Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare

The Enemy Is Prowling
by Toni Weisz/Spiritual Warfare

Scripture References: 1 Peter 5:8, Romans 8:1 and Philippians 4:13

 

Be sober, be vigilant; for your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8

I have been under a barrage of attacks by the evil one since I shared the gospel in a letter to two of my family members. I want them to hear the gospel one more time so they can have confidence that when they pass from this life to the next, they can know they are saved and will be in heaven when they die. Not only that, but at the time of this writing, we have three, and possibly four, Recovery Bible Studies starting within the next few weeks. That’s a lot of women hearing the gospel, being healed and set free from the trauma of abortion and abuse.

The first week, the enemy used family. My kids were not in a good place, some hard conversations happened, and people were offended. Finally, they were able to communicate and work things out, without my help. The enemy was trying to get me to fret and worry and jump in and to take matters into my own hands (my old character defect of codependency and fear) instead of trusting God.

Then on a Saturday, the enemy used people in spiritual leadership. We were in a group setting, but I felt ignored and not included in the discussions. God showed me from this example what not to do as a spiritual leader. I am to be aware of everyone in the group. We all need encouragement and to feel included.

Then on a Sunday, a leader at church made a weird comment. Again, God showed me how important my words are. They can uplift people or put people down. The enemy was trying to use spiritual leaders to pick my rejection wound, desiring to awaken my people-pleasing character defect (my old character defect of people pleasing, putting others before God, which is idolatry).

Then a few days later, the enemy used a woman who was very involved in serving in this ministry for many years, to react in a peculiar way and say some hurtful things. This one hurt pretty deeply. Again, I did not react. I actually did not send a text I had written because honestly, I did not know what to say. Instead, I prayed for her because obviously she is not in a good place. My old character defect of condemnation, listening to the lies of the enemy accusing me, was trying to make a comeback.

I was thinking to myself, “What in the world is going on? Any one of these scenarios in the past would have pushed me over the edge, and I would have reacted badly or taken on rejection. Or my people pleasing would have kicked in and I would have scrambled around trying to make things right.

But because of the work God has been doing in my life over these 17 years, I am able to see with my spiritual eyes what is going on.

I am so grateful God healed my rejection wound and that I no longer yearn for the approval of man. I want my life to please God. I am grateful there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus (ref. Romans 8:1).

The accuser has no dominion over me. The Word of God has set me free, and the Holy Spirit protects me from the fiery darts of the enemy.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

I am so thankful to God for equipping the called. If God calls you to something, be confident that He will give you everything you need to succeed.

Questions to take to heart:

  1. What kind of spiritual warfare have you been experiencing lately?
  2. Have you noticed a pattern? When are you most vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks?
  3. How can we pray for you?

I pray this topic has been helpful for you. Please reach out if you need to talk or need prayer. Email me at: toni@myashestobeauty.com.

You are loved,
Toni

Spiritual Warfare in the Post-Abortion Bible Studies

Spiritual Warfare in the Post-Abortion Bible Studies

Spiritual Warfare in the Post Abortion Bible Studies
By Toni Weisz/Spiritual Warfare (Toni’s Blogs)
Psalm 91:1-12

Why is spiritual warfare so intense when women decide to step out to be healed from a past abortion?

I have been in the post-abortion ministry since 2006, when I went through my first post-abortion recovery Bible study. Unfortunately, no one prepared me for what was going to be one of the most tragic and saddest times of my life. Satan came in and ripped my family to shreds. My husband and children stopped speaking to each other; my husband and I had a huge conflict; my son’s roommate stopped paying rent and stole from him; my daughter broke up with her boyfriend because of a porn addiction. All of this started two-and-a-half weeks into my first post-abortion recovery Bible study. I was in shock, and I was numb. Much of that time is still a blur to me.

To give you a better idea of how this all started, allow me to set the scene for you.

It was January 22, 2006, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. I was sitting in my Sunday school class learning about the book of Jeremiah. More specifically, we were discussing how God called Jeremiah to be a prophet from the womb. Our teacher asked each of us, “What has God called you to do?”

For years I had asked God to reveal my calling to me. Up until that day, I thought it was just to be a godly wife and mother. But the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “I want you to help other women feel forgiven for their past abortions.”

Immediately, I raised my hand and told our group what God had just shared with me. I then shared with my Pastor after the service what God had said. I was so excited but had no idea what this would mean or how this would change my life forever.

So, I told my husband, “God wants me to help other women heal from their past abortions.” His reaction was, “No, that’s not good for you; that will be too hard. You should be in children’s ministry. You will be happier there.”

To respect my husband, I did nothing. I just waited. During the third week of waiting, my Pastor preached on obedience. The Holy Spirit moved in me so strongly that I couldn’t let it go. I went to my husband again and said, “John, you don’t understand. God is calling me to this, and I have to obey.” Thus began my healing journey.

Over the years, I have learned so much from the things that have happened to me on this journey. It has shaped the way I think, speak, and treat others. Unfortunately, I was not treated with kindness during the early parts of my journey.

