Making Sense of Spiritual Warfare
July 9, 2017
With an upcoming conference and two new books being written and published, warfare comes daily for the Shulamites. How do they still live in victory?
(Martha) We’re sitting in Carole’s living room. We’ve just had a lovely bowl of Thai coconut chicken soup, yum. And so, we’re in the living room, and we’re sort of rambling around about what’s going on for the conference. But the main thing is the book, The Mystery of Discipleship, and the manuscript that Jennifer’s gotten ready. It’s just beautiful, the layout and everything is lovely. We’ve been talking about some warfare that we’ve had in this. And this is my verse for the day, and I’ve handed it out in cards – and it will probably be one of the cards at the conference – 2 Corinthians 4:17 (AMP). “For our momentary, light distress [this passing trouble] is producing for us an eternal weight of glory…” An eternal weight of glory. Isn’t that incredible? This light affliction is going to give us something huge of glory. “[a fullness] beyond all measure [surpassing all comparisons, a transcendent splendor and an endless blessedness]!”—from this momentary light affliction. Oh! “So we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are visible” – everything you see – “are temporal [just brief and fleeting], but the things which are invisible are everlasting and imperishable.” And we’ve been just been kind of going over the couple of things that hit me, and Jen had one, and how amazingly it was turned by going to the Lord, by reading the Bible, by praying, by getting His mind about it, it was all transformed into a major victory, not a small one, but a lasting one. And that is so exciting, because that’s supposed to be what happens when we’re under attack. It’s supposed to be turned. “He always leads us in triumph.” And one day it occurred to me as I read that, but remembered that, it doesn’t mean He brings triumph into the situation. No, it means I’m always in triumph. He always leads me in His triumph. I’m living inside His triumph. I may not know it, but if I will let that triumph appear, then it’s amazing, and it’s a huge overcoming victory, isn’t it, Jennifer?
(Jennifer) And not in the way that you expect it to be. I think that’s the other thing that we were talking about was I couldn’t tell you where I got this idea. It could be from my own lazy self wants and whatever, but I had this idea that if I was just in God’s will, if I would just obey, if I would do what He asks, if I would be where He asked me to be in His will, that somehow everything would be hunky-dory, easy-peasy, float like a butterfly. Hahahaha… And it’s not that sometimes that doesn’t happen. I’ve certainly experienced where the whole day, it’s like I’m being carried on a little boat, and I’m just zinging in and out of things, and time isn’t passing the way it should, and everything seems to be clicking and moving. There’s not an obstacle to anything. I have absolutely had days like that with the Lord. And they are marvelous. But, you know, this has been something else entirely. I have had such joy in the responsibilities He’s given to me, and I’ve had really an amazing experience of Him doing them, of Him teaching me new things, of it being fun, you know. I don’t mean joy as in “la la la.” I mean, you know, it was fun, and that has been there. But there has also been consistent warfare where it will go from joy in what I’m doing to all of a sudden great discouragement, sometimes moments of absolute panic that I’ve made a big mistake, that I’m, you know, a drag on the project. These sorts of things. Accusations, doubts, fears. And that has been more so than usual. I have certainly experienced that more so than usual. But likewise He’s also brought me out quicker than I’ve ever previously experienced with warfare. I mean, I was real pleased maybe a year and a half ago. I was like, “Usually I only get taken down for like three days now, you know?” And that was a real accomplishment for me, that it had been, you know, brought down to three days. That it was only three days of, you know, suffering and anguish and all the rest of that before He rescued me. I really felt like that was a step ahead. And now I have to say for the most part, it all happens within a day. It’s generally taken care of in that day. And so, it’s also been experiencing, well, I think maybe a new urgency by Him to bring me over the obstacles into the overcoming, into the triumph that’s always there like you just said, Martha. It’s not a matter of it not being there. It’s there. But I feel like He’s bringing me into the realization of it much quicker than I ever used to come into it.
