When anyone thinks of a bride, they see a picture of a beautiful woman dressed in a flowing white gown, bouquet in her hands and a veil covering her face. Of her countenance one thinks of a blushing bride, aglow with love and a graceful walk that speaks of dignity and assurance that she is loved.
As the Bride of Christ, I reckon that is how we appear also. We eagerly anticipate our Groom’s coming and bask in the light of His love for us and the presence of our ever-present help; the Holy Spirit. That is evident in the way we praise and worship our God, in the reverential way we pray on our knees, conveying our love to him with words that come from deep down in our spirits. If our enemy; the devil, was not present in this world, that would suffice. We would be floating around in perpetual worship and praise mode, with smiles adorning our faces all year long and not a care in the world, which by the way, is how God wants us to live.
But the presence of our enemy spoils this perfect setup. He is hell-bent on stealing our blessings and promises, killing our dreams and desires and, if he can get away with it, physically killing us also and destroying our destinies and futures (see John 10:10a) When he wages war against us on such a scale, we can no longer remain the passive, blushing and smiling bride. We must transform into a warring bride (this term was coined by Bishop T. D. Jakes in one of his teachings on marriage)
A bride who, though wearing her wedding gown, changes her stance. No longer is her walk graceful and poised, but her feet are planted firmly on the ground. I reckon she’s also thrown her heels on the side. She has exchanged her bouquet for a sword, the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (see Ephesians 6:17) Her blushing, smiling face has changed to an annoyed and indignant frown; and who can blame her, how would you feel walking down the aisle towards your loved one and someone coming from behind or on the side, intent on disturbing and distracting you so that your attention is taken away from your loved one? The bride who was, just a few moments ago, smiling and adorable turns out to be a force to be reckoned with! And I reckon the devil is stunned; he was so sure that with just one push he would topple the bride over. Never!
As I set up this scenario, it is reflection of how I was; the sort of Christian who would never hurt a fly, a soft-spoken, shy and peace-loving woman. Yet after the devil had poked, prodded and jabbed at me one too many times, I went running to my Father, asking what to do in such a situation.
“Fight back.” God said.
“I don’t want to fight, you know how I hate conflict and confrontation and besides I don’t know how to fight.”
“Read Psalm 18:34; he trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
“But I don’t like fighting. I just want to quietly worship, praise and pray to you” I reiterated.
“Whether you want to fight or not is irrelevant, the devil is fighting you now. Praise and worship have their own place but now is not the time. In such a time as this, you are called to fight or are you going to stand by and let the devil win?” I was reminded of the words of Bishop David Oyedepo; the Kingdom of God answers to fighters and the words of Jesus “…the Kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force” Matthew 11:12.
“Take back your things from the devil by force.” I heard God say.
After that brief conversation I also tossed the bouquet and heels aside and grabbed the Sword and started fighting back. At first I was timid, afraid even, but then 2 Timothy 1:7 sprang into my mind; “we have not been given the spirit of fear (timidity) but of POWER…” That set me on fire! And I heaped it over the devil!
“Now devil it’s on! I’ve had enough of your tricks and tactics. Get your stinking, filthy hands off my things; my blessings, my breakthroughs, my promises and my destiny IN THE NAME OF JESUS!” On and on I went. I could ‘feel’ my enemy drawing back as verse after verse vehemently poured from my mouth, which proves as true what Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “He will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26b.
I reckon my Father was looking down at me and smiling. I also surprised myself! If I could do this on my own, how much more when I’m gathered with other believers who’ve had enough of the devil’s schemes as well? Thank God for the daily prayer meetings we hold at my church. As it is, I can’t wait for 6p.m. to arrive so I can gang up on the devil and his minions with other intercessors at church. After all, “one man chases a thousand, but two put ten thousand to flight.” Deuteronomy 32:30.
Brother and sisters, we are called to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12) as my pastor continually impresses upon us. There are some things that we will never get hold of, unless we fight the enemy of our souls. He won’t let us have them without a fight! I hope this prompts you to roll up your sleeves and resolve to start fighting and stopping watching helplessly as the enemy plunders your life!