It was one of those nights. I can’t say it happens often, but often enough that it had become a problem. Another night of nightmares—-bad dreams that caused me to wake up feeling angry, sad or even guilty wishing I had done more. You see the problem with these dreams was that they weren’t some overblown fantasy due to spicy food or a poor choice of movies the night before. Instead, they were memories. Bad memories of days gone by. Even though I’ve been through extensive counseling, I’ve learned God’s Biblical principles for healing and applied them in my own life, I’ve forgiven my Dad for all of the pain he caused our family, and during daylight hours am doing all I can do move forward, I felt like I was paralyzed to stop this barrage of dreams attacking my subconscious at night. Quite frankly, I was SICK OF IT. Perhaps that was the first step in solving the problem—-I got to the place where I wanted to overcome. That’s when I decided to fight. You see, one thing I’ve learned throughout my years of finding healing and finding freedom is that freedom doesn’t come without a fight. Just as much as we want to overcome our past, the enemy of our souls wants to keep us trapped in all of the heartache, trauma and drama of our past. He will do everything that He can to keep us in bondage—-that’s the basic essence of spiritual warfare. We have a spiritual enemy—-he hates us—-he will do all he can to keep us from experiencing the freedom, the healing, and abundant that Jesus has for us. But here’s an even more important truth: The only way to win a battle is to FIGHT. Think about it: The first step in winning any battle is recognizing that you are at war. How do you win a war? Certainly not by sitting around whining about how much you hate the attack—no that’s a one way ticket to staying defeated. Instead, you can only begin to defeat the enemy and win the war for your heart and mind as you choose to pick up the spiritual weapons that God has given you to defeat your enemy and use them to fight and overcome. As one of my favorite quotes from “Finding Healing” says: “When you are constantly being barraged with bombshells from an enemy you are under attack. When you decide to fight back---you are at war.”
What is the #1 weapon that we are given to fight the attacks of the enemy? Truth. Ephesians 4:13-14 says, “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. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth.” In my battle to overcome the nightmares of my memories of the past, the first thing I had to decide was that I was going to use the truth to fight the attack of the enemy. “But ‘Des, you said these things really happened. How will truth help you to overcome?” Well, first I had to wake myself up and speak the truth that these things weren’t happening anymore. These events were over and through the grace of God, I made it through. Not only had I survived, but through the power of the Holy Spirit and applying Biblical principles, I have experienced healing. I am no longer caught in the web of abuse and lies, but I now live in freedom. I have to speak the truth that God even rescued my Mom and that she is now safe and happy in Heaven. If there were any lies tossed into the dreams (because they aren’t always entirely accurate depictions of what happened), I have to speak the truth and say, “That’s now what even happened. I did all I could and I won’t feel guilty for things I couldn’t control.” As I wake myself and speak truth into the situation, my focus changes from what we’ve gone through toward what God has done in our lives. This leads to the second weapon in spiritual warfare: Worship. Isaiah 61:3 tells us to “Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” Do you want to know a sure fire way to overcome the enemy when he tries to attack you about your past? Begin praising God for all that He has done to set you free. Thank God for His deliverance, praise Him for His healing. When the enemy tries to remind you how bad it was, turn that tool against him by reminding him how good God is and how much God has done to help you.
Honestly, this is something that I’ve had to learn to do. (Trust me it doesn’t come naturally.). Rather than let these dreams ruin my day by making me feel angry or guilty or sad, I’ve had to purpose in my heart to focus on the good things God has done and choose to worship. With that change of focus, you win the battle. Because here’s the truth: the enemy isn’t attacking you just to make you suffer. No, he wants to stop you. He wants to stop you from pursuing freedom. He wants to stop you from growing in God. He wants to stop you from changing, maturing, and fulfilling God’s ultimate plan for your life. Whether or not he is successful, is up to you. Are you going to let him stop you or are you going to rise up as a godly woman and choose to fight? Will you choose to speak truth or believe his lies? Will you choose to wallow or worship? Most importantly, will you let his attacks stop you or will you rise up and move forward following Jesus no matter what? In my own life, I’ve had to make this choice. Maybe writing this article is part of that choice. It’s my way of saying, “No, I’m not going to be defeated. I’m not going to let some crazy dreams about things that happened a decade ago determine my attitude, my behavior or who I am going to be today. I am going to fight and through the power of the Holy Spirit, I am going to win.” Perhaps today you are facing some of the same struggles. Maybe the enemy is attacking you in dreams or maybe you’re still struggling with memories from your past during the day. Today, I’d like to encourage you to fight. Don’t be a weak woman who retreats under the attack of the enemy. Instead, recognize that whenever you make progress spiritually the enemy will try to attack you. What he can’t do during the day, he may try to do at night. However, also recognize that just because the enemy attacks you doesn’t mean he will defeat you. Instead, choose to use the weapons God has given you and defeat him. If you haven’t already, choose to fight the attacks of the enemy by starting your own journey to Finding Healing. Learn God’s Biblical principles for overcoming the past and apply them daily in your life. As you’re on this journey, and even afterwards, when the enemy tries to come at you and make you retreat, choose to fight. Do what I’m doing and use the tools of truth and worship to fight, to overcome, and to keep moving forward with Jesus. Together, we can overcome!!!
To Read More About the Power of Following Biblical Principles to Overcome Your Past, start Finding Healing.