I have a friend who is facing a tough time. She's known the circumstance could occur. The possibility of struggle has been hanging in the shadows. But now there's no more shadow-lurking. She'll need to press through.
And the enemy whispers lies.
She and I stand in church, talking fast, voices low, opening the tender places of our hearts.
"I'm scared," she says, and then she shares the fear - the whispers that come from the one who wants to steal, kill and destroy.
"I'm praying verbs for you," I say. "When the Lord tells us how to deal with the enemy, He gives us verbs. Submit to Him. Then stand. Resist. And flee. When we submit, stand, and resist, the next verb belongs to the enemy. He has to flee."
My friend smiles. She know what I'm saying. Maybe she hasn't thought of it this way, but she's been praying verbs for me, too.
I think it's something we all can relate to. We have struggles. God doesn't tell us that we won't. And often in the struggle, we have an enemy.
He speaks lies and I've heard the whispers.
Things aren't going to get better. A good mother wouldn't have your kind of issues with her kids. You work so hard and look - your kids are surly, your house is a mess, sometimes there's more smack talk under your roof than you can shake a stick at. May as well throw up your hands and let it all be.
And the best thing I can do is to pull out the verbs.
Submit. Stand. Resist.
And because I stand on the resurrection side of the cross, the enemy has to flee.
My friend and I are separated for a moment by a wave of children and mothers. We start a few new strands of conversations. Give a few hugs. Speak fragmented sentences. And when the wave recedes, we find one another again.
"I'm praying for you," I say.
She looks at me, and I know her next words will be true.
"I'm praying for you, too. Verbs."
And we're both going to be okay.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:7
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. I Peter 5:8