216 – Are You Ready for Attacks? Part 2

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Are You Ready for Attacks pt 2 on Write from the Deep with Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young

As we discussed last week, there are things happening in our country and around the world that many of us never believed could happen. Riots, protests, increasing terrorist activity, science being ignored and twisted, vitriol becoming the norm toward any who disagree with society’s agendas… all of which we’ll tackle. Along with how to prepare for the enemy’s attacks!

But first, thank you to all our patrons on Patreon! You help make this podcast possible!

It seems insane, but in reality, it’s not. It’s warfare. Spiritual warfare. And the “enemy” is not people who have bought into the insanity. It’s not even the people spewing hatred and violence against those with whom they disagree. The enemy, plain and simple, is the creature known as satan. That “father of lies” who seeks to devour and destroy any who believe in God and stand for His truth. 

You may have already experienced attacks against your heart and soul, attacks designed to undermine your faith and immobilize you as one who writes or speaks truth.

If you haven’t, know that the time may well come when you will. When you’ll be asked to surrender God’s truth, exchanging it for lies and deception. Such things are already happening to Christian writers. So the question is, are you ready? 

How Do We Prepare?

So, how do you prepare for whatever the enemy throws your way? First, you must know where you’re vulnerable. Here are some common vulnerabilities along with possible solutions to help you overcome them. 

Vulnerability #1:  Attacks when we Feel Weak

Whether you’re feeling weak physically, emotionally, or spiritually, these are moments that leave us open to attacks. And we’ve all been there…those times we’ve done everything we know to do in our work as writers, and nothing seems to be working out. 

When we are dealing with illness or injury, and feel as though we’ll never be strong again. When we’re worn down from trials or battles or just life, so tired of the struggle, so weak, that’s when doubts come knocking at our heart’s door. So let’s consider solutions for those three types of weakness: Physical, emotional, and spiritual.

 Solutions for Physical Weakness

It’s so tempting, when we’re weak physically, to believe we just…can’t. Can’t work, can’t write, can’t deal with people or relationships, can’t do anything we want to do. Which is why it’s so important to take even small steps to refresh and restore yourself. To steal yourself against attacks when you’re weak. Some things you can do:

 Get Moving. It may seem counter-intuitive, but exercise can help when you’re feeling weak physically. I know how much I just want to sleep when I’m in this place, but then I remember what my dad always told me: “Talk a walk before you take a nap. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel.” And you know what, he was right. 

 Rest. Sometimes, though, you really do need to just rest. I (Erin) suffer from bouts of chronic fatigue. When they hit, I can’t do anything BUT rest. I don’t necessarily mean sleeping,  although that can be helpful, but by finding a restorative place or activity to rest and relax.

Sometimes I just sit on my deck or on  my couch and watch the birds. Sometimes I just lie on the floor in my bedroom—cuz it has cozy carpet—and I shut out everything in my mind and look out the window at the sky and trees and think about one Bible verse and let God’s presence and his Word give me rest. God is the source of our ultimate rest and protection against the enemy’s attacks.

I know we’re talking about physical weakness, but for me, my mind is very much a part of that physicality.

For me (Karen), that’s often my back porch, where I can watch the birds, listen to the wind rustling the trees, and see my flowers growing. 

 Hydration. Believe it or not, sometimes that weakness is simply dehydration. According to FamilyDoctor.org, “Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly.

“For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. Good hydration is important for overall good health.”

See Your Doctor. If this weakness goes on for too long, it’s always a good idea to see your doctor. You might have something going on that needs medical intervention.

Solutions for Emotional Weakness

Emotional weakness or exhaustion comes when the stresses in our lives wear us down. If you’re at a place where you think you can’t handle one more bad or hard thing, where you’re at the “end of your rope,” you may be facing emotional exhaustion. 

The devastating consequences of this particular weakness is that we often get the sense that we have little to no power over our own lives. That we just have to take the hits, no matter how long they keep on coming. And we all know how it seems impossible to be creative and write in the face of emotional exhaustion! 

Find Power in Prayer. Regardless of your feelings, you do have power. Because you have prayer. When you take your emotional exhaustion to the Father, when you lay it at His feet and ask for mercy, He will answer you. No, that doesn’t necessarily mean things will suddenly be better. But it does mean He will uplift and strengthen you. He promises you that in Isaiah 40:29-31:   

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” 

Let Friends Help. I know, I know, it’s hard to ask for help. Expecially when you’re emotionally weak. But just make one phone call. Send one email. Reach out to one person who you know will respond. Ask for company, prayer, Scriptures…whatever you need.

You don’t have to go through this alone. Nor should you. Hanging out with people who truly love you, who are as comfortable with your silence as with your talking, who are willing to just be with you can be powerfully restorative. 

Journal. Hey, we’re writers, yes? So write what you’re feeling and why. Write out prayers to God. Write down helpful Scripture or quotes. It can help you in so many ways, from getting it out of your head and onto paper to helping you better understand what you’re going through.  

Take a break. Get away from everyone and everything. Find a safe place to be with God and seek His restoration and healing. 

Solutions for Spiritual Weakness

Ah, spiritual weakness. This, above all others, is the most attractive weakness to satan . He is delighted when we fall into this vulnerability, and believe you me, he will attack this weakness with vigor. 

As much as we hate to admit it, we are all susceptible to this vulnerability. But why? Well, often because we don’t truly understand the nature of God.  

