I received a fun surprise in my inbox last week. A friend recommended that I be featured as the artist of the month with Make and Believe Productions, whose mission is to use the arts to share the gospel and to do it with excellence.
There was a part of me that wanted to reply, “Actually, I’m not really an artist. I’m kind of a lay dancer, and I don’t know if my work is excellent enough for those who read your posts” and go on to explain my lack of credentials.
But that would have been an insult to my friend who recommended me and to the Lord who has given me the measure of gifting He has and Who is allowing me to use it. It would be an insult to the amazing teachers who have invested in me over the past five years, allowing me to grow as a dancer and minister and gain credentials for teaching. (Thank you, Jocelyn Richard and Lynn Hayden) So, I simply thanked her for including me, sent in my bio, and said a quick prayer of thanks for the open door.
There is a familiar voice I hear so often in my head that I mistake it for my own voice. Sometimes I interpret it as humility, an accurate assessment of my weaknesses. Other times I interpret it as my own insecurities. But the truth is, it’s not my voice at all. It’s the voice of the Enemy. He disguises his voice as my own in order to keep me holding back, burying my talents instead of investing them. Can you relate?
I remember a time when I was teaching middle school, over 15 years ago, when I lamented to my dear friend and fellow teacher that I was struggling. I was feeling inadequate and even jealous of her (she was a dynamic, creative, and confident teacher). I described to her all the ways I felt I wasn’t measuring up. I patted myself on the back for being “honest,” but she would have none of it.
She said to me, “Amy, sometimes Satan overplays his hand. This is as spiritual attack. You are in ministry in the church and at this school, and he is trying to divert you from what you are called to do. You need to pray through putting on the weapons of your warfare every morning,” and she articulated this prayer based on Ephesians 6 for me that I have prayed over and over since then:
Lord, I place the belt of truth around my waist. Let everything I say and think be your truth. I put on the breast plate of righteousness. May I trust in your righteousness today and may I walk in righteousness, so that my heart is protected. Let my feet be shod with the gospel of peace. May I bring your peace everywhere I walk today. I raise the shield of faith. Let me have more faith today than I had yesterday. I put on the helmet of salvation. May all my thoughts be taken captive to the salvation of Jesus. May your word be a sword in my hand that I use to set people free. I will pray in the Spirit today for your people, that the gospel will go out.
I experienced immediate relief from the spiritual attack and the “insecurity” no longer seemed valid.
We each are vulnerable to spiritual attack in different ways. Sometimes the enemy uses our pride, a physical weakness, or our tendency to overschedule our time. There are a multitude of ways we may be vulnerable. But the result is that we are immobilized. It’s the enemy’s strategy to seek to steal, kill and destroy, and he’s out to hinder what God wants to do in our lives. However, if we can recognize the voice as his and/or recognize the hit as a spiritual attack, then we can stand firm in the Lord and resist.
If you are feeling plagued by self doubt, or overwhelmed by discouragement, or just pestered by mishaps, to pray through the prayer from Ephesians 6. Say it out loud and gesture as you put on each piece of armor. Better yet, don’t wait for the attack. Make it a habit to put on your armor daily. Then you will be prepared to move forward, not burying your talents, but putting them to use, whenever He gives you an open door.
Join the discussion and respond in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.
Can you relate?
How to you recognize spiritual attack and fight back, in the Lord?
Thank you for allowing me to be part of your life. Also, thank you for celebrating this joy with me. I’m grateful to be featured on Make and Believe Productions and look forward to any doors the Lord opens through it.