It was a few days after camp. I was in my room and had just finished sending my newsletter to IM, my missions organization. As I was sitting at the computer playing a little solitaire, my mind began to wander. An influx of negative thoughts began to flood my mind. These thoughts were about the other team members I work with and their possible expectations of me. I also began to remember all the times I had made a fool of myself in the past week; like times I had said the wrong word in Romanian and times others had laughed at me. It wasn't long before I began to feel the sinking feeling of defeat in my heart. A wave of "culture shock" hit and a desire to crawl into bed and never come out arose. It was then that I remembered my dream from the night before....
The previous night, I dreamed about a very large snake. The snake was about the size of an anaconda and it was everywhere. I was somewhere inside of a building and the snake was hiding in the walls, coming through the vents, and doing anything it could to get to me. It also was coming after members of my family...my brother Jeremy for one. I can remember seeing him wrapped up in the snake. It was trying to squeeze him to death. The snake was very hard to kill...and most of all, it was lurking...waiting for the right time to strike.
As I remembered the dream, God began to reveal the truth of what was going on in my head. You see, God often speaks to me through my dreams. It is not uncommon that I wake up from a vivid dream and begin to write it down. It has been through dreams that He has spoken incredible truths about my family and my future here in Romania. In this dream, the snake represented Satan...and he was everywhere, lurking. He was waiting for a weakness...waiting to strike. Sounds like 1 Peter 5:8 doesn't it? "Be sober and alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour." As God was revealing the meaning of the dream, He was also revealing that the negative thoughts and embarrassing memories were nothing but harassment from the devil. I then began to ask the Lord why. Why is it that the moment I stepped into this country, I felt the attack of the enemy on my thoughts more than ever before? Was it because I had stepped into God's will for my life by coming to Romania? Did it intensify because I was on the "mission field?" "No," the Lord answered. "This is the way it has always been. You just never realized it because your surrounding were so familiar."
You see, nothing is familiar anymore. Everything that I have spent 31 years getting used to is now gone. Going to the store is different, driving a car is different, paying rent and utilities is different, I don't speak the language, and friends and family are not as accessible. However, there is one thing that is still the same...ME. This onslaught on my thoughts and dreams is not something new. It has always been there. However, now that everything familiar has been stripped away, I'm finally realizing the battle for what it truly is...what it has always been. Living in the U.S., I didn't notice it. I didn't recognize it. My surroundings were too familiar to me. It seemed like every day life. I mean, why wouldn't I think about the annoying things my co-worker did to upset me? Why wouldn't I dwell on that embarrassing moment which makes me never want to speak Romanian again? I mean, that's normal, right? Why wouldn't I...wait a second...why would I?
Am I not a child of God? Am I not the daughter of the Most High? Don't I have the Light of the World within me? Why would I think these thoughts if I have the Spirit of the Living God inside of me? Unless.... Unless these thoughts aren't coming from me after all. Unless these thoughts are coming from the one that is eternally set against me and against the One that has a purpose and plan for my life. Are you getting it? Do you see? These types of things are not normal. It may be that you are "used to it." It may be that it has always been this way. But "the battle is not against flesh and blood." In James chapter 1 it says, "when lust is conceived, it gives birth to sin." The battle is in the mind.
I hope you can see it, because it is so clear to me now. I can recognize the attack of the enemy on my thought life so much easier now that everything familiar has been stripped away...and I'm thankful for it. The dream served an incredible purpose and has transformed the way that I look at my emotions and thoughts. I even called my brother Jeremy to let him know what I saw and to deliver what I felt was a warning of sorts for him and his family. I warned him against the enemy trying to "choke his life out." God is moving in powerful ways in his life, which makes him a prime target. The truth is though, we are all targets. There is not one of us that will escape attack. The devil does not give up...he does not relent. He is eternally set against man and especially against those that have a relationship with Christ.
I pray you can you see it. I pray God opens your eyes to it. We are in a battle. At times there are obvious "skirmishes" taking place, but the majority of this war is not fought in the open. It is on the battlefield in our minds.