Are you listening to the lies of the enemy more than to the voice of God?
‘God is calling out to you ladies. He has got so much for you. And do you know what, I am sick of seeing the enemy playing with you and me, I’ve had enough! …… God has got so much planned; he wants to use us so powerfully for his glory. Stop listening to the enemy! Get into the word of God; speak truth over yourself and each other. We’ve got to go after this girls! Don’t miss out!’
This was the plea from Abi Cowley, during the recent Women at the Well, ladies meeting. She spoke very much from the heart and based a lot of her talk on personal experience. The Holy Spirit was most definitely tangible in the room. It was an extremely powerful night and I know that I for one was very challenged by what she had to say.
Part of her inspiration to speak to us was the very real battle that she had been having with fear in her own life. She told us about how she had gradually found freedom from this stronghold by being active against the enemy’s schemes. I was reminded of the scripture ‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you.’ It is so easy for us to forget this and be crushed down under all the temptations and accusations that come our way!
Abi based her talk on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He was in very difficult circumstances under house arrest when he wrote it, but he was still full of joy. Paul didn’t know the ending of his story like we do. He had no idea how things were going to turn out but he continued to praise and preach the love of God. He didn’t live for possessions, for happiness or for a good reputation. He lived only for Christ. We were all reminded again that this is the fundamental calling for every woman of God. Everything else can and may be taken away from us; our health, our home, our money or our loved ones.
At the end of his letter Paul says ‘And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.’ So, how can we fix our thoughts? It always seems so much easier to read than actually do! Abi challenged us by saying ‘We actually physically have to do something. I think a lot of the time everything can just stay up here, in our mind. We listen to stuff, we think about things and we read the bible but it just stays up here. God has really challenged me recently about physically outworking stuff.’
Here are some of the things that Abi talked about which can really help us to be proactive:
- Use scripture. Get it out of our heads and into our immediate environment. Write it down and stick it up around your house, wherever you are going to see it on a daily basis. In your wallet or on your hand. Be creative! What God says in the word is who we are; not what our family says, not what our husband or children say, not what our work colleagues say, not what the world says.
- Speak the word of God out loud. This is guaranteed to build faith in us. The word of God is alive and it has power. We won’t be able to identify lies from the enemy unless we are familiar with the truth. Jesus spoke the word to defeat the devil; it was a model for us.
- Talk to others in your church community. Seek out friends that you trust and those that will encourage you in your walk with Jesus. We need to be honest with each other about where we are really at. The enemy loves to try and isolate us. Ask a couple of friends to uphold you in prayer.
- Absorb yourself in God. Keep Him in your everyday life, talk to Him, and tell Him where you are at. Listen to worship music and praise Him.
- Stay alert. The enemy is like a prowling lion, looking for someone to devour. Fear and doubt soon creep in but we don’t need to live lives consumed by them; there is a better way! We must fix our thoughts on the truth. We cannot live paralysed by fear of what might happen to us or our loved ones. We must remember that most of our battles are won or lost in our mind.
At the end of the meeting there was an opportunity for women to go forward and get prayer for fears that they had been struggling with and lies that they had been believing. Lesley reminded us that God is not going to just give us freedom; we actually have to step out into it and walk in it. I went away knowing that God had spoken to me and challenged again that I needed to make God’s word more active in my life. After all, as Abi mentioned in her talk; the word of God is the only absolute truth we have. It is the only thing I can speak over myself and others and I know that it is not warped by the world, by my own feelings or by the enemy!
So, if you weren’t able to make it to the evening this time I highly recommend that you listen to the podcast. And make sure you put the date in your diary for the next Women at the Well meeting as soon as it is announced. If it means having a baby sitter, then get it organised! These meetings should not be missed; they are an amazing opportunity to enjoy fellowship with other women in the church, but more than that to meet with Jesus, be changed by him and get equipped to impact the lives of those around us.