When my daughter attended 1st grade, the first scripture passage she memorized dealt with putting on the full armor of God.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Eph. 6:12-13
Sometimes, I think we see our battles coming. Like the soldier who sees the smoke from the enemy’s camp in the horizon before him, we often know we are in the midst of a battle.
But sometimes, even in the midst of a battle, we find ourselves weary. Seeking rest, we close our spiritual eyes and allow the enemy to sneak up on us, even when we should know better.
This week, I feel like that has happened in my marriage.
Here I am, trying to take this noble journey, trusting God to lead my family in the direction we need to be led, but I am forgetting to put on my spiritual armor. And as a result, the enemy has found a chink in my protection.
This week, thenoblehubby and I have been on a roller coaster ride of elation, frustration, and exasperation. We have gone from complete confidence in our step of faith to complete despair and lack of faith.
Now, we have not actually said that we have lost faith. Of course not. If someone were to ask, I would say, “Yes, we have complete faith that God is going to do this…”
But our actions recently do not reflect that confidence. We have a spirit of fear about our finances. And that spirit of fear is causing us to attack each other in this battle. A lack of communication led to a misunderstanding about how much money was in one of our savings accounts, and to my husband and I battling each other instead of battling our true enemy.
So while he spent several hours rolling coins I sat on the couch watching Monster in Laws. Where should I have been? Gee, that’s easy…sitting with my husband on the bed, sorting and rolling coins. But I could not bring myself there because of my anger. Later, the words between us escalated and I found myself wondering why in the world God would give us the vision of ministry that He has given us when we can’t even stand to be in the same room at times. How can I think of unity in faith when I want to pinch his little head off?
Let me be very clear here…I love my husband with complete loyalty and fierce passion…but sometimes the passion turns ugly. I can despise as equally as I can love. Am I alone in this? I don’t think so. I bet there are times when you, too, look at the man you are married to and wonder, “Uh, what?”
Thankfully, the Lord restores things to their rightful place, and He gives me the sustenance to hold tight during those times when I become controlled by anger and not by Spirit. He reminds me that He will be glorified when I give those weaknesses over to Him.
So this morning, I reminded thenoblehubby via text that I could have taken that job…perhaps we made a mistake in not doing so. Because if I had taken the job, we would not be arguing about money.
Even as I typed the words, however, I knew it wasn’t true. I did not believe in my spirit that we had made a mistake, but I was wondering if he did.
His answer came quickly:
My fault…no more fighting about money…we will be ok
I confess, I still don’t see how it will happen. I look at the dollar signs going out and I know the ones coming in, and I don’t know how it’s going to happen. But knowing that my husband and I are both still standing firm, after we have done everything God told us to do…that gives me confidence and peace. I just needed to hear from him that yes, even when it gets tough, even when we fight, even when it looks impossible to the world, he knows we did the right thing.
A good friend told me last week that when you step out in faith and trust God with your finances, you will start finding money under rocks. I’m doing a lot of rock kicking this week. But I also need to do a lot more praying.
He has given us the armor for the battle, but it does us no good to praise Him for the victory but refuse to take up our weapons for the fight.
“…Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows
of the evil one…” Eph. 6:16