What would you do if you were awakened in the middle of the night from a dead sleep to the sounds of an intruder in your home?
That actually happened to a coworker of mine. She recently recounted the story to me and I am still in awe over what happened because she didn’t react. She responded. I have been in the middle of an emotional storm and my first reaction was to react. I started to free fall down the spiral staircase that is Bipolar Disorder and when I’m like that, it’s hard to hear the still small voice of my Jesus trying to get me to be still. I wanted to take a mental health day and just stay home from work because I felt emotionally spent, but Jesus told me that I had a “divine appointment” and I needed to go to work.
As I got out of my car that Monday morning, my 6:30 “Divine Appointment” met me in the parking area. We pray together this coworker and I, but it had been a while since I’d seen her. She made a beeline for me. She told me that there had been an intruder. At first, I thought she meant at the school. With our Active Shooter drill training still fresh in my memory, fear leapt to the forefront of my mind — somebody had come on campus trying to harm my kids. She quickly clarified: there had been an intruder in her home. The home where she lives with her aunt (also on staff), another adult female, and her aunt’s young children.
Again, I ask the question what would YOU do if there was an intruder in your home? Me? I hate to say it, but I think fear would grip me so strongly that I would be incapacitated. When we had the Active Shooter drill at school, my fear response was SO strong that all I could think of was my own personal survival. Saving the kids or anybody else didn’t even cross my mind the first scenario of the drill. I’m pretty sure that if an intruder had come into my home, hiding would be my first response.
Not so my coworker. She went on to tell me how she, her aunt, and the other female relative went all Mama Bear on the intruder who was a woman strung out on some powerful narcotics. All they were thinking about were the sleeping children in the other room. This woman had DARED to come into their home for no good…so that’s what they gave her: NO GOOD.
They beat the living crap outta’ her.
My coworker and her relatives are Samoan. You don’t mess with Samoans. They protect their own. Between the three of them, they wrestled the woman to the ground and beat the everlastin’ gobstoppers out of her. Now, I won’t go into details… but when I heard the details, my first response was shock. I mean, what about “turning the other cheek?” Surely, this was an opportunity to witness to her about the error of her wicked ways and to convince her of her need for Jesus? Shouldn’t their response have been less violent and more… Christian?
And in an instant… as I listened to her, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. I was reminded about the parable of somebody breaking into the strong man’s house. If you break into a strong man’s house, ya’ better be strong enough to tie him up. Clearly, that intruder had never read the parable.
That woman had NO clue when she decided to break into that house what she was in for. That woman was on drugs and was dangerous. There were children in the house. Evangelism was the last thing on their minds. Somebody came into their home and threatened their safety, so they (excuse my language) kicked her ass. My coworker’s family subdued her and then called the cops. They used only enough force necessary to avoid become a statistic on the Maui News. And to that I say, AMEN!! So what did the Holy Spirit say to me….?
And THAT’S what you need to do to Satan when he tries to come into your house and mess with your mind by tying you up with fear, depression, anger, rage, resentment, et all. You need to pull out all the weapons of warfare that you possess, and you need to kick his ass.
Yes, the Holy Spirit says the word “ass” when speaking to me, because he’s more interested in changing my character than my vocabulary. In the same situation, I would’ve been scared witless. I would not have known what to do. I have never trained to defend myself…. I wouldn’t know how. And God wants to change all that and is using her story to change me. He drew a parallel: my mind is my home. It’s where I live. It’s where all my emotions and beliefs and actions are born. IF Satan gains entry into my mind and I let him, that’s when the fear… and the bitterness… and the resentment… and the self-pity… and the rage… and the anger… and the depression… and eventually… the suicidal thoughts… start to take hold.
My coworkers? They are Samoan. They know how to protect what is theirs and they are fierce in the protection of it. They took the flat end of a machete and beat her with it! I do not judge their actions because their motives were clear: PROTECT their children from the enemy. Would you have the courage or even the wisdom to know how to inflict enough force to debilitate an enemy without maiming them for life? Until you are in the exact same situation, reserve your judgments for conversations you might have with God about this because I don’t want to hear them.
Satan is my enemy. He’s all our enemy. Sometimes there will be people in my life who act like they are my enemy. They will say or do hurtful things. They will create drama in my life, but I have never really had any real evil people in my life intent on hurting me. I think that’s one way Satan works… by working through people in our lives. The people who have hurt me generally fall into two categories: “Well-meaning but soul-crushing” OR “totally ignorant and self-centered.” No matter what their motivation, I will want to fight back to protect myself, but my natural tendency is to run and hide. Then… I get angry for not standing up for myself and I drift into hating the people who hurt me thereby making them the problem and me a prisoner of anger, fear, and hatred.
Bipolar Girl used to think that she was a lover, not a fighter. Lovers generally get the crap beat out of them and then slink away to nurse their wounds on bitterness and resentment with a large dose of fear. God is telling me that I am a peace-maker… and, by definition, a fighter. That wasn’t my first reaction to the current trial in my life though. I reacted in hurt and fear and it started my free-fall down the spiral staircase.
And into that fallacy, the Lord had already spoken: You are no longer a slave of fear.
Fear would have me think that the bible says that I need to forever fill the role of “victim.” IF God won’t protect me, then I shouldn’t trust him, right? WRONG. While I do believe that we need to “turn the other cheek,” I also believe that “there is a time and a season for everything under the heavens.” And when an intruder comes into your home (physical or spiritual) intent on doing you harm… it is time to do some ass kicking and you need to use whatever weapons are at your disposal. But you ALSO need to remember that the people in question are NOT your enemy and act accordingly. Physical violence is not the first or preferred response.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
People have been quoting this verse at Bipolar Girl for years… as if just saying, “I take those thoughts captive” in a really stern voice is some kind of magic mojo that would solve all of my problems. When I was not immediately “delivered,” I’d get the looks. Y’know… the looks that would suggest that I didn’t say it with enough faith… or that there must be some hidden, unconfessed sin in my life. And THAT’S why God hadn’t delivered me from Bipolar or anything else I struggled with, right?
See what I mean about “well-meaning, but soul crushing??” That kind of advice never helped me. It just made me feel like I was doing the Christian walk wrong. It made me feel like I couldn’t tell other believers what I was struggling with because they would ultimately end up judging me. It was safer to struggle in isolation.
This past year God walked me through many of my fears. Some were things I needed to confront. Others were strongholds that he needed to break off, but with all of them, he showed me what weapons of warfare were at my disposal and how I needed to practice using if I wanted to see real freedom and transformation in my life.
All Christians have weapons of spiritual warfare (the bible assures us that we do). Yet, I am now convinced that while there are some weapons that are common to all believers, God has also equipped us individually with weapons that are unique to us and the way that he designed us. God wants to train us to use those weapons so that when we actually need to use them, we are responding and not reacting.
Writing… public speaking… owning my voice… worship… intercession… dance… art… my Thank You Post-Its…? These are ALL weapons of warfare that God has imprinted on my DNA. It is becoming harder and harder for Satan to get me all tied up in the knots of fear, bitterness, et all because I am not letting him come into my house and tie me up without a fight.
SO… my question to you: What weapons has God imprinted on your DNA… and what opportunities is he giving you to practice using them? How do you fight your battles???