This is the Part Two of Do Not Engage. If you have not read Part One you can find it at: http://www.applyyourheart.com/2014/01/do-not-engage.html. It is imperative you read it first……
Do Not Engage – Part Two
Evilness had been demonstrated before me. The loathing in his eyes was intense as he maliciously turned his car into mine. I had only a millisecond to respond.
When I was able to pull over and consider what had happened I was shuddering. This person’s rage was evident. He intended to do me harm. It was only by the grace of God, he did not succeed.
Even so, thinking I was safe sitting in that parking lot, the angry bully came back. Caught off guard while checking on my two grandchildren eerily silent in the back seat, he pulled up beside me. Feeling like a sitting duck, but also knowing the 911 dispatcher was still on the line gave me some sense of safety.
Simultaneously, my thoughts went spiraling off like fishing line hooked to a marlin. It jolted me into a tumultuous tug of what if:
· What if he had a gun?
· What if he rams my car?
· What if he attacks me?
· What if he hurt my grandchildren?
· What if he finds out where I live?
· What if this happens again?
Fear much like that sprinting marlin, had my thoughts reeling. Fighting to remain upright, struggling to hold on, jerking me, and zapping me of strength, fear took control of my mind. Past experiences exploded in my thoughts as the “what if’s” stunned me. The adrenaline surge sustained me through the worst though afterward the low sent me plummeting into despair.
I felt exhausted, writhed in emotional pain, holding an empty fishing pole watching the marlin escape from the snapped line. The exact results I experience after a spiritual attack from the enemy.
As Christians, we have an vicious enemy. He is fierce, relentless and evil. His intent is to steal, kill and destroy anything to do with God. (John 10:10) So if you have a relationship with God, you are a target. And he is coming after you anyway he can.
With that in mind, here is what I learned through my ordeal:
1. Attacks are not personal.
This nightmare had nothing to do with Dana Rausch personally. That driver didn’t know me; he just reacted to being called out on his wrongdoing. I was the target because I happened to honk my horn.
With the devil – It’s not personal. It’s not you. It is God. Because he hates God, he hates you. When he succeeds with you believing his lies, he has won the victory of getting your eyes off of God. He could use the tactic of getting you emotionally upset (like I was) and placing your eyes on yourself. Simply it’s a different scheme but the same results.
2. Attacks are meant to disable.
During the situation I was becoming weakened with fear. When the thoughts of past experiences erupted in my mind, a sense of terror slunk in: It’s happening again….I’m going to be hurt all over again….Will God really help me….Can I truly trust God….I’m a mistake…..I shouldn’t even be considered a Christian….I have failed God once again. I felt like I end up paralyzed, voiceless and blinded. And it is exactly what the enemy intended.
With the devil: he will use your past mistakes, experiences, hurts and sins against you. He slinks in undetected, just like that driver did to me because I never saw him coming. And many times I don’t see the enemy setting up a maneuver to take me out. But I am now on to something. His attacks start in my mind.
3. Attacks are opportunities for growth.
James 1:2 says, Count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds.” Although I can’t count this trial a joy yet, I am grateful of the chance for my faith to grow. How? I am learning that I cannot always trust my feelings or emotions.
I felt paralyzed – I wasn’t.
I felt voiceless – I wasn’t.
I felt blinded – I wasn’t.
In Hebrews 13:5, God says He will never leave us or forsake us. Like the 911 dispatcher that was travelling with me through Bluetooth, I was not alone. Her calming words and soothing direction broke through my feelings of fear and inadequacy, Just like God does. Although I may feela certain way does not make it the truth. God’s Word is truth. He is on my side, he loves me and he cares for me.
But the devil tries to make us think situations in our lives happen by chance or coincidence. Again, it’s part of his evil plan to lure us away from God. If we don’t believe the devil is real, we won’t hinder his plan. 2 Corinthians 2:11 states because you are ignorant of his devices, he will take advantage of you. Thinking he does not exist leaves us as a sitting duck. Much like I seemed when that driver returned.
I’ve learned that in the midst of fear I react from what is within. Hence, what I have stored and harbored inside needs to move out. Because most of the “what if’s” in my mind will never transpire. Therefore, I am in the process of replacing my paralyzing thoughts with courage, wisdom and confidence.
In conclusion of my situation I remain perplexed with the Police Officer’s direction: DO NOT ENGAGE. I didn’t realize that I had engaged. My definition of engage is going after the other driver, or displaying violent behavior to him, of which I did neither.
Regardless, there is a better way to refute an enemy’s wrongdoings than to honk a horn. So from now on I will keep my two hands on the wheel, but in my mind I’m dropping to my knees and praying with bravery, insight and assurance.