Instead, I received harsh, condemning feedback and was told it was my fault my marriage was not going well and that I was in sin. These painful words led me to accept unacceptable treatment from my husband. My facilitators and mentors did not have experience in any kind of recovery work or co-dependency issues. They did not recognize I was being bullied and emotionally abused.

I thank God for the equipping He has given me. He has given me patience, gentleness, and love toward women who have lost a child to abortion. I know from experience that many factors go into the decision to have an abortion. We don’t grow up as young girls thinking, “I want to abort my baby.” No. It’s not a natural thing for a woman to do.

I decided to write this blog post about the spiritual warfare surrounding post-abortion recovery because many of us will be involved in these healing Bible studies in some capacity. Whether you are a prayer partner, co-facilitator, or a participant, each of us will experience some kind of spiritual warfare.

Know this: the enemy does not want Christian women healed from a past abortion. He wants to keep us in bondage and chains, locked away in a dungeon to be tormented. This frightening truth inspired the name of our eBook, “Leading Them into His Light.” Long before the eBook, God gave me a vision of a dungeon and women sitting in darkness and in chains. Jesus held my hand as I went into the dungeons to grab the women out so they could be rescued from the enemy. It’s a beautiful picture of God’s love for us.

Our eBook is available on our website for a donation of any amount. In it, we share 17 women’s abortion stories (including my own) and how God turned our ashes into something beautiful for our good and His glory.

Right now, the enemy is trying to trip you up. I am experiencing it in my own home, and you might be also. The enemy will use those closest to you to take you down and discourage you. But do not waiver. God is greater and stronger than the enemy. Stay close to Him and He will protect you.

About six months ago I started reading Psalm 91 every day. I suggest you meditate upon it too. It will strengthen you for the inevitable battle ahead.

 

Questions & Closing Thoughts:

  1. What spiritual warfare have you experienced as a result of stepping out and wanting to be healed from a past abortion?

    2. What do you do to protect yourself from the enemy’s fiery darts?

    I am looking forward to an exciting year in which more women will be healed from the trauma of abortion. With the healing power of Jesus, we can reach even more women and stop this cycle of death in their families.

You are loved,
Toni

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

The Traps of the Devil (Series): David

The Traps of the Devil (Series): David

The Traps of the Devil: DAVID
A Series Taken from Dr. Charles Stanley

(2 Samuel 11:1-17-12:1-10)

This week, we will look at the sins of King David, a successful military leader and a man after God’s own heart. Led astray by lust, he actively pursues another man’s wife and opens himself up to all kinds of evil. David attempts to hide his sin of adultery with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. She becomes pregnant with David’s child, which leads David to murder Uriah. God sends Nathan the Prophet to show David the error of his ways, and David is convicted. Although, he does not escape punishment and the consequences of his sin. His child’s life is taken by God, and the sword never leaves David’s house (2 Samuel 12:10a).

Through Scripture, we observe the rapid progression of sin in David’s life so that we can learn to guard our own hearts from the devil and his devices. No one is exempt from sin. We must do all we can to stay untarnished from the world by confessing sin daily, by being in the Word and praying throughout the day.

David’s first mistake is when he chooses to stay at the palace in the spring when kings customarily go into battle. One day, bored from laying on his bed, David decides to walk upon his rooftop from where he observes a beautiful woman bathing. When we are not doing what God has called us to do and we become lazy or bored, we are prey to the devil and his demons. Be sober and vigilant because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Who do you think would be living close to David’s palace? Most likely, his most trusted warriors. He inquiries about Bathsheba and learns that she is the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah, both of whom are members of David’s special forces known as David’s Mighty Men. He knew them well, for they had served the King for many years and had sacrificed their lives to keep him safe. But that doesn’t stop David from pursuing her.

Let’s apply David’s situation to our lives. As I remember, I had made my appointment to have my abortion, and I knew how to prepare for the upcoming procedure. However, on my way to the clinic, I was so hung over that I stopped to get something to eat. I was also driving myself, which shows you how unaware I was about the effects of abortion on a woman’s body. When I finally arrived at the clinic and they discovered that I had just eaten, they canceled the procedure. Here was God giving me a way out. But did I take it? NO! I rescheduled my abortion for December 10, 1980, and at the time of this writing, next week will be 40 years since my abortion. I should have stopped to reconsider what I was doing, as David should have, yet neither of us did. As a result, many people suffered a horrible fate because of our sins.

Did God give you a way to escape sin but you did not heed His warning?

We read that David involves other people in his sinful plan when he asks his servants about the beautiful woman and tells them to bring her back to his quarters. At this point, his secret lust has been made public and known to his servants. They know he loves the Lord, and he is about to commit adultery. When one is in leadership, he or she is a target for the enemy to destroy, especially a person of faith in Jesus. We must protect ourselves and be diligent because the enemy would love to destroy our testimonies and our ministry. Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).

