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“I TELL YOU, we are all doomed! They are throwing everything at us. How can we hope to survive?” My voice trembled from the panic and fear that flowed through my very veins.
We were badly outnumbered and the enemy had taken quite a strong strategic advantage. Having surrounded us, they had succeeded in cutting off all supplies and reinforcements to the temple that we were so desperately defending. Piles of old pews, broken chairs and anything else we could find were barricading all of the doors and blocking off the windows. And yet I still could not hold anything steady in my hands and did not even begin to feel safe behind the flimsy barriers that were trying to hold such a powerful foe at bay. The enemy commander leading this assault was very experienced and had run hundreds of campaigns just like this one. To his mind it was only a matter of time before he overran our defences and captured the prize he was after. Me!
Deathgrip, for that was his name as well as his occupation, had split his forces into four companies and assigned each one to a specific task. He had given them symbolic names and had branded these names onto the shafts of their arrows and spears, etched them into their rocks and stencilled them across the front of the helmet of every warrior.
‘FEAR’, ‘DOUBT’, ‘CONDEMNATION’ and ‘GUILT’, these were the names chosen by Deathgrip; and he was using each one to its full effect. Following his orders, the four companies were keeping up a constant barrage of their projectiles and the sounds filled that air around us. The swish of working catapults, the twang of bowstrings and the whoosh of spears and arrows was almost an orchestrated cacophony which Deathgrip used to conduct the symphony of defeat. My defeat!
The arrows were all aimed at the roof. All four companies (Fear, Doubt, Condemnation and Guilt) fired shaft after shaft on top of us. My mind was constantly bombarded by the points of each arrowhead as it struck into thatch, rafters and crossbeams above me. I clasped my hands over my ears as the noise became so penetrating that my skull felt as if it was actually being struck; my brain was fast becoming addled.
The rocks were aimed at the walls. Thump after thump after thump made me feel as if I was that wall. My rib cage, lower back and each kidney felt as if they were personally receiving the full force of each and every body blow. Breathless and aching all over, I wondered how much longer I could stand the onslaught.
The spears were all aimed at the point where wall meets ground. It was obvious what this cunning fighter was about; he was using these sharp, steel, hard javelins to attack the very foundations of this temple which kept him at bay. Maybe it was only psychological, but the trembling of my knees and the strain in my calf muscles made it difficult to stand; it was as if his strategy was working and my own foundations were beginning to crumble.
As fear began to take hold of my heart, I found myself doubting our ability to stay safe; let alone win. And of course, once these thoughts entered my mind I felt like a traitor to my companions and guilt washed over any remaining courage that hid in the corners of my soul. I was lost and I knew it. I had to force myself to look at those who stood in this battle with me; for I was already deeply feeling the condemnation and disappointment that I knew they must have felt towards me. But look I did. And I will be forever grateful that I did.
Elohim Himself, in all of His majesty, stood so tall and grand. His face shone with love and compassion. With a smile He returned my look and handed me His belt; “You know that I cannot lie. Truth and truth alone is all that may pass My lips. Your very creation, every part of you, even the hairs upon you head, are dear to Me. Believe this and nothing will ever hurt you or scar you beyond what I degree. And I will never decree what is not good for you. Wear this belt and only ever allow truth to dwell within you, and you will know and experience the honesty of My words.” I felt the warmth of His sincerity comfort me as I turned to my next companion.
Yahweh Tsidkenu also smiles at me in love and understanding. “You stand righteous in Our sight, do not let the lies of the enemy deceive you. In Our Company there is no room for condemnation; so reject it outright and know that We see you clean and blameless”. While speaking these words Yahweh Tsidkenu undid His own breastplate and strapped it to my chest. As He did the last clasp at the base of my back, I felt His cleanliness wash over me and I saw the flaming arrows of the enemy for what they really were; fireflies beating themselves to death against the darkness of their own despair.