Two of my favorite moments in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia are when:

(1)   Lucy asks Mr. Beaver if Aslan is safe. His response? “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

(2)   When Mr. Tumnus adds, “He’s wild, you know. Not a tame lion.”

 As much as we talk about understanding that God’s ways are not our ways, that His thoughts are not our thoughts, we still often hold expectations that God will be…safe. Tame. That He’ll do what makes sense to us. And when that doesn’t happen, in whatever way it may happen, we’re shocked. Disappointed. And doubts start to creep in. 

If God’s all good, then why did He let this happen? 

If God loves me, why didn’t He protect me?

Where was God when this happened?

If God can allow innocents to be slaughtered, He must not be good. 

And on and on we go, measuring God by our standards, our expectations, and our human thought processes. Which often leads us straight into spiritual weakness. 

Some of the signs that you’re feeling spiritually weak. You: 

  •      struggle with anger and hopelessness
  •      have no desire to be with God’s people
  •      stop reading the Bible or spending time with God
  •      feel abandoned by God
  •      can’t seem to accept the coexistence of God and pain 
  •      start to doubt what you know to be true about God 

If you’re in this kind of place, here are some possible solutions:

Seek sound counsel. Go to those who you know will listen to your struggles and questions without condemning you. Be honest with them about your feelings and the reasons for them. Then let them give you biblical counsel and guidance.  

Read Hebrews. Why Hebrews, especially? Jon Bloom on desiringGod.org explains: “I love Hebrews for many reasons. I love how it radiates with the transcendent glory of God the Son. I love its magisterial grasp of how the old covenant is fulfilled and surpassed by the new covenant. And I love the beautiful, compelling portrait of the cloud of witnesses, who by their remarkable examples call us to live by faith in the unfailing promises of our faithful God.” 

He goes on to say, “I also love Hebrews because it is a letter to weary Christians, some of whom are standing right on the cliff’s edge, tempted to ‘throw away [their] confidence, which has a great reward’ (Hebrews 10:35).”

Be honest with God. Pray and let God know what you’re feeling, why you’re struggling. God can handle all our doubts and frustrations, our anger and despair. In The Message, Matthew 11:28-30 tells us:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” 

Give Yourself Time. Dealing with these soul-deep questions and struggles takes time. Don’t get down on yourself if it takes longer than you want to find peace in the situation. Remember that God is with you, He loves you without reserve, and He will guide you home. 

Other Vulnerabilities

So what are other vulnerabilities we need to watch for? Here’s an interesting one:

Attacks When we feel close to God or other believers

I know, at first that doesn’t seem to make sense.  But have you ever gone to a Christian writers’ conference or retreat? There’s such a high when we’re surrounded by people who share our beliefs and trust in God. Who share our passion for writing about Him and His truth. It’s exhilarating! And the worship together is profound. God is RIGHT THERE!  

But what happens next? You get home, and boom! There are bills to pay, kids to parent, spouses to listen to, chores to be done. All normal life, but you miss that unity of purpose, that gathering with people who really get you. And the contrast is so profound that you start to feel alone. Even when surrounded by those who love you.  

These emotional letdowns are perfectly normal, but if we aren’t careful, they can open a door to the prowling lion. 

Solutions for these attacks

Realize you’re dealing with emotions, which are true to how we feel, but aren’t always reliable in terms of what the Bible says is true. Speak God’s truth into those emotions. Thank God for the time you shared with those of like minds and passions. Savor the time you had together, the lessons you learned.

But recognize that ultimately your relationship with God is between just you and Him. Get to know Him as well as you know your friends and family. Spend as much time alone with Him as you do with others that you love. And remember that while your family and friends may not “get you” like other writers, they love you. 

Spend time with other believers. It may not have the same impact as a conference or retreat, but being with other believers in a Bible study or fellowship group may help. Sometimes just being with a Christian friend, even for a short amount of time, can help as well. Go for a walk together, go out to dinner, even just sit and talk. 

Remember you’re never really alone. The God who knit you together with other believers is always right there beside you. He is always ready to talk, to listen, and to show you His love. He’s waiting for you. Listen to what the Psalmist says in Psalm 27:8, and I love how the New Living Translation puts it: “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.’” 

Lord, I Am Coming

We’ve got more vulnerabilities to explore, but that’s for a future podcast. For now, friends, let Psalm 27:8 be your response to your loving Father. “Lord, I am coming.” In every vulnerability, in every attack the enemy throws at you, “Lord, I am coming.”

Take it all to Him, lay it in His all-powerful hands, and walk away covered in His promises and grace. He will NEVER abandon you. No matter what circumstances seem to say, the Lord has spoken His truth and promises over you. And nothing the enemy does can erase or stop them. 

Amen

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

What is one vulnerability you strengthen against attacks?

How should we as writers prepare ourselves for the enemy’s attacks? Know our vulnerabilities and what to do about them. Share on X
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Thank you to all our patrons on Patreon! You help make this podcast possible!

Special thanks to our June sponsor of the month, June sponsor of the month Kimberley Woodhouse! She’s an award-winning and bestselling author of more than forty books.  Her books have been awarded the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, Reader’s Choice Award, Selah Award, Spur Award, Christian Market Book Award, Golden Scroll Award among others.

A popular speaker/teacher, she’s shared with over 1,000,000 people at more than twenty-five hundred venues across the country. Check out her latest book: Set in Stone available now and we’ll link to it in the show notes!

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