January 6, 2011

Day 6: The Game of Risk (Part 1)

Scripture for today: 2 Corinthians 10:4 "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."

I'm feeling a shift in my heart. At certain points today I found myself wondering if I had bitten off more than I could chew in this fast, and of course those thoughts were countered by thoughts like, "You're not even doing the full Daniel Fast." But today I did not entertain these thoughts for more than a second or two each time they came. In fact, I crushed those thoughts with the faith that I'm stronger than I think and that the things I'm fasting from or adding to my life are the exact things God has been whispering to me about in the quiet moments of the past few months.

I am still a little more fatigued than usual, but I've infused my body with plenty of water today and plenty of restful activities, mainly writing and spending time at the library with my kids. I love the library! So now that I'm walking a little stronger on this path, I'm eager to think about the topic He has impressed upon my heart today, demolishing strongholds.

I'm going to draw a parallel between strongholds and The Game of Risk. If you've never played the game before, some of the comparisons may not work for you. However, I will do my best to explain the main tenets of the game and some of the strategy employed in winning. I know this will take some careful thought and explanation on my part, so I'm going to break it up into a few posts over the next few days.

The past four years have been a concentrated effort in cooperation with the Holy Spirit to break down strongholds in my life. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the faithful intercession of friends and strangers, words of wisdom and love from sisters and brothers in Christ, and sheer grit and determination on my part, I have gained victory over the strongholds of depression and fear. Currently, I am in the midst of heated battle against the stronghold of codependency and addictive behaviors.

In the process of gaining victory over these strongholds, I have been healed of the physical effects manifesting as fibromyalgia, chronic pain syndrome, severe allergies, and hormonal imbalance. I still have to be on guard against the triggers for these things, especially stress, sleep, some foods, and negative thinking, but the battles feel a little more like a schoolyard squabble rather than World War II.
I've known about spiritual warfare since I was a teenager. I know how to resist the enemy and have conquered him on many small fronts throughout my life. I will compare this level of spiritual warfare with taking the continent of Australia in Risk. As long as you men on at least two of the countries in Australia, it's easy to bulk up your army and take on the other countries on the continent. Once you conquer the territory, it's easy to keep it because there are only two access points into the continent.

The strongholds I'm talking about here are the more on the lines of taking Asia or North America. Again, I will spend tomorrow's post going into more detail about how the game is played and begin bringing Scripture in to help us with the parallel.

Before then, I want to explain what led me to this topic in the first place and what it has to do with my fast from complaining, arguing, and making requests of God in prayer. Currently, some of my dearest friends are battling their own strongholds on the order of Asia and North America. One of these friends e-mailed today with a mixture of revelation and request for encouragement. When I typed the words I sent to her, I immediately thought, this will "BLOG."
Here's what I wrote: "What I have learned in the battle against strongholds is never, never, never give up. It's okay to grow weary; it's okay to cry and scream and rage against the whole process; it's okay to feel like you will faint or stop; it's okay to run and hide for a little while; but it's not okay to give up completely. In fact, I've decided it's not even a matter of okay or not okay...I know in my particular battle, giving up is just not an option...it's not even on the table. I can get almost to that point, but then something or someone comes along to rally me. That's what I'm hearing from you, too. All that you are feeling and experiencing is normal in the struggle against spiritual strongholds.

This has been a week of intense battle for me, too. But I am holding fast, clinging to the promises of Scripture and of Jesus in my heart, and I know you can and will hold fast too. This is why we need each other, as a part of the greater cloud of witnesses cheering us on from a little farther ahead, letting us know that what we are experiencing is normal and that just when we feel we will fail, God will send a sign...in the form of a Scripture, a blog post, or [words from an unexpected source]."

Until tomorrow, I wish you Peace & Joy,

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