I don’t know what you believe, and it is not my job to make you believe anything other than what you choose. However, it is my responsibility to be honest, to tell our story, and in hopes of doing that, it points all of us back to His Glory.
Talking about spiritual warfare outside of the innermost part of my safety net of community, has been intimidating to me. (Ok, intimidating is not the word, terrifying? But He has not given us a spirit of fear!) Even though I believe the reality of it, I’ve seen the healing, breakthroughs, and intense scenarios that I can not quite explain; I’ve chosen to be quiet comparatively speaking. Unfortunately, keeping it all close to the chest only benefits me, and those in immediate proximity to me. Biblically we’re called to share testimony, which points us and others back to Him. A friend of mine has been really, really dwelling on that lately, how easily we don’t share the story. As she was pouring out her heart, I couldn’t help but think, “Dang, I’m not doing this. I’m not sharing the story.”
So in efforts to share the reality of our day to day, I wanted to speak openly regarding warfare and our family. I know I’m not the only person with these experiences, and I don’t believe it makes me any different – but the enemy is quick to make me think that in sharing this, I’m arrogant, condescending, or repulsive – and I refuse to give power to those lies any longer. Unfiltered, here we are…
Last night, on the way home, Tobias and I were talking about fear. The previous night, he was having trouble sleeping. He’d shared with me that he felt very afraid, but he didn’t know why. So we prayed, and he went on to bed. Afterwards, I looked up some scripture so share with him that he could keep in his “toolbelt” when he started to feel that way again. So as we were driving home, we were talking through those scriptures and claiming the truth that God has not given us a spirit of fear. As we were talking, Penelope became very quiet, and then out of nowhere began hissing/cackling. I almost ran off the road because it severely startled me. I immediately rebuked the spirit of fear and she stopped. Tobias had no idea what I was responding to. He didn’t hear it. (Yup, this is a moment where I’m quick to feel crazy). No, I do not believe my child was demon possessed, but I do believe the enemy who is seeking to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) whispered in her ear, “now’s a good time to make a sound” to which she obliged. (When I asked her about it later, she said she likes making noises, and it just came out.) Anyway, my immediate response in prayer spiked a million questions in Tobias – how did I know what to do? How did I know what to pray? Why did I think the enemy was working against us? And on, and on.
So I answered them as best I could. I don’t profess to be an expert on the topic, but I did my best to explain what I believed and what God’s word said to substantiate it. It was one of the most powerful conversations my son and I have ever had. I may or may not have been running around the house, preaching like a tv evangelist for a hot minute or two. In brief, I shared that we’ve been given a spirit of power, love, and strong mind (2 Timothy 1:7). That God has equipped us with armor for battle (Ephesians 6) and we have to put it on. That the enemy already knows he’s lost the war, so his battles take place here on Earth until God comes back. (Revelation 20:7-10). Tobias laughed at my excitement, he was excited. He was beginning to realize the power and authority we have as believers (1 John 4:4). I shared with him that even if he never figured out the rest of his math curriculum, if he choose to believe and understand that we are at war, but we have the victory of an ever loving God on our side – then my job as a parent is done. (Don’t worry, he’s working on his math curriculum right now – and I’m realizing I now sound like one of those crazy, homeschool moms, oh dear).
Obviously, my parenting job is not done – but I think knowing the long term vision we have for our children helps us guide them through the day to day. At the end of the day, his heart is important and not just the emotional side of it. Of course, Sam and I want the kids to choose a relationship with God, but we will never ever force it. Ever. We will encourage it, we will share our own personal stories, pray for them diligently to know God and walk with Him, fully live out our faith and wrestlings, but each of our kids has to make the choice to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. We can’t do it for them, guilt them into, force it over them. Not happening.
Anyway, the more Tobias and I talked, the more excited he became. It truly was a moment with indescribable joy. We talked about the assignment of angels (Matthew 18:10) and demons. How the enemy knows what to do and say to deceive us because demons study us, how we have angels to help guard us and protect us, and how the Holy Spirit is indwelling with us once we’ve accepted Him as our savior and been baptized in the spirit. In true childlike faith, Tobias asked me – “What’s my angel’s name?” I laughed replying, “well, I don’t know. In fact, I don’t even know my angel’s name. I’ve never thought to ask!” So naturally, he prayed right then that God would tell him the name of his angel. We continued talking about what war looks like, what the end of the war will be like as described in Revelation. About 15 minutes passes, and he looks at me and says, “My angel’s name is Christopher.” He said the name just popped into his head. So, we looked up the meaning of the name Christopher, “carrier of Christ.” Now, again, not experts here, but that’s pretty dang cool guys. Tobias was on that mountain top high. I decided I should probably get Sam on the phone since he is out of town, to share everything going on with him. So we called him up, and sat around the living room talking and Tobias shared everything that happened, what he was thinking, feeling etc. It was just a really beautiful moment. Sam prayed over us, over him, and for our family, and we hung up.
As soon as the call ended, Tobias went from incredibly encouraged and joy-filled, to a broke down emotional mess. He was balling, and I was dumbfounded. We talked thru whether the feelings he was having were scary or fear based – fear is a spirit that has attached itself to my family for generations, and Sam and I have been diligent in fighting against. He said it didn’t feel scary, or anything bad – he was just overwhelmed. So we prayed, and decided to turn on some worship music. We ended up singing and praying for about an hour and a half, maybe two hours – before he started to nod off. When I turned off the TV to head to bed, he headed up stairs. Then the crying started again. Something was giving him the idea that something was going to happen to Sam. So we prayed, asked for discernment, and bound the spirit of fear. He ended up coming to sleep in my room and I turned worship music back on and let it play thru the night. Tobias fell asleep quoting one of the verses I’d given him in the car about sleep. (Psalm 4:8) And now, here we are today.
*shrugs* That’s what I got.
This life is a crazy one guys, and even in writing this, I’m asking myself why this is such a big deal to share? It’s not. It definitely had me thinking though, how do we equip our kids (and ourselves even) for war in a way that makes sense to them? That isn’t overwhelming? Did I say/do the right things? How much is too much for them? Does teaching them about spiritual warfare have the adverse effect of introducing them to fear? Gah! I don’t believe so. I choose to believe that child like faith probably understands warfare easier than our adult minds do. So, my thought is, as we dig into this as a family, and figure out what this path looks like for us to walk thru, teach thru, talk thru, share, etc…maybe I’ll do my best to document and share what we try and the outcome.
And in true “Ashlee, Type 1” form, I’ll probably write worksheet or two on spiritual warfare and kids – what they need to know to train for battle. If you’re interested, leave me a comment below, or on the social medias. Who knows, maybe I’ll even teach a class, ha!
Thanks for reading. X.
PS – Here’s an insightful article on the topic if you’re hungry for some more.