Today we’ll discuss part 3 of Beautiful Battle by Mary DeMuth. In part one she laid the foundations for spiritual warfare; in part two she looked at how we participate in the beautiful battle; and here in part three she writes about what do to in the midst of the beautiful battle.
I appreciate how rooted in reality and scripture this book is. I imagine that whereever you are in the world as you read, you are finding most of it applies directly to your life. This section was no different as Mary wrote about:
- When Fear Rushes In
- When Christians Hurt You
- When Your Mind Attacks
- When Your Family Faces a Battle
- When Sin and Addictions Threaten
- When the Mouth Becomes a Weapon
- When Overt Attack Assails You
Repeatedly as I read this section I thought of how much it applies to the ministry teams we are a part of. Basically in each chapter I thought of how very much this book applies to us.
When Fear Rushes In: While your fears may not be the same as Mary’s, I bet you identified with some and then added your own to the list. What if I don’t learn the language? What if the revolving door of teammates keeps revolving? What if my visa is denied? What if we need to go home for a family reason and I’m “stuck” there? What if I get seriously injured on the field? And the list goes on. I like how Mary doesn’t just stir us up and readers, she also meets us with truth: God made, redeemed and called you. God is for you. God is your confidence.
Question: Had you thought of fears as a part of spiritual warfare before?
When Christians Hurt You: After reading the first sentence of the chapter, I wrote, “Me too.” The most defeated times in my life returned from other Christians disappointing me. Or downright hurting me. I wouldn’t be surprised if your experience was the same. What stood out to me in the chapter was the idea that sometimes we don’t know what are weeds and what are flowers in our lives (3055 Kindle) and that we need God’s help in discerning.
Question: Have you been hurt more on the field by fellow workers than you anticipated? What has helped you not to feed bitterness?
When Your Mind Attacks: This chapter reminded me of last year’s retreat! Anyone else think that too? If you haven’t participated in it, I’d highly recommend investing only $20 to be met by God in a powerful way. You can buy it here. As I read, I was so mad at the conman who cheated Mary and her husband out of financial security when he lied about selling their house when they moved to the field.
Question: Which of the main lies she wrote about are tempting for you to believe?
When Your Family Faces a Battle: That was the chapter in particular I thought, “If all our ministry teams read and lived this out, what a difference it would make!” Bind kindness around your neck. Leave the drama. Gather at the table. Pray like crazy. Express Love. Just to name a few.
Question: How often does your team eat together? How often do you do small acts of kindness for each other?
When Sin and Addictions Threaten: The word that stood out to me in the chapter was “Settle.” If we don’t settle who we are, whose we are, and why we are doing what we are doing, it will be easy pickings for us to compare ourselves or long for a difference in our lives/ministries.
Question: Mary gave a long list for “Settle the questions.” Did any of them stand out as something you, your team, or your organization need to have a discussion on?
When the Mouth Becomes a Weapon: Really good reminder on both the power and the limitations of words.
Question: Where have words blessed you recently (to remind you of their power)? And where have you been nudged by the Holy Spirit to either change or soften your words?
When Overt Attack Assails You: If this is you right now, please leave a comment (you don’t have to leave details) and let us pray for you.
Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments!
P.S. Next week we’ll finish with part 4 and Mary visiting with us.
February 7th: Kimberlee Conway Ireton continuing with Circle of Seasons.
February 14th, 21st, and 28th: Shiloh by Helena Sorensen and recommended by Elizabeth Trotter. Free on kindle! You can get the app and read on your computer or device.