Yahweh Shalom came and knelt at my feet. I felt ashamed and rushed to prevent Him from bending before me, but He raised a hand and brought instant peace to my guilt ridden, racing heart. “Be still, little one. I bow not to place you above me, but out of love and concern for you I bow to serve you. I wish to place these sandals upon your feet. Know that, wherever you go, when wearing these sandals My peace and serenity goes with you. As you spread it amongst others, so you too will be enveloped and contained within it. Fear not, for We are far greater than any number that can ever be arranged against you.”
With awe I watched Yahweh Shalom stand back up and continue to smile at me. I could not move, I was transfixed to the spot, totally lost in the tranquillity that flowed from His very essence. Indeed, I think I would have remained there forever if Yahweh Shammah had not gently reached for my hand. He placed it within the leather strap that served as a handle for His own shield. “I Am here child. And I too have a gift for you. Take this shield and know, beyond all doubt, that the enemy does not possess a weapon that can even put a scratch upon its surface. No arrow, sword or knife, no matter what is engraved upon its shaft, can penetrate this shield. And as long as you stand behind it, you are beyond the enemy’s longest and most powerful reach.”
I raised the shield in front of me and there was instant relief to my body. What had previously been suffering the effects of the enemy’s attack now felt totally at ease; no pain, no ache and no thumping. The enemy may as well have been throwing sponge rubber at the walls of the temple, for all the effects that their rocks were now having.
As I enjoyed the relief from my pain, Yeshua The Mashiach also stood and walked over to me. He placed a helmet upon my head and instantly my mind lost its confusion as guilt was replaced by acceptance. “Only lies can entrap you now. You are My personal friend and I want to develop that friendship with you. Nothing can separate you from me and I accept you, one hundred percent, with all of your past mistakes and failings. There is neither room nor need for regrets. True remorse leads to forgiveness and freedom from guilt. Come, sit here, between the Holy spirit and I. And here, between Us, you are safe beyond measure.”
I allowed Yeshua to lead me over to where the Holy Spirit sat and I saw a sword suddenly appear in the Spirit’s hands. “I’ve got a gift for you too, My friend. And like all of these other gifts, you must learn to use this one too. There are many exercises you must perform daily to unlock this Sword’s incredible secrets. But if used every day, then it is the most powerful weapon ever made. I will personally teach you its truths and not only will this Sword destroy the enemy, it will also bring healing to your body, freedom to your mind and restore your strength and faith. Never let a day go by without using this Sword, and you will never know a day without feeling Our presence.”
It is difficult to explain what happened next. I know that Deathgrip is still out there. Satan, his own master, has given him personal orders to attack my mind, body and soul constantly. And he fears that false king of demons far too much to be anything other than obedient. I also know that arrows still fall upon my head, but they bounce ineffectively off the helmet I now wear. Rocks are still thrown at the outside walls of God’s temple, my body, but the breast plate Yahweh Tsidkenu has supplied doesn’t even ring from the sound of their striking. And my feet and legs know perfect peace, like standing on solid rock, as the dust beneath my feet is barely stirred by the enemy’s spears; that splinter like straw as they fall.
Yes, I know that all of these things are still happening and I know that Deathgrip will continue to make sure they do. But I also know that my special friends and fellow warriors will never leave my side. Before Deathgrip or any of his kind can ever seriously hurt me, I would need to leave the company of my God. And I don’t intend to ever do anything quite that stupid.
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You are a powerful writer. I thank you for your concern for our family. However, usually when someone has cancer, the body of Christ doesn't talk about demons attacking (sometimes they do) for indirectly all illness is a result of a fallen world. But nothing is going to be perfect until we see him face to face. Just as the flu virus is a real invasion of bacteria in the body (we are made, body, mind, soul, and spirit) diseases of the mind or chemical imbalances are just as real. Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a season for everything. What Matt is going through, just like with Joni Earackson Tada is only giving us an opportunity to lean on Him more. Satan might want to use it but like Job we will say, "Though you slay us, we will trust you." Everyone in the Bible went through intense suffering, including Jesus and a servant is not greater than his Master. I seek to think on the Lord and His goodness and not the havoc that Satan tries to create. Blessings of our Lord's peace be with you.
Fabulous! I have been really enjoying these new Bunyan/Lewis-ish tales. You have crafted unique and splendid allegories with your personal touch.