How do you protect yourself from the enemy?

As we move further along in the story, David devises a plan to bring Uriah home from battle so that he will sleep with his wife and appear to conceive a child thus hiding the pregnancy from everyone, except from his servants and Joab, his military commander. Uriah refuses to go home to his wife because the Ark of the Covenant and his fellow warriors are still on the battlefield. As a result, he does not sleep with his wife but lays at the king’s gate with all of the other servants. They were probably whispering, Isn’t that Uriah the husband of Bathsheba?

Whenever we try to cover up our sin with another sin, it never ends well for anyone. During the time of my abortion, I had to hide the fact that my boyfriend, the father of my aborted baby, and I were living together. My parents would be coming to town to attend my college graduation, so I needed to find a quick solution. In the 3 years I lived in Ohio, my parents never visited, so I was able to live like the devil without fear of being discovered. But the day of reckoning was coming. When my sister called off her wedding in the summer of 1982, six months before my graduation, I decided to get married to cover up my sin. That way, when my parents came in December, my lifestyle would be acceptable. Looking back, it took many years of Christian counselling and recovery work for me to finally become the woman God created me to be. Over the years, my husband and I had a very rocky marriage and were on the brink of divorce twice. God graciously intervened, and now our marriage is stronger than it has ever been.

When have you tried to cover up your sin with more sin?

A famous quote, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay.”

You are loved,
Toni

 

Read more of Toni’s blog posts here!

The Traps of the Devil (Series): Achan

The Traps of the Devil (Series): Achan

The Traps of the Devil: ACHAN
A Series Taken from Dr. Charles Stanley

“Achan”

(Joshua 6 & 7:1–12)

Why is the love of money the root of all kinds of evil?

 

1 Timothy 6:10 states, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Joshua 6:18-19, God warned the Children of Israel, “And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accused things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”

After Israel had won a huge victory in battle over Jericho where the Lord caused the walls to come crashing down, Joshua went to take the city of Ai. God commanded the children of Israel to refrain from taking anything that belonged to the people in Jericho. All the gold and silver would be brought into the storehouse for the Lord. If anyone were to disobey God’s command, they would be accursed. Unfortunately, there was an Israelite who did not heed the Lord’s warning as a result of his disobedience the battle was lost and 36 men died. Devastated, the children of Israel could not understand what went wrong. Joshua and the leaders of Israel cried out to the Lord, rent their clothes and put ashes on their heads. God responded by telling Joshua, “Get UP! There is sin in the camp, and that’s why you lost the battle. Someone has taken the accursed things from Jericho.” Joshua was given the responsibility to seek out the person responsible for sinning against God and for betraying the people of Israel.

Israel’s situation paints a vivid picture of how destructive sin can be. Many people are often affected by just one act of sin. Joshua discovered that it was Achan who had touched the accursed items by bringing them back into his tent and burying them. Because he allowed the sin of greed to control his actions, Achan’s whole family was punished for his actions. What a powerful example of the deadly effects of sin on an entire family and group of people. Sadly, Achan’s family suffered the consequences of his greed, which is the case for many families today. When a person in a family falls into grievous sin, all the members of the family are harmed by the effects of it. Because of God’s awareness of the destructiveness of sin, He protects us by giving us laws to guide us, not to punish us.

Why didn’t Achan trust God to provide for his family?

Why don’t we trust God to provide for all of our needs?

Why do people steal and take things that don’t belong to them?

Is it out of fear that I will not have enough, doubting that God will provide for me?

We may say to ourselves, “I cannot trust God to provide. So, I must take matters into my own hands and steal and cheat and lie to get what I need. No one will find out.”

Let’s apply 1 Timothy 6:10 to our society today.

Why does the love (obsession) of money open us up to all kinds of evil?

What is our motivation for the money?

Is it to provide for our families and to help others, or is it for personal gain?

Some people want to acquire large sums of money so that they can have greater power, control, and influence. We see this very same situation occurring today in several professions where the accumulation of wealth leads to pride, arrogance, power, influence and lawlessness. They become deceived and consumed with the notion that they are somehow better than you and me. I pray they repent and turn from their sins and receive the gift of salvation, which was purchased for them with the precious blood of Christ. If such people die without having repented of their sins, then they will stand before Christ and will be judged, according to what they have done, Romans 2:6. They will be cast into hell where the fire is not quenched and there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. Separated from God for eternity, they will be tormented with the memories of all the evil they have committed in their lifetime. God will be much harsher with them than we could ever imagine. Let’s pray for those who believe they are superior to others and have no fear of God, that they come to faith in Christ.

Will you pray with me that the God of heaven and His Mighty Warrior Angels will dismantle this evil world system, which is opposite of God? They strive to divide, steal, kill, cheat and lie to get what they want all because they have chosen to follow Satan, the prince of this world.

Stay in community and be accountable to one another so you do not fall into temptation and a snare.

 

You are loved,
Toni

Read more of Toni’s blog posts here!