It has a name, this weapon that is "formed against me." (Isaiah 54:17)
I recognize it now as if it had a "My Name Is: _______" sticker on it.
The enemy's weapon of choice opposing the promises of God for my family and occasionally sidetracking me has the name: Discouragement.
What a rotten but well-chosen weapon for those of us who have committed to hope in God for the miraculous. From the beginning of our adoption journey when we take that first step to pray, or talk to our spouse, or pull up photos of waiting children, all the way to the stage I am in now as we begin to launch our children into adulthood--we never stop hoping for the fullness of the promise.
--because it didn't take long for us all to realize that getting our child home was not the fulfillment of the promise of adoption; it was just the beginning of the beautiful transformation into a True Son or Daughter.
When discouragement comes prodding me, threatening to wound me with the pressure of its attack, then I need to decide what my weapon of choice will be. When I hear those words of the enemy that say, "Just back off and give up. The promise is not going to be fulfilled. Your successes are smaller than your victories. You are not qualified for this. You don't have what it takes....."-- that is when I pick up those very promises of God, His words of life over me, and fight back.
Paul wrote to Timothy about this very thing. Let his words encourage you in whatever circumstance you are facing that would bring discouragement.
So Timothy, my son, I am entrusting you with this responsibility, in keeping with the very first prophecies that were spoken over your life, and are now in the process of fulfillment in this great work of ministry. Continue to use your prophecies as weapons as you wage spiritual warfare by faith and with a clean conscience. (1 Timothy 1:18 The Passion Translation)
Prophecies are not only words telling the future, they are also words of truth, words the Holy Spirit is speaking to you about who God says you are and about what He is calling you to. Maybe you have experienced this when someone has prayed for you and they share something they feel God is saying, or maybe as you have read scripture you just know deep in your spirit that God is speaking to you about your life. You know, it's the "the words just jumped off the page" thing.
God uses these words to comfort, encourage and build us up. (1 Corinthians 14:3) And my friends, they are weapons in our hands, perfectly formed to parry every blow of discouragement.
Paul exhorts Timothy to use the prophetic words he has received as weapons in the battles he faces. Like Timothy, you and I have on-going responsibilities related to our calling-- for many of us that is adoption, foster care, and/or orphan care. And I have found that reminding myself once again what God has spoken to me is like a weapon in my hand as I confront discouragement and "wage the good warfare" (Amplified) that is a part of living in the kingdom.
I encourage you dear friends to remember again those prophetic words that released vision and purpose in your life. These are the words of life that will get you through those seasons when the enemy speaks his ugly words of accusation, defeat, and self-doubt.
"Wage the good warfare" comes from the Greek verb "strateuo", and from this same root we get our word "strategy". So, our strategy is to recognize the voice of the enemy, which is always accompanied by a harshness and a sense of driven fear, and to turn our spirit back to the prophetic words that always release peace and a tender sense of hope.
This is the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).
When we do this we are not in denial of the realities we face. There are real circumstances that are truly discouraging in my life and in yours. But, our strategy is one that denies our circumstances the right to define or control us; we choose to wage this warfare by agreeing with God and His words of life.
My friends, don't let any attack of discouragement change your mind about what God has said about you, about your calling, about your family. He is backing you up dear one. He will not retreat, for He has already proven to you that you of the greatest value to Him. And He has given us the winning strategy! Isn't it just like our God to use words of life and purpose and destiny and calling as the deadliest of weapons!
Looking for some encouragement? Would you like to have someone pray with you and hear the prophetic weapon-words God is saying to you? Join us at Hope at Home 2014, September 26-27, in Atlanta, GA. This will be a wonderful time of strengthening and help for adoptive, foster and waiting parents. We'd love for you to be there!