“I wish I never knew these things! I don’t want to know about all this stuff, Mom!”
These words were accompanied by a gush of tears as my 10-year-old daughter poured the pain from her tender heart. This is her 5th grade year in a new country, in a new school, and with a whole new set of rules.
Changing the backdrop of our life from Christian Place, USA to There Is No God, Europe has provided a different sort of environment for coming of age—one that is not quite so hospitable. Through this upheaval, Claire and I have had in-depth discussions about almost everything under the sun: drugs, violence, control and manipulation, war, anti-Christian religions, justice, injustice, human trafficking, sex, homosexuality, puberty, pornography, prostitution, pedophilia, curse words, girl drama, teacher drama, self esteem, depression…really, you name it and we have talked about it in the past twelve months. I never dreamed I would need to educate my 5th grader so deeply in these difficult subjects, but that is just were we are and what we face on a daily basis.
The night she vomited out all the things she didn’t want to know, I grieved with her about the heaviness of what she carries at this young age. I told her, “Sweet girl, I wish I could take all of these things on myself and shield you from them. I wish I could keep all the yucky mess of this world away from your heart. But, since I can’t, I want to teach you how to do something about it.” She looked at me and said with a quivering lip, “I just wish I could be like you, mom. I wish I could handle things the way you do.”
We locked eyes and a holy hush fell in the room as I said: “You are just like me. What you don’t know about me, though, is that I am a dragon slayer. I’m going to teach you how to be one, too.” Her eyes flashed and she began to smile through her tears.
This world definitely needs more dragon slayers. With each spin of the globe, it seems evil is encroaching from every which way trying to scare us, silence us and end us. I am not one to stand idly by and watch it happen, and I want to help my family see every possible way to make a difference.
Do you know what to do when you feel the attack of evil against you? Is there anything we as Christians are responsible to do in the face of these evil “dragons”? You don’t have to endure life hiding behind your shield and taking the heat—you can change the atmosphere and fight off evil when you are filled up with the Holy Spirit! He has given you power and authority, and you can inject His presence into every place you go.
Here are some practical steps to train yourself and your family in the fine art of dragon slaying.
1. Know God’s voice.
The starting place in fighting against the powers of evil is to intimately know the only Good One. We must hear and know His voice and remain closely connected with Him so He can guide us through these tough situations. Become very familiar with the Bible. Read it, meditate on it, memorize verses from it. Knowing God’s written Word gives us confidence to hear Him in the moment. Another invaluable way to train your ear to God’s voice is to ask Him questions and then wait for Him to answer. He does speak, and He speaks personally and intimately to all who will take the time to come close and listen. You must find this place with Him if you want to fight on His team. Other ways to become more familiar with God’s voice: Spend time listening to worship music in your house, letting your heart adore Him. Listen for His whispers while you go about your day. Keep a running dialogue with Him during your regular schedule. Look expectantly for answers to your prayers. Hearing God takes practice for all of us, but the more you train your ear to hear Him, the easier it will become.
2. Look for the real enemy in difficult situations.
Whenever there is a conflict, impasse, or just plain old attack against you, adjust your focus to see the real enemy behind the circumstances. Ask God to open your spiritual eyes to understand what is at play in the spiritual realm. Being able to distinguish the physical from the spiritual is a big part of knowing how to fight the battle.
3. Understand that the battle isn’t over victory—it’s over territory.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection from the dead won Him eternal victory over sin, death and hell. And He infuses every one of His people with that victory. We are not fighting against evil because we need the victory over it—we already have it. We are fighting against the dragon-infested armies of evil to reclaim territory. Dragons know who the King of Kings is—but they want to confuse us and push us out of their way. Don’t be confused! Don’t be pushed aside! Stand firm in the victory that Jesus won for you on the cross. Stand your ground—for your family, your health, your mind, your emotions, your friendships, your career, your city, your nation. Remind your enemy that he has been beaten and he must leave in Jesus’ name.
4. Burn the incense of God’s Presence.
As a new creation in Christ, you have the ability to open a door between spiritual and natural and let God’s Presence seep out of you. You already carry the Holy Spirit in you once you are born again; but when you ask Him to fill you and overflow out of you, some pretty great things start to happen. Read the book of Acts. The power of the Holy Spirit in you is the very thing that can shift the atmosphere and send the enemy packing.
5. Don’t stay silent.
When you know there is a spiritual attack going on, speak up! Help your children see it and agree with them for the enemy to be silenced and flattened in Jesus’ name! Model the power of words for your children—pray out loud, speak truth out loud over your circumstances, praise and worship out loud in the midst of difficulty and grief. Teach your children to proclaim God’s goodness at all times. Every time you proclaim God’s goodness, you are establishing His Kingdom where you are.
6. Respond with the opposite.
When you feel darkness, start inviting the light of Jesus Christ to shine in that place. When you sense a spirit of heaviness and death, start speaking out words of life and hope. Where there is depression, sing praises. Where there is confusion and chaos, proclaim clarity. When you feel stuck and frustrated, thank God for making you free in Jesus. See how this works? We do not have to be swayed by every thought, emotion and spirit that floats our way. We have authority—given to us by Jesus Christ—to put things in order and to speak His truth into action in our reality.
Sometimes you are just so overwhelmed you can’t see straight enough to look at a battle plan. Boy, do I understand that. We have been in our ministry assignment for over a year now, and I’m just starting to get to the place where I can think about praying purposefully while I do simple, everyday things like walking the kids to school or riding the bus around town. When you are in the thick of battle and can’t figure out which way is up, just stay connected to God. Focus on His face and He can handle the battle. But when you are ready, and you’re tired of taking the heat, He will provide everything you need to stand up and fight back.
We need more dragon slayers to take their places in families, in schools, in churches and in government. We need to raise brave kids who are equipped to fight. Are you ready?
Have you sensed the need to become a dragon-slayer? What steps have you taken to raise brave kids who slay dragons?