The enemy’s voice isn’t a quiet whisper anymore. We’re nearer the front lines than ever, and it’s louder here.
Those once-subtle whispers of “You’ll never get good at this, will you?” and “Your kids deserve a better mommy” that I used to pray away in the privacy of my living room are now screamed incessantly in my face.
The periodic bad attitudes of my children, which could once be appropriately dealt with at home, are now full-blown tantrums where my mild-mannered toddler hits elderly people and my usually introverted 7-year old screams over Legos in the pastors’ homes.
Sibling rivalries we used to deal with behind closed doors are now routinely on display in restaurants and church lobbies across America.
“Who do you think you are!” the voice shouts.
“You can barely take care of your own children! How can you possibly help anyone else!”
“You aren’t good enough!”
“You’ll be a joke on the mission field!”
“You make too many mistakes!”
“There are others more qualified!”
“Nobody else’s kids are screaming and crying right now!”
“How can you put your children through this?”
“You’re ruining them!”
“You can’t do it!”
“You can’t do it!”
“YOU CAN’T DO IT!”
And as his voice grows louder and louder, the Voice of the Holy Spirit remains still and small.
Still and small—but somehow stronger. More powerful.
When the enemy’s voice in my ear screams ugliness and accusations, a stronger Voice replies, “Peace, be still.”
When I am reminded of my weakness and failures, He says, “”My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
When I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am not capable of accomplishing anything He has called me to do, He says, “I know. You can’t. But I can. I am doing it. And I will ‘not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
When my own heart cries out, “Lord! Are you really here? Are you sure we’re doing the right thing?” He says, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
In those many moments, when all I want to do is crawl under our display table and wave a cowardly white flag of surrender, his Grace pours out not only sufficiently but “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.”
And somehow, instead of crying or completely losing it, I am able to calmly smile at the sweet little lady who my son just slapped in the eye and say, “I’m sorry. He’s hungry and doesn’t like crowds.”
And somehow, she is able to say just as calmly, “Oh, that’s okay, he’s such a cute little boy.”
Just like that, the storm is quieted for a moment. Grace overflows in relief. God wins. Again.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood. but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Mark 4:39; 2 Cor. 12:9; 1 Chron. 28:20-21; Philippians 1:6; Joshua 1:9; Eph. 3:20