Earlier this summer I was in El Salvador at the end of our last SHIP trip. God showed me that when I am weak, He is right there? What about you…are you tired of being weak?
Heads up … August will be a bit full here on the blog. Get ready for encouragement from God and hands-on homeschool activities. I am sharing a few personal stories this week on the blog and pray they encourage you in your personal walk as a mom, especially when you are weak.
We were sitting down for dinner with our team around 7:30pm when I was asked to give a devotional at breakfast the next morning at 7:00am. I said, “Sure”. To be perfectly honest, I did not want to do it. I was tired, after working with four teams in El Salvador the past 6 weeks. My voice was gone; I couldn’t really talk out loud. I had spent hours meeting with kids, tutors, teens, team members that day.
After dinner, I went to my room and cried to God. “Lord, give me a good attitude in talking about you in our devotional. What do you want me to talk about?” I was too tired to think about it, so I went to sleep. I was weak!
In the middle of the night, I woke up and thought about the devo.
What has God been teaching me? He’s been teaching me about forgiveness so I’ll share my verses in Matthew 6 and Colossians 3. Back to sleep.
Got up 20 minutes before breakfast, prayed the armor of God for my family and thought through my devo. I didn’t have time to make notes, like normal. As I walked out my door, God impressed on me to NOT talk about forgiveness. I walked back in my room and sat on my bed.
“Really, God? Breakfast just started. What do you want me to talk about?”
I thought about other lessons God taught me recently. The biggest lesson was fighting the enemy and being weak.
As I left my room, I felt totally inadequate. I felt weak! All that was in my head was Ephesians 6, fighting the enemy, and 2 Corinthians 9, I am weak; He is strong. I studied Gideon in the spring so surely I could say something about that.
I was definitely weak and completely dependent on God for whatever I said. My voice was hoarse so it was hard to talk. I did not have an outline or even notes to follow. I always have a few notes written down. Totally trusting God that HIS words would be spoken through me.
What did I share?
God has taught me that when I am weak, He is strong. You are probably weak right now, since it’s the end of your mission trip. God also says that His power works best in my weakness.
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11
I’ve realized that when I mess up or sin, I can take no glory in the work that is being done. God gets all the glory and praise because I messed up … OR … I was weak and totally dependent on Him.
It’s like Gideon. God cut Gideon’s army from 32,000 to 300. Against 135,000!
God’s battle plan and weapons do not make sense. Whoever thought 300 Israelites could defeat an army of 135,000 with clay jars and lamps? It makes no sense to me. It made no sense to the Israelites. But God used HIS weapons and HIS battle plan to defeat the enemy.
We have an enemy that is attacking us. Attacking us here at SHIP, in our families and in our marriages. The enemy wants to defeat God’s Work.
SHIP works on the Street of Darkness (yes, that’s the name of our street in El Salvador). But SHIP is spreading the Light of Jesus. The enemy does NOT like us. The enemy does not like families in the USA that live in Jesus’ light.
Last year on Labor Day, I was challenged to pray everyday for my family to put on God’s armor. Around April, I thought . . . really, God? Are these daily prayers of putting on God’s armor doing anything. They are just words. Do those words really defeat the enemy? It makes no sense to me right now. (Yep, God’s weapons don’t make sense to us).
God showed me His plan may not make sense to me, but I need to trust in the armor He gave me. So, everyday I pray that God dresses my family in HIS armor. I use Ephesians 6 as my guide.
10 Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
The devil is really fighting against us, here at SHIP and in our families in the U.S. We must stand against him by standing firm in the Lord.
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Too often we think our enemy is our friend or our family or our spouse. Our real enemy is fighting in the heavenlies. He wants to destroy our friendships, our families and our marriages. He wants to destroy the work that SHIP is doing here in El Salvador. I have to remind myself when things are difficult, my enemy is not here on earth (husband, kids, friends, church) but up in heaven fighting against God’s Angel Armies.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.
Allow my family, allow SHIP trippers to wear truth and righteousness today as we protect ourselves from our true enemy.
15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
Enable us to walk in peace with God, with ourselves, with others as we minister to others. As we share Jesus!
16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
Please hold up our shield of faith against the enemy attacks surrounding us.
17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
As we put on our helmet to protect our minds, thoughts, and attitude, please take every one of my thoughts captive to obey You, Lord. Enable me to put off my old self which is deceived and sinful. Put on my new self in righteousness, justice, and holiness. Renew our thoughts, emotions and mind in the Holy Spirit.
And the last piece of armor that we often forget, but is most important:
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Keep us prayerful. Keep us praying all day so we depend on YOU to fight our enemy.
I was in El Salvador for five weeks this summer and witnessed first-hand the enemy. But the enemy is not just in dangerous places like El Salvador where gangs are on either side of our compound and you might assume he is working. The enemy is attacking our communities, our churches, our families and our marriages.
I learned so much about God through my “weak” experience …
When I am weak:
- God is there with me & gives me His peace
- God strengthens me
- God receives all glory in whatever happens
- My enemy is not a person in my life, but one fighting to destroy in the heavenlies
- I defend myself with God’s armor through praying each day
- Prayer overcomes my weakness and my enemy
What about you? What do you do when you are weak?
Question: What do you do when you are weak? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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