Kathy — I’ve always thought the only reason to go to war is to win, but I’m beginning to realize there are other reasons for warfare. Some battles are a matter of training our soul (our mind and will and emotions) to stand and develop muscle to be able to stand no matter what. Eph. 6:13 puts it this way: And when you have done everything you could, you will be able to stand firm. The goal of warfare can also be to take ground incrementally in Divine timing. There are many maneuvers needed to pull down strongholds in this present darkness. It is a bigger war than we can wage from one battlefield. This present darkness is a matter of world rulers that are spirit forces of wickedness in the spirit realm. These forces gather to form strongholds, and there they influence and manipulate people like puppets for their evil intents to kill, steal and destroy. That’s why Eph 6:12 tells us we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. These forces must be dismantled strategically and incrementally along with the workers of darkness they deploy into this present darkness.
Kathy — People often forget the creative, tangible power in the spoken word, but devils don’t. People forget that what man agrees with or allows has legal presence and influence in the earth realm, but devils don’t. The prince of the power of the air is continually working the atmosphere. He sniffs it out like a dog, looking for anything to take advantage of and use as a legal means of positioning devils and provoking men. He will find something as simple as the lyrics of a song or use quotes on written pages to setup an atmosphere for theft or destruction. When the atmosphere is lethal, it is manipulated and is not random or without consequences. The prince of the power of the air takes advantage of the influence of media because people can’t un-hear what they heard on TV or un-see what they saw on a billboard or the internet. So those deposits hang in the atmosphere to influence the emotions and thinking on any given day.
A friend, I will call “Amy,” shared her experience with me regarding her childhood friend, “Sharon”. Through the years, neither Amy nor Sharon had considered the other perfect, and imperfections were never a threat to their friendship. So, after many years, Amy was shocked to find herself in a dilemma over something that had always been there. She finally realized that Sharon’s cycles of emotional dives into anguish, depression and anger, which had always been written off to moodiness, was not just her “personality.” It became obvious that Sharon needed deliverance and healing. Yet Amy knew that if confronted, Sharon would be quick to explain and justify her behavior because she was a perfectionist-analyzer-thinker, or she might even more likely just get angry and consider Amy as petty and accusing. Amy had no confidence to approach her from Gal 6:1. Neither did she think Sharon would accept the scriptural “wound of a friend” as a good thing that could lead to healing, so instead she pursued God’s direction for effectual prayer for her friend.
In the past, when Sharon was in “one of her moods,” Amy either stayed away or tip-toed around until it was over or tried to coax her out of it. Sharon’s family used the same methods of dealing with her mood swings. Amy had watched people in their church and social settings walk a big circle around her, never getting to know the real Sharon who was genuinely a source of wisdom and love. It grieved her to see Sharon and her family ruled by this despot of “MOODS”.
Surprisingly, as Amy continued to pray and search for insights, she came to some revealing truths about her own soul. Amy realized that she had never acknowledged these patterns in her friend because moods were familiar, even expected in her own world. She had grown up in a home where irritable or despondent moods were a silent demand for someone to fix conditions or feelings, etc., and moods worked because someone in her family would “do something.” The most frustrated or depressed family member or the one in the biggest soul-storm became the center of attention and dictated the agenda for the whole family any given day.
Beyond that, Amy made another discovery. As she considered the “destructives” in her own life that needed confession-unto-healing-release, not only did the Holy Spirit point out her emotional behavior patterns, but He further opened her understanding in how she had allowed and even fostered those same patterns in her young son. What we cannot see in ourselves we often cannot see in our children either. (That’s one reason destructive behavior patterns can continue for generations, and releasing generations to come is also a powerful motive to seek healing for our own souls.) It became clear that frustrated moods and manipulation through pouting were a pattern she dare not leave unchanged in her son’s life lest it rob him of childhood joy as well as joy in the years to come. What started as concern for a friend led her to a realization and confession that began a healing for three generations in her own family. As Amy sought answers for Sharon, deliverance came to her own house. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. (Ps 107:19-20). A paraphrase of that scripture is: He directed His command to heal their hurts and distresses and delivered them from their pitfalls and sources of depression.
(The third excerpt from Kathy’s article “Investing in Relationships” published in SEEC Magazine.)
May the Lord give us some basic good sense (with its foundation in Biblical truth) not to respond to manipulative, abusive and guilt-oriented presentations of so-called causes, no matter how religious, humanitarian or worthy they sound.
May He direct our compassion, time, finance and zeal into the avenues He has for each of us to be most effective in, avenues that will set us up to glorify Him and show forth His character.
“Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.” (2Cor.4:1-2, Msg)