Sunday, November 17, 2013

fighting fear: weapons for the battle

A few months ago at church we sang the song “Oceans” by Hillsong United and I found myself so moved by the lyrics. One part in particular that says, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior.” I immediately downloaded the song and couldn’t help but listen to it on repeat. I would sing the lyrics over and over and pray that they would be true in my life. I wasn’t exactly sure how the Lord would answer my prayer at first, but with our due date fast approaching (just 18 days away!) God is making it very clear to me just how He is answering my prayer. He is making my faith stronger and taking me to a place where my trust truly is without borders...


I have realized that as Everett's birth day grows nearer, the spiritual attacks have increased. To some, this might sound a little extreme, but the truth is that it is real. Spiritual warfare is real. Satan is real. The lies he whispers and the schemes he uses to try and cripple us with fear are real. The GOOD NEWS, however, is that Jesus is also real and because I have trusted Him as my Lord and Savior I have the power of the Holy Spirit in me to defeat the schemes of Satan and rebuke his lies. However, this is not always the easiest thing nor the first thing I do in those times. Lately, I have found myself believing the enemy’s lies in regards to going into labor and delivering Everett, and because of that I have been running to Jesus and seeking His truth more than ever before. I have decided that because this is truly a spiritual battle, I must be prepared with weapons. My weapons of choice: God’s written Word and a whole lot of prayer.  While I do not enjoy having fear creep into my heart and wrestling with the “what ifs” and playing scary birthing scenarios in my head, I really have enjoyed learning how to fight those thoughts and see the power of Jesus revealed in my life in such a tangible way. When Satan whispers lies to me and fear starts to creep in, I try to immediately start praying or reciting scripture. When I do this, Jesus replaces those fears with His truth and calms my anxious thoughts with His peace. I really delight in the fact that we have such an intimate God and that He would use these final few weeks to prepare my heart and strengthen me for the big day ahead.


A favorite phrase that I keep repeating to myself (and friends keep reminding me of as well) is: “The same power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power I have in me.” That is some powerful stuff right there if you really let it sink in. I so often forget the authority I have as a follower of Jesus. I forget that I am washed in His blood and that I have His power living in me. I do not have to believe lies. I do not have to be worried. I do not have to be scared. Once I remind myself of these truths, I feel so relieved and ready for whatever is to come. I am learning to build my confidence solely in Christ as Everett's birth approaches. Russ has been such a huge help in reminding me of the power of Jesus and how He is sovereign and in control of every single thing. I believe that Russ has a gift of being able to wholeheartedly trust the Lord and walk by faith and not by sight in most situations. I, on the other hand, have struggled with anxiety for many years and often times choose to live in fear and doubt rather than the freedom Christ offers me if I would just surrender my thoughts to Him. I have learned a lot from my husband in regards to what it looks like to blindly trust Jesus. I am very thankful that the Lord has grown us closer in our marriage and closer to Him as we pray and prepare our hearts for the birth of our son. There have been a few rough and emotional days over the past few weeks as I have struggled with fear and so much of the unknown, but I really don’t think I would trade those times for anything looking back because of the great work Christ has done through those times of weakness. He is growing my faith in ways I never could have imagined and teaching me to trust Him with every ounce of my being. For someone who really likes to be in control of things, I am learning that in order to fully experience all the blessings Christ has for me, I must completely surrender everything to Him. That includes my worries, fears, insecurities, and what-ifs regarding my upcoming labor and delivery. Jesus wants it all. Every single doubt. Every single detail.


I felt led to share all of this for two reasons. First, because I am trying to be intentional about recording my thoughts and sharing my heart here and second, because maybe someone else is going through a similar season. Maybe it isn’t preparing for childbirth, but maybe someone else out there has been struggling with fighting Satan’s lies in their life and is desiring a deeper dependence on the Lord. I want to encourage anyone who might feel like they are in the midst of spiritual warfare to acknowledge the power you have in Jesus. Even if you don’t know what to pray or what to read, simply speak His name out loud over yourself and you will experience His peace that He promises in Philippians 4:7 “that surpasses all understanding.” Sometimes I really don’t know what to pray so I simply start saying all the names of Jesus I can think of. In James 4:7 it says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” It is true, Satan must flee at the name of Jesus. Learning the power of this truth will really change your life.


I devoted time this week to making a “labor and delivery playlist” with about 35 of my favorite worship songs. There are a few things that I still haven't gotten for my hospital bag, but my iPod and iHome are packed and ready to go! I also typed up a list of about 35 verses that God has been using to speak to me and comfort me, and printed those out, cut them up, and have them packed in a little plastic bag. I typed out a list of some of the names of Jesus to take with me as well.  I know that if I try to rely on my own strength to get through Everett’s birth I will have a miserable experience. I know that it does not have to be this way and that God actually wants to bless me through this experience if I will allow Him too. I also know that when those first contractions hit is precisely when Satan is going to start whispering his lies. I can already tell you what some of them will be… “you can’t possibly get through this” or “this hurts too bad, just give up” and “you are not strong enough for this.” We are taught in the Bible to put on the armor of God and prepare our hearts and minds accordingly. Because I know this ahead of time, I am trying to be prepared for the battle. I have Scripture to read and speak over myself, music to help me remember to worship and praise God for the gift of our child and the miracle of his birth, and a husband who is ready to pray over me and remind me of Christ’s power in me as I deliver our son. More than ever before, I am so thankful that God chose a husband for me that shows me strength, peace, and confidence in Christ. He always tells me “No, Jesus is your rock!” when I tell him this, but really, Russ is my “earthly rock” and I am so grateful to have him by my side pushing me to Jesus and cheering me on as we welcome Everett into this world. We are so excited and wait in expectation to see God glorified through the birth of our little miracle. We would love for you to pray with us as we prepare for this most special day.

 "You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior"

*I was going to list out all of the verses on here, but the document is 12 pages long. If anyone wants a copy just shoot me an email (beccatomlinsonphoto@gmail.com) and I will be more than happy to send it your way!

1 comment:

  1. You know I love, love, love that song too (Oceans)! It's so powerful. You hit the nail on the head with this post and this is something our pastor talked about this morning too. He said we need to list out our current struggles each day and actually THANK God for them, because he is likely trying to reveal himself to us or teach us something through those struggles. You and baby E are in my prayers! See you this week.

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