We know full well the negative effects the Covid pandemic has had on our health, our relationships, and our economy, but do we know about the spiritual effects? What spiritual forces have also been at work to separate and isolate us and make us lose our confidence and sense of identity? More importantly, how is God using this to set us up for a phenomenal 2021?
In my recent post, “God is making new wine…out of us!” I shared a prophetic w0rd for 2021 by Lana Vawser. You can read those excerpts in that post. I want to review one part of that word here….
““Many of you have been questioning “Have I lost my first love fire?”, the weariness has caused you to question your first love fire, the weariness has caused you to question your direction, the weariness has caused you to question your anointing, your gifting, your assignment….”
Many of you have “taken on” the attack as “you” in 2020. “What did I do wrong?”, “I must have missed it”, and the confusion has caused you to lose your confidence in hearing the Lord’s voice in your life, but I say to you today, you have been assaulted by a spirit of witchcraft coming with the specific assignment to cause you to lose your footing in your confidence in hearing from the Lord because the enemy is scared.” (Lana Vawser)*
Some Christians may bristle at the idea of a “spirit of witchcraft,” saying we’re too quick to dismiss something as “the devil made me do it.” That’s understandable. I don’t like indiscriminately throwing those terms around myself. But it would be equally foolish, even dangerous, to dismiss any notion of spiritual machinations affecting our daily lives. After all, our only real enemies are principalities and powers in heavenly places (Eph.6:12).
Now, forget Hollywood movies. Spiritual attacks rarely appear overtly demonic. They usually present themselves as arguments and pretensions against the truth (2 Cor.10:3-5). Their intent is to manipulate mindsets, preferably without the person’s knowledge. All that’s needed is that you believe and act on the lie that’s being feed to you. While the truth makes us free (John 8:32), the lies we believe can certainly put us into bondage.
So then, what is a “spirit of witchcraft?” Here’s the best definition I’ve found:
“The spirit of witchcraft is a master at diverting attention away from itself and turning it toward you. Witchcraft even separates and isolates its victims from friends and family. One that is being spiritually attacked often feels the loss of personal identity and self-esteem.”*
Notice the similarities between this definition and what’s been happening to so many people since the pandemic struck. Everything about what’s happened —social distancing, isolation, fear, loss of confidence and identity—has moved us in the opposite direction of everything we love about life.
Like dry air that’s the perfect environment to spread a flu virus, this pandemic has been the perfect host for spreading this lying spirit. And the biggest deception is, we think what’s happening to us…is “us!”
Physical social-distancing has led too many Christians to spiritually-distance. Moved by fear instead of faith, locking themselves in their homes and isolating themselves. Compare that response to when the plagues swept through Europe during the Middle Ages and wiped out half of the population. It was the Christians who went out into the cities and treated the sick while the rest fled for the safety of the country.
But as Paul Harvey used say, “Now the rest of the story….”
We may question why God would allow something like the Coronavirus and the total disruption of our lives. While He’s not the cause of these things, He certainly knows how to turn them into something good (Rom.8:28). Lana Vawser goes on to say that this “weariness” fog cast over us in 2020 was because the enemy is afraid!
“Why? Because in 2021 as you lean into the Lord and stay in that place like Mary at the feet of Jesus listening to what He is saying, that beautiful place of intimacy, the Lord is going to raise you up with greater confidence, greater clarity, and understanding of His prophetic voice than ANY OTHER YEAR in your life.”
I like what Graham Cooke says about the enemy’s tactics against us. The best thing to do is to move in the opposite spirit! Like spiritual jujitsu, turn his curses into God’s promises by taking whatever funk the enemy has us in, and prophesy the OPPOSITE to our self! Wherever the enemy has been hitting you hardest is probably the place where the Lord is going to move most powerfully in you! Prophesy life back into your own dead bones….and live!
Beloved, the only power the enemy has over us is what we give him by permission. You and I are IN Christ! Nothing has changed about that in the last 12 months. As my good friend, Mark Hendrickson said in a recent post, we need to throw away our crutches! I love Mark’s encouragement here:
“God always has a strategy to maximize His graces in us, no matter the circumstances. Nothing takes Him by surprise. Enter into His perspective… activate a new ‘muscle’ that you’ve never used before… it’s quite likely that you’re more equipped, ready and empowered than you ever imagined. A new frontier… a new breakthrough is waiting for you. You are well able to ‘go up and take the country.’”
Are you ready for a a new breakthrough? To be more equipped and empowered than ever before? It’s time to shine! To grow deeper with God and walk in the power of HIS might! I agree with Mark. Let’s use this pandemic as an opportunity to flex new muscles of faith we’ve never used before. Jesus says, “Arise, take up your bed and walk!” (Mark 2:9).
Amen, God’s people overcome through various means including praises—-even in the midst of difficult situations—- I think of Paul and Silas in prison, the people of Israel around the old walls of Jericho, and of God’s promise to dwell in the praises of His people. Shalom 🕊
Amen. Good things to remember. When faced with difficult situations we must remember that it is God who is with us! And if He did these things for Israel under the Old Covenant, think about how much more He will do for us under the New Covenant in Christ!
He’s got my six-so I say Bring it!
That is a good word, Mel!
Yes He is! Thanks Linda! Blessings.
Yes, Mel… no matter the season or circumstances, there is a grace for us to thrive… at least spiritually. But that thriving will eventually spill out into the larger areas of our lives.
Think of Joseph who was betrayed, sold into slavery, lied about, forgotten. But no matter where he was, he was elevated into favor because he carried his heart right with God.
2020 may have given us an unusual ‘bed’, but instead of letting the bed rule us, we’re ruling the bed… “take up our bed and walk.”
Yes! We must rule the bed and walk from a place of rest and greater confidence in the One we’ve learned to rest in. I can’t wait to see how the new muscles we’re developing and our thriving will spill out in the next season.
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Woohoo! You’re on fire this week Mel, and I’m falling behind in reading! I really like what you said here, “Spiritual attacks rarely appear overtly demonic.” Yes, seldom are there Hollywood sound effects or the voice of Charleston Heston playing Moses. Sometimes it’s just a simple matter of walking into a room and casting out a spirit of fear or speaking peace over some situation.
I also love that, “prophesy the polar opposite over ourselves.” In my case it’s usually gratitude, gratitude has such power, especially for someone who is often disgruntled as I sometimes am. So, like, grateful for these challenges, grateful for these obstacles, not even quite sure what God is doing in this situation, but I know it’s going to be good!
Nothing irritates the enemy more than to be grateful when everything that he set up should make you feel the opposite! My favorite quote from Graham Cooke about moving in the opposite spirit…
“I want you to become so fascinated with My love for you that you are never intimidated by the evil one. You have My blessing and permission to make the enemy confused. I anoint you to weary him by your rest. I appoint you to discourage him by your faith. I empower you to demoralize him with your joy. I refresh you so that he is depressed by your endurance. I commit all that I Am to you, so that the enemy becomes dispirited by your favor. I embrace you in all that you are not, and all that you may become, so that the enemy is defeated by your grace. Be refreshed. Receive My mindset in these matters and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (“A Renewed Mind is Focused on Majesty,” from the devotional series, “Thinking With God”)
Awesome, Mel! That really is a great quote. I can’t remember who, but somebody smart said, “I used to be afraid of the dark but than I realized the dark was afraid of me.” We can often thwart the enemy in the simplest ways, like just taking a nap when there is a storm all around you. That’s what Jesus did.