mother, a terrible wife, a terrible Christian!  Who are trying to kid?

In actuality, my husband’s words had absolutely nothing to do with being loving, submissive, caring, or with the ministry to which God has called me.  His words had nothing do with the kind of wife and mother I am.  Satan had taken one little hurtful comment from my husband and twisted it to unleash an awful terrorist attack upon my thinking.

Thankfully, the Lord spoke to me and asked me what I knew about my husband’s character.  Here are some of the things He asked me:
— Is he usually a cruel man?
— Is he rude to me or others?
— Did he have a habit of belittling me or others?
— Would he ever purposely say something that he knew would deeply hurt me?
— If he knew that I was grieving over the miscarriage, would he have spoken something that could have hurt me so badly?  The answer to all of these questions was ‘NO!’

Next, the Lord gently reminded me that I had recently mailed out the devotions about how He’d set me free from a violent temper.  He reminded me of the many responses I received after writing about my own struggles.  Suddenly, I realized that without even knowing what I was doing, I had launched a terrorist attack on the forces of hell, and now they were fighting back.  It became crystal clear to me why on Mother’s Day weekend my husband spoke something that hurt me so badly.  Satan saw my frame of mind, and he used my husband’s words to try to get me to give up on everything.  What better way to attack a woman whose desire is to be a virtuous, godly, submissive, loving, and respectful wife?  What better way than to attack a stay-at-home mom — attack her in a way that makes her feel that she can’t do anything right, and that even her own husband doesn’t appreciate her!
Stay-at-home moms expect that the world won’t value or appreciate them for the sacrifices they make, or for the job they do in raising up a godly generation.  What we don’t expect is to hear criticisms (valid or not) from our husband!

The Lord had given me a clear picture of Satan’s terrorist attack against me. (II Cor. 2:11) Now it was my turn to stand against those schemes. (Eph. 6:11) I quickly went to Psalm 91 and declared every promise there for my household.  I began to pray more strategic prayers, using missiles filled with the blood of Jesus to stop the scud missiles of spiritual darkness in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12) I began to mentally put on the armor of God (Eph. 6:13), being especially mindful of the helmet of salvation to protect my thinking — making sure that my thoughts lined up to the truth, and not thinking upon those things which came from the Father of Lies. (Jn. 8:44)

I wish that I could tell you that this terrorist attack from Satan was over.  Unfortunately, we are still dealing with attacks, even in a physical sense.  Rachel had a pinched nerve in her neck just last week, not to mention several stomachaches.  I have been hit physically in a couple of ways recently.  The onslaught does continue, but I’m using my greatest weapons — prayer, quoting the Word, and fighting back through the power and authority I’ve been given through Jesus Christ.

So, here’s a breakdown of how to handle it when we are hit with a terrorist attack:
1.  Don’t ever quit being on guard against the enemy for yourself, or for your family.
2.  Realize that Mother’s Day is a great weekend for Satan to attack you.  Satan doesn’t want you to realize the impact you have on your children and your husband!  If you have times of the year that are exceptionally emotional times for you, warn your family ahead of time that you may be especially emotional.  Ask them to try to be mindful of your raw emotions, and to grant some extra grace to you during those times.
3.  When something happens between you and your husband, don’t listen to all of that twisted conversation that comes directly from Satan.  Rather, repeat to yourself what you know to be true about your husband.
4.  Speak the Word over yourself and your family on a consistent basis.  It will help to alleviate those terrorist attacks, and the attacks that do still come will be lessened if you are filled up with the Word of God.
5.  Talk to a trusted friend who can help pray you through.  Keep in mind – I’m not talking about calling her up and ‘husband bashing.’  I’m talking about mentioning some of the concerns you have, listening for some insights from her, and agreeing in prayer together.
6.  Ask God what He is trying to teach you when you go through spiritual attacks and trials.  This pleases God to know that you aren’t so consumed with your problems that you can’t keep looking for Him to show you some awesome lessons.  Then, wait in expectation to see how He answers you!  I can personally testify to being in total awe of some of the things God has shown me when I have asked Him what He’s trying to teach me.  In fact, this message was born out of that kind of prayer.

