Have you ever experienced that moment where you’re lying in bed and suddenly your heart begins to beat fast, you begin to sweat, and you feel as if you are paralyzed? Do you remember the thoughts that began to consume you or how you felt in that very moment? I do! I was thirteen years old when I first encountered a moment like this. I was with my mother at her boyfriend’s house trying to sleep on the couch and could not. I remember seeing physical “darkness” in the living room that I had no idea how to battle. Therefore, I began pacing back and forth for hours from the couch to the bathroom, splashing water on my face to keep myself awake. I thought that if I fell asleep that night that I was going to die, and that fear of dying seemed inescapable. You see, it’s no coincidence that the enemy was attacking, because it was just a few months later that I surrendered my life to Jesus at a skating rink.
We are at WAR friends, whether we engage or not. And you know what? The enemy has LOST in this battle! We are told in Colossians 2:14 that Christ cancelled the record of debt that stood against us. That He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to the cross. In this way, God DISARMED the rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross of Christ! If that’s not something to get excited about, then I don’t know what is. God is not just disarming, but also reigning in victory over sin and death. What a remarkable and mighty God we serve!
“Jesus has redeemed not only our souls, but our bodies. When the Lord shall deliver His captive people out of the land of the enemy He will not leave a bone of one of them in the adversary’s power. The dominion of death shall be utterly broken.” Priscilla Shirer
Again, spiritual warfare is still taking place. According to Ephesians 6:12 we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. And though Jesus has already defeated Satan, the battle is still at hand until Christ returns. However, we are not alone in this fight. You see, if we are Children of God, then we are His children. We are also heirs to the throne of God who are fully equipped with our abundant inheritance, and we have the Holy Spirit within us who strengthens us. The apostle Paul encourages us to be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might. To access this power, we must put on the full armor of God. Do you know what activates this full armor and power within us and all that God has willingly and generously given us? Prayer!
“Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. It is Satan’s kryptonite. It is what weakens and unravels all his ploys against you.” Priscilla Shirer
Now, I don’t know about you but I most certainly have moments or seasons where I try to go to battle on my own, with my own strength and my own weapons. Would you like to know the results of this? It always leads me fighting against the wrong enemy. It’s equivalent to blindly swinging a bat at a piñata. Once the eye cover has been removed, we can correctly see the target for which we are trying to hit. Our prayer life is what activates our armor and helps us to see the real enemy and the battle at hand, therefore, why would we not actively be on a lifeline with the Father?
“Victory in spiritual warfare is inseparable from prayer.” Priscilla Shirer
Let’s dive deeper. Let’s get more personal. Since the age of thirteen I have dealt with this same type of battle. I have had reoccurring dreams of the enemy and his demons coming after myself or my family and being completely paralyzed, unable to speak and rebuke them in the name of Jesus. In addition, I’ve had other dreams where I stand confidently like a warrior ready for battle, yet the words that come out of my mouth are at a whisper. Coincidence? I don’t think so! You see, my heart has always been for music and worship, however, back in high school I allowed the words of man to dictate my identity, value and worth. It wasn’t until I met my husband that Jesus began gently pushing me out of my comfort zone and asking me to follow in obedience to leading worship, and I answered Him with a reverent “yes.” Once I began following in obedience, the bondage of lies, comparison, doubt, fear and unworthiness began to crumble. It has been a fourteen-year journey of the Lord pruning, shaping, molding, and equipping me for what, where, and how He has asked me to faithfully lead but it’s not been without warfare. We get insight of how the enemy worked within Caleb’s brothers who went with him to explore the land of Canaan. What happened? Satan amplified fear in his brothers and therefore frightened and discouraged them from the Promise Land. Our enemy works against our callings!
I’m not going to lie, there are days when my armor is not fully on and the arrows that the enemy shoots penetrate. However, God in his overwhelming might and goodness uses my brothers and sisters in Christ to remind me of my identity and of who my God is. Just a few Sundays ago, war was waging, and the Lord knew I needed to hear from him, therefore, He in his love and might used an elder in our church and a fellow worship sister to speak truth. Not their truth, but His TRUTH. And this is what they both shared…
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor;he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” Isaiah 61:1
At the end of these life-giving, soul penetrating, bone and marrow piercing words I began to pray. You see what happened here? I went to battle! I armored up with the very weapon that weakens the enemy and his ploys. And, thank you Jesus for being the propitiation for my sins and your sins that we get the amazing privilege of direct contact with our Heavenly Father. It’s ALL because of Him and his overwhelming might and goodness. You see, He has called you and me to walk in obedience to the gifts and talents He has given. We were created by God, in His image, with a unique capability of bringing glory to Jesus. Which means, you and I are the only ones of our kind. One of the gifts he has graciously given to me is to exhort my church family with His word and in song. And honestly, I’m always nervous. My palms always sweat, my heart always races, yet I do it boldly, confidently and obediently. And it has nothing to do with my own might and strength but all by His alone. I’m just obedient to open my mouth and allow the Holy Spirit to do what he needs to do.
It’s no mistake that the enemy has been strategically scheming and working from the beginning right before I surrendered my life to Jesus, to the lies that held me in captivity through high school, to the attacks in my dreams. It’s no coincidence that I’ve been unable to rebuke him in my dreams or him waging war when I’m leading our church family. Do you see it? Again, he attacks and works against our callings!
“But I say his reign of terror stops here. Stops now. He might keep coming, but he won’t have victory anymore. Because it all starts failing when we start praying.” Priscilla Shirer
About a month ago, I encountered spiritual darkness again. My husband had just put our almost four-year old daughter to bed, and I was working on putting our one year old daughter to bed when this happened. I haven’t encountered this since my oldest was almost two, nonetheless, I got my husband and we immediately went into our baby girls room and began praying and rebuking in Jesus name. As he left I immediately began singing the bridge to What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong while holding our baby girl. It was at that instant that I no longer felt spiritual darkness lingering, but an overwhelming peace and presence of our mighty God.
“Death could not hold you, the veil tore before you. You silenced the boast of sin and grave. The heavens are roaring, the praise of your glory. For you are raised to life again. You have no rival, you have no equal. Now and forever our God reigns. Yours is the Kingdom. Yours is the glory. Yours is the name, above all names. What a powerful name it is. What a powerful name it is. The name of Jesus Christ my King. What a powerful name it is. Nothing can stand against. What a powerful name it is, the name of Jesus.”
Amen! Amen! It stops here! Philippians 2:10 reminds us that God has exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. The cross didn’t take something from you, but gave something miraculous to you. Connect to the very lifeline that fully equips you through Jesus… the very might and power of the One who has given you a name, an inheritance, and a calling. Don’t allow the enemy to have power in your life when Jesus has already won the battle. Armor up sisters and brothers in His might and strength!
“The Lord will go forth like a warrior; He will stir up His zeal like a soldier. He will shout; yes, He will roar. He will prevail against His enemies.”
Catherine Daniels is a worship leader whose passion is to lead and exhort her church body through the faith she has been so greatly given. She also uses her makeup company, Boldly Beautiful Services, to minister to women and remind them of their true identity in Jesus Christ. Her husband of 13 years, Jeremy, serves as the Worship Pastor at Emmaus Church in the good ole’ state of Georgia. The two of them are raising their two blessings, 3.5-year-old Eliza and 11-month-old, Selah. Catherine is a foodie whose hobbies include any adventure with her best friend Jeremy, couch dates with her friends, enjoying comedic movies with her family, and playing barbies and singing worship songs with her daughters.
Follow on Instagram: @catdaniels and @boldlybeautifulservices