Recently there was another terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in the U.K. Unfortunately, we live in a world where these threats are very real and are more often than they should be. As I thought about this, my heart concerned for those affected, I recognized that physical terrorist threats are not all that plagues us in this life. I reflected on some specific challenges my family and I had been facing the last few months. Situations presented themselves to us in our natural world like unwelcome intruders to create frustration, confusion and honestly… exhaustion. As I questioned these events that seemed to hit us like a spray of darts from every direction, I knew they were not in alignment with God’s truth or promises for my family. Revelation opened my understanding that I had spiritual terrorists in my midst. Financial terrorists, health terrorists, faith terrorists, mental terrorists, dream terrorists, environmental terrorists, relationship terrorists are just some of threats each of us face in our spiritual life journey. Why do these threats abound? And how do we overcome?
I looked up the definition of the word terrorism. As I read them, I felt this one captured it best, the violence or threat directed against civilians for the purpose of creating intense fear in which the terrorist hopes to exploit to attain political or ideological goals”. There it was, so clear. Spiritual terrorism, like a disease, threatens our thought life by using fear to get us to believe that we are defeated, done.
Spiritual terrorism works to steal your peace and to get you so focused on the negative circumstances that it literally sucks the energy, the faith, the hope and eventually the life right out of you. It desires for you to bury your head and surrender. But we have not been given a spirit of fear but of peace and love and of a sound mind. As I think on those specific words – peace, love and sound mind, I realize more than ever that I AM equipped to overcome these spiritual threats of terrorism. Our enemies would want us to remain in fear because then we will not abide in peace knowing God has us in the palm of his hand. He does not want us to experience God’s love, because when we are going through trials we can often feel abandoned, alone, or forgotten. When we are facing threats of loss, these spiritual terrorists wreak havoc on our minds and use it as a wild, college frat house to tear up, destroy and create chaos upon the hope, the belief and the dreams we hold there. We begin making desperate choices as our thoughts reel about trying to put together a strategy and a plan on how to frantically get out of our uncomfortable situations. Why does God allow spiritual terrorists in our midst?
Judges 3:1-2 tell us that God left some of our enemies in our land to test us, to strengthen us and to teach us warfare. I know with every battle I have faced I have come out knowing the strength and mightiness of my God and I have learned more about myself in the process. That in itself is a victory. Each battle we face we build our spiritual muscles by training our thoughts. Each threat against us is an opportunity to turn tail and run or to stand and fight as Gandalf from Lord of the Rings put so well when facing the dragon, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS”. We are promised victory but as we know there is no victory without some kind of a battle or opposition of truth against our mind. Whatever spiritual terrorists you are facing today, continue to stand and face them, pick up your weapon of warfare, be it your shield of faith- to stand and let God fight your battle, your sword of truth – slinging the word of God in your prayer time, or letting loose your battle cry through worship dispatching the angelic hosts of heaven on your behalf. When you do this, you are reminding and encouraging yourself in what is really true. You are creating an opportunity to take what is coming against you and speaking forth a better outcome for you and for your loved ones. You never go into battle alone. Joshua 1:9…Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”