Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Me? A P-P-P-Princess Warrior? (Part 1)

 I didn’t know the true reality of “spiritual warfare” until I was knee deep in one of the toughest battles of my life. A few years ago my Senior Pastor preached a sermon series he titled “Warrior”. Little did I know that God would use that very series to start a two year turning point in my relationship with Him. What I knew about fighting battles would be forever change.

I was raised in Christian home and gave my life to Christ at an early age. However, the tides of time shifted and, by my teens, church had become a thing of the past and the influence of “this world” was in full motion. I fell away from Christ, far away.

It was during this “hiatus” that I met and married my husband. We had talked about God before and our beliefs. We believed God was who He was…but neither one of us had a relationship with Him. We were too busy doing our own thing and it was evident we were not following God at all.

Six years into our marriage and one too many nights at the bottom of a Jack Daniels bottle, I decided to attend service at my parent’s church one Sunday morning. I hadn’t darkened the doorstep of a church in years. Can I just tell you that from the moment I stepped in the door, I felt the presence of God immediately in a way I had never experienced before.

“You have been running from me long enough…it’s time to come home.”

Conviction immediately set in and the giant lump that had lodged itself in my throat wasn’t budging no matter how hard I tried to swallow it down. Through the first two praise and worship songs I fought it hard to stifle the tears that were determined to break through the stone wall I had built to protect myself.

As determined as I was, I couldn’t stop the flood gate from flowing when I listed to the chorus of the third worship song. The truth of the words washed over me like a warm summer rain.

Like the desert needs the rain, I need you like the
Ocean needs the streams, I need you like the
Morning needs the sun, I need you Lord you
Are my only one.

As I continued to listen, I realized I needed God back in my life. I knew He was the only One could take the shattered pieces of my life and put them back together. That morning, His grace surrounded me like a warm blanket and I felt “at peace”….that was until I tried to share my restored faith with my husband. He said “you can go all you want…church just isn’t my thing.”

I would love to tell you that each Sunday I would go to church and he would sit at home and things would be “Champaign and roses”, but that would be a lie. Satan used my faith and the lack of my husbands to drive a wedge between us. I mean, I had always prayed for my husband to experience the same fullness in Christ that I experienced, but never had I stood up to Satan and used the full power of Christ available to me until the “Warrior” series.

Life in my home before this series was a roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs, short tempters, harsh words, anger and bitterness. My husband would come to church occasionally and I would pray and pray for change. I tried to start fighting the battle by clothing myself in God’s armor found in Ephesians 6: 10 – 18 (NIV).

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

When change didn’t happen in my timing I got discouraged and gave up. “Oh, me of little faith!”
This cycle went on for years. Satan wreaked havoc in my mind “He’s never going to change. Your prayers aren’t even being heard. You might as well just give up.” On and on the negative tape played in my head. Honestly, I started to believe the lie. That is until one Sunday morning in September of 2008. God began to change my perspective in a mighty way.

Visit my blog tomorrow for Part 2.

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