Spiritual warfare, it's called. Not too long ago I would have heard that and laughed until my abs were sore. Not anymore. I believe in it and I have encountered it in my own life. I've encountered it enough times to know...it's very real and it's an all out battle!
To give you an example: I had a very intense and powerful meeting with my friend, Aaron, earlier this week. Aaron is a minister and after spending several hours together he advised me: "you're going to come under attack. When you are doing God's work, the devil will come after you. Hold your peace." Everyday since Aaron and I met, it has been one attack after another. And man, sometimes it's really hard to stay in peace.
There have been many times over the last few days where I want to get mad. Like, really mad...and stay mad. It's okay to get mad, but it's not okay to stay there. It's not okay to let anger and bitterness fester within us. It's a very quick downward spiral. I know because I was in that place for a long time. Before I was a believer, I was mad, angry, bitter...a victim. And I just let it marinate inside of me until it made me sick. If you don't overcome good with evil, you will get sick. It will overpower you and take you to a very dark place. Just where the devil wants you.
"Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21
We've got instructions for what we need to do when the evil comes our way, which, it always does when you're working God's plan. You can go ahead and expect adversity and evil to come your way when you are making forward progress. It certainly makes it easier when you know to expect it. It helps that it's not a shocking surprise when a set-back comes knocking at the door. It's so important to be conscious and aware and ready to fight back.
When the evil stuff comes at me, I make a concerted effort to do good. For me, that's reaching out and helping others...especially when I'm hurting, especially when I don't want to. For me, this is the quickest way to get myself back on track. Helping someone else is a win-win and it puts the devil in his place. He wants you to have a pity party. He wants you to wallow. He wants you curled up in the corner. Don't let him win. Get up and fight back. Help someone. Reach out. Stay on your mission. Whatever you do, do not be side-tracked and do not wallow.
Get up! Fight back! Hold your peace!