There was a time, I was still a fairly young woman then, when I somehow looked back over all the various visions that I had had. I don’t know what spurred me on to do this or what my intention was exactly. It was as if I raised myself up off of the road of life I was on and completely turned myself around. Just to have a look at what was behind me.
Oddly, the individual visions in themselves seemed small, smaller than I remembered them being, certainly. As I looked them over, they appeared to all come together, like pieces of a quilt. Finally they lay there, all fitted together as though this was their intention all along.
And, for once, I “got” the gist of them all. For a brief moment, I could feel the energy that ran through them: their intention, their purpose.
It was, I could see, all about spiritual warfare.
Over the years, I’ve kept that memory of watching the quilt form close to my heart. And when I came to a very, very rough time in my life and was told, this is your training in spiritual warfare, I thought, ah, ha, I’ll recognize some of this. I already “know” some of this.
Not that knowing any of it beforehand helped in the least with enduring the battle, a battle that lasted well over ten years. I’m not sure how much it helped when I had moments of recognition, of realizing that I knew what to do at times.
Battle is still battle.
What amazed me, though, was realizing that this was just a training. That someday I, like other people trained in battle, might have to face a real spiritual battle for God.
To this day, I don’t like thinking about that potential reality.
Over a year ago, now, I started putting together a manual entitled, The Art of Spiritual Warfare. It’s not completed yet, but it’s very close to being so. It’s nearing 500 pages by now, I imagine. I keep trying to insert page numbers, but then I go back and edit it, and I get all kerfuffled by it all.
But it’s a sizable volume.
The secret of it is that it is essentially a prayerbook. It’s an accumulation of prayers (and sometimes poetry) focused on the matter I am presenting.
It is a prayerbook because, after all, isn’t that what we do when we go into spiritual battle? Pray? And keep praying?
The first “chapter” is called The 12 Stages/Weapons of Spiritual Warfare. The 12 stages are:
- The Nature of Love
- Foolishness, or The Art of Deception
- Pain and Suffering
- The Law
- The Lord’s Prayer
- The Truth
- The Sacrament
It is what I experienced, over and over and over again. The order of the way. The consistency of it all.
The Episcopal Church, whose current leadership appears to be consumed by some undefinable evil, has made it one of their purposes to purge the church of its orthodox members, driving them from the church by any way means they can think of, legal or otherwise.
Recently, one diocese even went after, and managed to grab with both hands, seven churches who had left the Episcopal Church and joined one of the newly formed Anglican provinces.
This is a diocese who has admitted in public that they are having problems keeping up with paying taxes on a relatively small parcel of land donated to the church. A piece of land on which they cannot afford to erect the building that was intended to be built there — that was the intention of the gift of the land in the first place.
So this diocese, who is straining to maintain this minimal gift, now has on its hands seven very real parishes. All of which will have to have taxes paid on them, and maintenance done on them, and all the other things that one spends money on when one owns something.
Here is this church, a church that you can watch going further and further into bankruptcy, who can’t even afford to repair the damage to their own national cathedral (they even tried to get other denominations to assume partial responsibility for the repairs — I don’t think that they got any takers), but who currently have something like 100 law suits active around the country.
The Episcopal Church has managed to spend millions and millions of dollars driving the faithful out of their doors just to have the churches sit with a mere handful of congregants in the pews, or sit on the real-estate market unsold.
This is all to set out the situation that I am currently watching.
What is truly upsetting to me about this all is how people in the Anglican church are beginning to criticize some of the decisions made by the leaders of the seized churches.
It’s like watching prisoners-of-war nit-picking over how their cell-mates are handling their incarceration.
And I feel choked up by it all. I want to write and say, I want this commentary to stop.
I want to explain how spiritual warfare works. How fighting on the side of God, with God on your side, is a unique experience. An ultimately magnificent experience.
It is a time on Earth where we can watch the hand of God and understand that no matter what our role is in the battle, we are part of the victory that will ultimately be God’s.
Because no matter how many walls that I was rammed into, no matter how deep the cuts that were made into my soul, no matter how immobilized I became, in the end, as an direct expression of the faith I put in God and myself, I watched the battle end.
A battle that I was told repeatedly could never have the outcome that I prayed for, had the outcome that I prayed for.
It is times like this that I wished that I had a real way to teach people about spiritual warfare.
To show them that, in the end, in God, in battle, ultimately what it is about is peace.