I got up this morning with a spirit that was already weighed down. I was one of those whom the Lord called “weary and heavy laden.” I only have two children, but I feel like every day is a fight with the devil to keep them out of his grasp and out from under his influence.
My kids are generally good kids, but they have their stuff. So do I. And the combination of their stuff in the last week, and mine, made me feel like I couldn’t take another step. I was up an hour before them, and trudged downstairs, got a cup of hot chocolate, turned on the fireplace, and sat down, unable even to say much to the Lord. All I could say was, “I need You. I really, really need You.” And I asked Him to give me His presence…a time of refreshing. I got down on the floor on my knees and closed my eyes, hoping that He would somehow manifest Himself in a way that would show me He was there.
There was no bright light. No touch of His hand. No warmth coursing through my body. When I headed back upstairs, I felt as though He had let me down.
After the girls went to school, I called my dear friend Joey. She lives about an hour and a half away, and we talked for more than an hour. And as we spoke, the weariness began to wane. At the end of the conversation, she prayed for me and the girls, and the refreshing began to pour in. Surely it was because where two or three are gathered together in His name, He is there in the midst of them. As I listened to her praying and saying all the things I simply couldn’t say this morning, I felt the healing and uplifting presence of Jesus.
Life as a Christian is a battlefield. Make no mistake. The closer we try to draw to the Lord, the more the devil will attack us and our families. We need to remember that battles are never fought one on one. It’s one “team” against another. And you can be absolutely sure that the devil isn’t sending one of his demons to go head to head with you. He’s sending three. Or even four.
I was watching my daughter play soccer the other day, and every time one of her team’s offensive players neared the goal with the ball, at least 3 or 4 of the opposing team’s defenders would surround her, so no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t kick the ball outside of the circle of people. The other forward on her team would be waiting just outside the circle to receive the ball so she could kick it in the goal, but it was virtually impossible because the poor girl was playing one-on-four.
That’s how the devil plays his game. There’s absolutely nothing fair about it. And it can be exhausting. Frustrating. Defeating. Particularly if we face him and his demons alone. I believe that’s why the Lord encourages us to get together with other Christians and pray in His name. We all have power that He has given us, but that power, when united with at least one other Christian, and He Himself, is like a threefold cord that cannot be broken. We need this kind of power to come up against the forces of evil.
Remember when Daniel was praying, and the angel appeared to him? (Daniel 10:10-21) He told Daniel that God sent him just as Daniel had begun to pray, but he had been fighting off the kings of Persia (evil spirits assigned to that area) for 21 days while trying to get to him. The angel said, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days, then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.” The angel was coming to Daniel’s aid, but the devil would have none of that, and sent not one but several of his “kings” to battle against him. Michael, one of God’s chief angels, was sent to help.
It’s a war, both here on earth, and in the heavenlies. When we feel weary and downtrodden, it may be because we’re in a bigger battle than we’re aware of. We need to get reinforcements. We need to enlist the troops, both here on earth, and in the skies above. Pray together with your friends, even if it has to be over the phone. We must remember that when Jesus is in our midst, the devil flees. Enlist your Christian comrades in the war, and pray over each other together.
“Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle shall remain in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but you shall cross before your brothers in battle array, all your valiant warriors, and shall help them, until the Lord gives your brothers rest, as He gives you, and they also possess the land which the Lord your God is giving them.”
First, the battle…together…helping each other. Then, the rest.