Sister, are you dressed for war?
© 2004, Stacy R. Miller

Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry

If you have more than one child, you could probably write a book on sibling rivalry.  While I only have one child, I still remember the sibling rivalry that took place when I was growing up with three brothers.

Unfortunately, we have sibling rivalry in the church.  Galatians 5:26 tells us that we shouldn’t be conceited or competitive, nor should we be provoking and irritating to one another, envious or jealous of one another.  If Sister Susie gets to sing on Sunday morning, do we get jealous because we got scheduled on Wednesday night when the attendance is down?  When we hear someone sing or play an instrument, do we conceitedly think that we could have done better?  If an opening for a leadership position in women’s ministry is made known, do we do everything in our power to get that position?  Do we want the position because we feel called to it, or do we want it to stroke our ego?  If you offer to teach a class for women’s ministry, but the department leader chooses to go another direction, do you get jealous or angry?

We even deal with the very familiar phrase, “It’s not fair!”  If a sister gets blessed with a grocery shower because she’s having a hard time financially, do we rejoice?  Or, do we remember years ago when we were having a tough time and nobody did anything to help?  Too often, we cry out “It’s not fair!”

If we’ve been praying for God to use us in the gift of prophecy or speaking in tongues, and we see a fairly new Christian operating in that gift, do we get jealous?  Or can we speak a word of encouragement to them on how blessed you were by their obedience to the Spirit of God?

Do you have some sibling rivalry that you need to confess?
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

The Blessing of Forgetfulness

The Blessing of Forgetfulness

Paul talks in Philippians 3:13-14 about how he focused on forgetting the past and looking forward to what was ahead of him. When I did a word study on the word “forgetting,” I discovered a couple of interesting things.

First, forgetting is an active obliteration. This was certainly true of Paul. He said he focused on forgetting the past. To focus on something requires a lot of active concentration and diligence on our part. Paul spoke in 2 Corinthians 10:5 of taking the bad, evil thoughts captive. He recognized that a spiritual war took place in his head when he battled his thoughts.

Secondly, forgetting in its present tense, means that it is ongoing. Paul didn’t just decide one day that he would forget the past, and it was done. No, this was an ongoing battle. You have to choose to keep forgetting past mistakes, past failures, past lies that the enemy will try to drudge up on a daily basis.

As you continue to be vigilant in guarding your thoughts, and replacing negative, ungodly thoughts with powerful truths in the Word, you will one day find that you truly do forget the past in the sense that you are no longer bound to it. You are truly set free. Oh what a blessing it is to have this kind of forgetfulness!

© 2014, Stacy R. Miller

Spam

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Spam
In this world of technology, spam no longer refers to a can of meat you find in the grocery store. Rather, it is a term for junk mail.

In a spiritual sense, we also deal with spam on a daily basis. It is those unwanted, negative, nasty, ungodly thoughts the enemy will impose upon us. It might be thoughts like:

· You are worthless.
· You don’t have any spiritual gifts.
· Nobody loves you or cares about you.
· God has forgotten you.
· You will never overcome this habit.
· Things will never get better.
· God won’t forgive you.
· You will always be a ______.
· Who are you to think you are a good Christian?

In our world of technology, we quickly hit the delete button, and our spam is gone. In a spiritual sense, we can take action to get rid of the spam Satan tosses in our direction:

· Think upon things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. (Philippians 4:8)
· Cast down any thoughts or imaginations that exalt themselves against the knowledge God’s word. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
· Set our minds on heavenly things, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2)

As we are steadfast in taking action against spiritual spam, our thoughts will begin to change little by little. We will find that the daily spiritual spam becomes less over time because the enemy will see that we no longer “read” his mail.

© 2014, Stacy R. Miller