She is at such a sweet stage in life. She is trusting, yet spunky. She loves made-up bedtime stories. She is captivated by hero stories, of good overcoming evil. Inside her lies the heart of a warrior.
Recently she memorized Ephesians 6:10-18. I loved listening to her recite these verses with gusto. She believes every. single. word. There is no doubt in her mind that she has a shield of faith, or that the Bible verses in her head are swords for fighting spiritual battles. She simply believes.
Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.Ephesians 6:16 NKJV
A few days ago, she told me about some troublesome thoughts. I asked her where the thoughts came from. She said they were from Satan. Instantly her eyes lit up. She knew that she had a faith shield, and she was happy to use it. Tonight at bedtime, she told me about a recurring nightmare that has plagued her. I reminded her of Ephesians 6. She smiled a sleepy smile as the fear left her face. I could almost hear her armor clanking as she put it on.
What about me?
Do I really believe that the doubts in my head can be quenched with a shield of childlike faith?
Lately, I’ve been on the receiving end of some lying doubts from the enemy.
- I’m not good enough.
- My work is insignificant.
- My efforts aren’t noticed.
- God isn’t hearing my prayers.
- My dreams are illusions from an overactive imagination.
Wow. Sometimes those doubts hit you like a ton of bricks. They knock the wind out of you. They steal your will to fight back.
That’s when I have to order myself to pick up that shield. The one my little girl showed me how to use.
I hold it up.
I remind myself that I don’t have to be good enough. I thank Jesus that He clothes me with His own righteousness. He knew before He created me that I could never measure up to God’s holiness, so He had a plan to cover me with His.
I remind myself that my work only looks insignificant. He notices the mundane tasks that I must accomplish. He sees my heart, whether it serves in love or from bitterness. My job is to simply obey. His job is to accomplish the results.
I remind myself that God sees my efforts. He knows when I’m tired and weary. He understands when I just don’t have anything left of my own strength. He helps me keep my wings open so they can catch the winds of His Spirit and soar to new heights. God’s resources are limitless.
I remind myself that God hears every prayer of a repentant heart. He keeps them tucked away until they are ready for His perfect answer. His answers of “no” and “wait” are usually much better than an instant “yes”. They teach me patience, faith, and persistence. They make sure that He gets the glory instead of me.
I remind myself that my dreams are from God. I don’t naturally aspire to things beyond my reach, because I am terrified of failure. These are God-thoughts–things that can only be accomplished if HE does them. While the dreams might make me appear foolish, the dreams themselves are God’s tools to bring me on a journey of Christ-likeness. And God wants me to fear Him more than I fear the opinions of others.
So, thank you, sweet girl.
Thank you for reminding me that we are at war against the forces of darkness that want to keep us chained to hopelessness and fear. Thank you for reminding me to hold up that shield of faith.
Thank you, Father, for teaching me. Again. And again.