14 Comments

The Sower of Discord

Spiritual Warfare Painting by Susanna Katherine

I always know God is getting ready to do something new, because it’s always in the moment just before the Lord’s plan steps into the light that the adversary turns his thumbscrews on me. It never fails.

The past couple weeks have been no exception. I can’t really get into what God has in store for our family, because frankly, I don’t know what the practical “rubber meets the road” picture looks like yet, but my husband and I are poised to use what vision we have to impact the places we’re currently planted.

So of course, the Lord’s dark enemy went to work. Financial strain wrapped its icy fingers around my throat. Looming decisions about how we would conduct business both at home and professionally squared off and dared me to choose which I would count my great ally. I agonized. I lost sleep. My colitis flared (as it always does, just to ice this cupcake I find on my plate every now and again.)

And to cap it off, I endured a direct attack on my faith during my bible reading time Wednesday morning. It was the most palpable sense of accusation and questioning I’ve ever experienced, so forgive me if I sound like a wacko for even bringing it up.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a firm believer in a very concrete spiritual battle (how’s that for a contradiction in terms?) we fight every day of our lives. For every move the Lord would make with me, his servant, I have seen the enemy wage preemptive attacks or stage ambushes. He knows if he can stir up my slumbering sense of hopelessness that still lurks in the darkest recesses of my heart, he’s got a foothold. Instead of raising my battle song to the heavens, I falter and apologize for the frog in my throat. I know this, and yet, I fall for it again and again.

That comes back to the ancient truth Paul shares with us in the book of Romans: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) I know I shouldn’t listen to the enemy’s lies, but somehow, he knows just what words to whisper to shake me up, to make me doubt. And when does he whisper the most? When he has the most to lose if I forge ahead with what God has placed in my hands to do in his name. I hate that I listen, and yet my power to stop my spiritual ears is small indeed.

But when I stand outside my own frailty, I can find hope, a hope that is both counter-cultural and counter-intuitive. I can rejoice in the times when the accuser starts working hard to distract me, because I know it’s because he’s threatened by something he sees the Lord positioning me to accomplish. From potential comes persecution. And who doesn’t want to have potential?

I suppose, rather than an attitude of “Why me?” when troubles swarm in, the part of me determined to be the Lord’s instrument needs to face that adversity with a single-minded focus to play the notes on the page before me. With the Lord’s help, surely I can be part of an amazing new symphony, and opus loud and triumphant enough to drown out any whispering discord coming from that hater of divine music.

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About Rebecca Minor

Rebecca P Minor draws perspective from her pursuit of various art forms, including writing, drawing, and music (singing mostly, though there was a time when a trombone figured in.) A 1997 graduate from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Becky earned a BFA in animation. Since then, she has worked as a character animator, a freelance artist, an art teacher, and most importantly, a wife to her husband Scott and mother of three boys. Her novel, Curse Bearer, is now available for purchase in paperback from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also available as ebooks and paperback: The Windrider Saga, a serial fantasy.

14 comments on “The Sower of Discord

  1. Wow, Becky. Powerful post. This reminds me of what Henry Blackaby says. He talks about how you will always face a crisis of faith when God lays something in front of you that requires obedience and action. And I would suppose that goes hand in hand with the enemy striking, because he knows that if God is asking for action there is something big in store.

    Good for you for recognizing that. And of course, if it’s God’s plan for you, no amount of harassment by the enemy can stop Him :).

    • Aha! Your comment just goes to show that somewhere in my bones I retained what Blackaby was saying in his Discovering God study that I did over a decade ago. It’s a good thing to give him a nod for his powerful wisdom. Thanks for dropping in :)

  2. Great post! I too am “a firm believer in a very concrete spiritual battle.” (Of course, you know my hubby also…it’s pretty much daily conversation in our home.) This semester my Spiritual Formation class has been reading through “The Christian in Complete Armour” and it has only made my firm belief stronger. It also puts the armour in a new light! I highly recommend it…although you may want the modernized version unless you like reading Quaker style writing. ;)

    • I think there’s something to be said for going to the trouble to wade through old-style writing to get the feel of not only what the author said, but how he chose to say it. (Which means I really should be learning Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, doesn’t it?) But anyway, I do thank you for stepping forward as a comrade-in-arms, either giving me company in my nuttiness or confirmation I haven’t lost the last of my few marbles. (Depending on who you ask. :) )

  3. My Dearest Becky,

    First and foremost,”What a great post!” Now, I need to give my opinion. Note that I say ,”MY” opinion. If you know me then you know that I am a fighter at heart.I will go out of my way not to fight,but if you pick it, you got it. Sometimes I want to jump out there and give it all I have, but the Lord has taught me a few strategic moves. When you are in the heat of battle and you are struck with a devastating blow, then sometimes it is wise to fall back and let the stronger (The Lord) take over while you recoup. Sometimes Satan can see our weak spot and of course he is going to strike. If we do not fall back and recoup then what good are we?Just another fallen body. If we let the Lord take over then we are as the person who stands back while the Chess players do battle. We can see every move with clarity. Then when the Lord feels that the time is right He will nudge us.Then we can jump in and help win the battle. Many times while my children were growing, I had several,”I don’t know what to do moments!?” That is when I had to turn it over to the Master. They don’t call Him the Master for nothing. All this is said in love and with the utmost respect for your ability to do the right thing. Just another opinion.

    • Excellent pionts, for certain. There are indeed times when we are called to fall back and regroup, and it shows me you’ve got some well-acquired wisdom to know when to corrall that inner fighter and wait upon no-fail orders from the General.Thanks so much for your sage words and your support!

  4. I also believe in a concrete spiritual battle. The Bible is full of the supernatural. Why should we think those fights just disappeared when Christ came? Satan knows he’s lost. All he wants is to keep as many prisoners with him as he can before the final judgment.
    I don’t know if it’s a case of Satan moving prior to God or just that Satan moves all the time, and to our limited perspective, it seems like he’s getting the jump on things.
    I do know God always makes a way out, and it’s right into His arms. Praise the name of Jesus!

    • Heh, I imagine it’s probably a case of the Lord moving first, the enemy moving second, and us finite little mortals seeing it all unfold sort of backwards. Such are the foibles of vision clouded by our sin nature, eh? Thanks so much for weighing in! :)

  5. I completely understand this.

  6. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that there’s a lot of discord going around right now? While this fact does bother me, surely we must be doing something right if someone wants to stop us?
    Thanks for posting this. I needed it this morning in particular…

  7. I’ve had similar experiences, so I don’t think you’re wacko at all. Trials and boons tend to come on top of each other; when God is moving, the devil seems to show up, too. Sometimes it goes the other way around and God always has the last word, of course. I’ve been seeing a bit of that lately, starting with the car accident we were in a few weeks ago. :) Don’t think I want to trade you, though.

  8. “…my power to stop my spiritual ears is small indeed.”

    So true. I only recently learned about spiritual warfare, because I come from a tradition that doesn’t talk much about it. But I do know that the Word is the only weapon in the armor of god. Memorizing scripture seems such a chore, especially when we’re young, but it’s the only way to keep the Sword at hand.

    Here’s one on my list of verses to memorize:

    They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings–and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” — Revelation 17:14 (NIV)

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