(Martha) I think I’ve had that too, Jennifer. I’m always kind of shocked that we’re hit, but to some degree when you are hit, it signifies that Satan knows that it’s important to God, and not so much that we deserve it, though we do. But this Paul, this is where we are probably coming. “We are hedged in on every side, troubled and oppressed but not cramped or crushed. We suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair. We are pursued, persecuted, hard driven, but not deserted to stand alone. We’re struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed.” Isn’t that awesome? And that’s Paul. That’s how important his work was, and that’s how much he suffered on account of it. And this says, “Always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered.” That’s normal. “So that the resurrection life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our bodies.” And that’s the glory is the resurrection life. And I think we’re experiencing it more than we know. I’ll tell a little… This is a Sunday so. I woke up and I felt like the Lord wanted me to go down to church 45 minutes away in Dahlonega. And I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to get to the writing. I had my mind set. And so, I got busy to obey, and Carole went with me, and we had a wonderful time. But I wanted to write. Do you understand? I was on a path, and I wanted something to be produced, because the time is short about the book on forgiveness. We’ve got to get it in. So, I went to church and had a notebook with me and I started writing in the church. And it was the beginnings of a chapter that I had been waiting for. And it’s fabulous. I think it’s fabulous. It’s called, “Who Killed Jesus?” “Who Really Killed Jesus?” And so, that final is finished for the book, and it was extremely intense work all this afternoon, but it’s done. The point I’m getting to is that in the will of God, the unction of the Spirit flows. If I had not gone to church in His obedience and really never saw why I went. But that doesn’t matter. We’ll have to see. But the unction of the Spirit, the anointing of the Spirit, the power of the Spirit is in God’s will. And so, when I got in God’s will He satisfied His desire and mine too. And so, He may have just had me go just to for practice of obedience to His voice to do what I didn’t want to do.
(John) The only thing noteworthy was literally the will of God. That was the only thing that really happened. And that’s what I find as well is when sometimes you’ll obey the will of God and you’re like, “But what was the point?” There was nothing outwardly manifesting any kind of purpose and so you kind of just say, “What was that about?” And it may all be about just, “I say so. I’m God, and I want you in My will.” And when you have no idea what it could have led to, what it could have been or what you would have missed. You probably would have missed the chapter you’ve been waiting for.
(Martha) That’s a great point, John. And I’ve already shared it with ya’ll and you said it was…
(John) It’s amazing. It’s absolutely amazing. Jennifer called me and said the hair stood up on her neck when you got to the end of it.
(John) So, during this season of preparation, if you don’t know, we’re preparing for our conference in August (The Road That Leads to Life). August 11th-13th. And we’re real excited about that. But one of the things that we felt like we were to ask for from the Lord was these two books. One is the book, Altogether Forgiven, and is what you’re working on. And then the devotional, The Mystery of Discipleship, that Jennifer and I have been just finishing up. And it’s, literally we’re writing the back cover, and we’re going to send it off to the printer probably tomorrow to get that thing printed. And then we’ve got to get the rest of Altogether Forgiven done and the cover and back cover of that done. And so, you know, there has been a lot of warfare. There’s been a lot of just weird things. I mean, my air has gone out twice. I hurt my back. You know, there’s just been various random weird attacks. What, what did you say? And distractions. They have been distractions. My air going out prevented me from getting a good night’s sleep because it was hot, and at the same time my back was hurt. And I’m going… And we’ve all had something going on. And it just seems like this conference and what we’re doing, there is just more, there’s just more warfare. And it makes perfect sense. We’ve got like a trifecta of purpose here. Number one, we have forgiveness, a book on forgiveness. Hello! That pretty much, you know, is a major deal. Then we have a book on discipleship, which is major. And then we’ve got the conference that’s, “The Road that Leads to Life,” which is about the narrow way and about the centrality of Christ, and about finding that narrow way that few will find and living in it and experiencing it. So, you’ve got a trifecta of major important messages, and we wonder why there’s maybe some blowback.
Making Sense of Spiritual Warfare – Episode #553 – Shulamite Podcast
With an upcoming conference and two new books being written and published, spiritual warfare is a daily occurrence for Martha, John, and the Shulamites. Yet warfare serves God’s purpose, ALWAYS, and there’s great reward in our overcoming!