By the grace of God, I was recently delivered from some phenomenally strong ties by which I had been held captive for far too long. I was utterly thrilled. I felt so free that I could have danced. In fact, I probably did. My deliverance was followed not too long after by a life-transforming experience. Oh, how thrilled I was. And oh how convinced I was that I was free at last, free at last. Oh thank God, I – Uh oh! Guess who wasn’t so happy about my new-found freedom? You guessed it. Satan. And guess who was so focused on celebrating the victory that I forgot how Pharaoh didn’t let his captives go without a high speed chase.
So what happened? As I took off running free, the spiritual warfare stepped up to an exceeding high level. No problem, right? Yes, it has been a problem. I was not prepared. Somewhere along the way, I took my eyes off Jesus, focused them on my circumstances once again, and got into fear. Coupled with lack of high quality sleep for months and months, combined with some more-than-usual stress, guess what? I have become battle weary more quickly than usual. The good news is I recognize this. The bad news is not mine. The bad news is the devil’s. I know I have victory in Jesus. I know who my redeemer is.
I know with rest and repentance, with re-focusing on Christ and remembering to apply the Word to my life daily, I will move forward in the Lord – albeit with some circles under my eyes, a few spiritual cuts and scrapes, and a few more hard-learned lessons.
A warning about deliverance. Just because you have been delivered does not mean the war is over. One battle might be done, but do not remove your armor and go on vacation. Guard your heart, keep your focus on the Lord, trust and obey, and don’t make the mistake the children of Israel and I did.
I once excitedly told my father in Christ someone had told me to put the armor of God on every morning. He replied, “Why would you take your armor off in the middle of a war?”
Celebrate your deliverance, yes. But do not do so at the expense of leaving yourself a wide open target like I did. Some of our best lessons, I believe, do not come from our own mistakes. Some come from learning from the mistakes of others. I hope you will learn from mine.
10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c]against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6: 10-17 KJV)