this means war

Sometimes in today’s world, we don’t talk about spiritual warfare as though it’s real.  We talk about how much God loves us and how Jesus came to fill in the gap for us, but we don’t talk about an Enemy who is more than real, the author of evil, and who has set his will against us.  It’s weird – maybe slightly embarrassing – and not something that tends to be at the forefront of our conversations.

In the world of addictions and specifically, sexual addiction, spiritual warfare is part of the reason that the addiction is so hard to kick.  Yes, there are always underlying reasons why it’s hard to kick a particular struggle/addiction.  Most of those have to do with unmet needs and self-medicating one’s own pain.  But another (sometimes ignored) aspect of it is recognizing the spiritual aspect of the battle and taking warfare in this realm seriously.

I am here to tell you a story that is going to seem other-worldly, but is true, real, and instructional on the importance of being aware of our Enemy and doing battle against him.

The battle for her heart and mind started shortly after dinner – while doing mundane tasks like loading the dishwasher & putting away leftovers.  It made no sense, but It was there. It was Fear.

Fear gripped her stomach hard – like a steel hand that wouldn’t loosen its vicegrip even for a moment.  She had no logical reason why she would be dealing with Fear – her husband’s heart was pure and God had given her assurance of this.  The imagery that came to her mind was that of a white, construction-paper heart – white for purity and honesty – perfectly shaped and simple in appearance.  She knew his love for her was true and she reciprocated his love in a deep, abiding way that comes from years of companionship.

She walked upstairs with the intent of showering and relaxing for the rest of the evening, but found herself lighting candles and saying, “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and of a sound mind”  (2 Timothy 1:7) over and overShe knew that using Scripture was an effective tool to use against the Enemy – Jesus did it Himself when He was tempted after His baptism.

As she climbed in the shower, the battle began in earnest.  She heard the names of two different spirits – one was Fear and the other was Lust.  The impression was clear that these were not small, pesky demons, but large, imposing entities. The battle was not for herself, but for her husband’s struggle – and she was doing warfare on his behalf. The shower felt crowded, despite the fact that she was the only physical body in it.

The spirits were on either side of her, pushing from both sides of her ribcage. She couldn’t see anything with her eyes, but the physical sensation was so strong that she braced herself against the walls of the shower, allowing the water to pour down her back. She prayed with every ounce of energy she had, rebuking, confessing the Spilt Blood of Jesus, claiming peace, and begging God for mercy. It came in waves-the pressure on her sides would come and she thought she would throw up right there in the shower. The practical side of her brain intervened and reminded her that the mess in the shower would be awful…and that the toilet was right outside the shower door, if she could manage to shove the door open in time.

Then a wave of peace hit and the nausea subsided, as if the Spirit broke through the battle and gave her momentary rest where she could breathe again …and praise.

Without warning, the next wave started, and the cycle began all over again – but this time, the pressure was from her front and back. The same intense, squeezing pressure that made her think the pasta salad she ate for dinner was going to be revisited. The waves continued: the intense pressure and pushing, the warring through prayer, and then the waves of peace and relief. Again and again they rolled in – so that she eventually lost count.

She sobbed, she prayed, and then in a moment of lucidity, realized she would have to tell her husband when it was over – and she worried that it might frighten or worry him. This made her cry harder and beg the Spirit for some relief.

Her husband did come in to the bathroom and offer to wash her back, but by that time, it was nearly over and she was heaving huge gulps of air between sobs. Somehow, she knew the battle had been won and these two spirits had been defeated, but the physical toll on her body was huge. She hadn’t even washed herself at this point – which was the whole purpose of the shower in the first place. Not just to find a place to cry and battle in private…

As she explained it to her husband, the sobs began to subside and she felt as physically spent as she did after giving birth.

At that moment, doing this all over again wasn’t high on her priority list. And yet, she had an inkling that her perspective would change as time passed; she knew that if she was asked to do this again, she would. That if this was part of the healing her husband and marriage needed, she would sacrifice herself for it. The word “shield-maiden” was strong in her mind as she crawled in to bed next to her husband and let the relief wash over her.

God had won.  She had helped in the battle.

I hope this story strikes a chord in your heart. If you’re struggling with sexual addiction, please don’t ignore the spiritual component to the fight. If you love someone with sexual addiction, know that you have the ability to take up the battle on behalf of your loved one and fight with and for them. You can be the shield-bearer for them – and help them win the war.

If this concept is new to you or you’re unfamiliar with the concept and practice, there are good books out there that can give you a place to start. The Adversary by Mark Bubeck is a great book on the subject, as is Neil Anderson’s book The Bondage Breaker.  Scripturally, the biggest bit of instruction comes in Ephesians 6:10-18.  There are more resources, but these are great for those who are new to the idea and practice of doing spiritual warfare.  You can always drop me a note and ask me questions, too.

This is hard stuff to deal with and fight against. But, as the subject of the story found out, God does win. You too can be one who helps in the battle – allowing God to work through you.

His and his,
~Cori.

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