The War Zone
By Elizabeth Enlow
Excerpt from "God in Every Season"
Available on Amazon November 11, 2017
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8 NIV
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against
the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand.”
Ephesians 6: 12-13 NKJV
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God.
We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 NLT
A Very Real War—A Very Real Love (Journal Entry)
The terrorist of all terrorists drops bombs when you least expect it. Your heart shreds and the ringing in your ears makes it almost impossible to hear The Still Small Voice. The collateral damage in a very real war is seen all around and with it the lies permeate the scene of destruction—as piercing as a thousand sirens mixed in with the choir of cries for help. This is the way this season began, but it will not end here. It never does because You never change. The only One who can reverse torn lives is right in the midst. None of it surprises You or scares You away. And although I am pierced to my core, it, this, makes me more sure of You, more than I ever have been. All the pain and lies from many years ago fall fresh again, but like all pain, it brings with it a gift. So desperately, I open pain’s plainly wrapped package, revealing a wonderful surprise...
Surrender. The joy of surrender. Oh my soul, and strength in surrendering to this terrifying reality of how very little control I have. In a world full of the freedoms and choices and rights of billions of souls each imposing their will upon the rest, I will find my steadfast in the One whose choices matter the most. The One whose choices are launched by love alone and always hit their mark in every heart that dares to hope for more, that dares to hope for Him.
I surrender to Love. To Love that constantly recalculates towards mercy, kindness, and goodness—no matter the obstacles, slow-downs, or twists and turns. Like water that cannot be contained, Your love reaches through the cracks and crevices of every wall of doubt and evil fortress of lies, rushing to the lowest places whether beckoned or not. More relentless than any fear or torment that pursues my soul, is this One, this Love. Love in action—love set into motion as sure as sunrise and sunset, minutes and hours, days and months, years and generations, every single season of my soul. Season after season You awaken me. Season after season, deeper and deeper. Cycles of Your purposes and plans unfolding—all so that I might know You. So that I can know the real You and Your true intentions towards me.
Season after season, that I might know just how loved I am. Season after season, so that I might know Love.
THE WAR ZONE
If somehow you haven’t realized by now, let me tell you some helpful information. You were born into a war zone. All this craziness just above your head and deep inside your soul is nothing less than a very real battle that’s raging between an enemy (who wants you dead in all the wrong ways) and your soul—a soul which can only participate in a very real, already-accomplished victory when it is dead in all the right ways. We experience life lived from victory when our soul is dead to performance and striving. Dead to our rights and our ways. Dead to fear and torment. Dead to lies that would tempt us to think God is less than He really is and His heart towards us is anything less than perfectly good. In order to live within the victory God has secured for you, our soul must become dead to everything that could separate us from the love of God—dead to sin and fully alive to Christ in us.
So what does that look like minute by minute, day by day, and season by season? What do the spiritual concepts we, in theory, believe and embrace look like in the midst of seasons of exhaustion or celebration, in hiddenness or on the front lines, in failures or in successes? We claim to value such things as faith, wisdom, hope, kindness, trust, and covenant, yet it’s easy to lose hold of those convictions when we’re living from pain and fear, stuck in survival mode. The seasons of life seem to haphazardly toss us from one crisis to the next, with occasional reprieves in between.
The cycles or seasons we go through, literally and figuratively, aren’t simply an organizational system put into place by a distant God to help us earthlings keep track of time. The seasons you go through, and the one you are currently in, are the very backdrop on the stage of the greatest love story and romance of all...yours. The various seasons of your soul are your assurance that, not only is your journey with God real, but your story isn’t over yet. God Himself escorts you through the changing seasons, makes sure you don’t get stuck, and gets the last word on everything that concerns you, because He cares about you. Seasons are an expression of His intimate intentionality to keep you moving forward, progressing, and growing in the knowledge of Him and His true heart for you, beyond the unpredictable challenges and victories that arise.
No matter what season you're in today, know that you're not alone. God Himself is with you and, if you'll invite Him into the midst of whatever it looks like, He'll make sure the process is worth where it's all leading you to.