I used to have spiritual warfare dreams. For what seemed like hours, I would dream that a demon was trying to attack me. To repel him, I had to say, “In the name of Jesus, be gone!” Then he would leave–and be back a few minutes later. Over and over I did battle with demons. I would awake exhausted.
Spiritual warfare in daily life
I don’t usually have such dreams any more. But some days I feel like they’ve become my waking reality. Life as a homeschool mom can be trying. I must overcome constant temptations. One moment, three kids ask me for help at once. The next, “J” spills juice on the floor I just mopped. Then two others get in a fight, and one talks back when I discipline him. All during math class.
Now none of these situations is major. But when you barely have time to breathe between one and the next, you get exhausted. You discipline in anger instead of love. You yell at the toddler for acting like a toddler. You argue with your older son.
Or maybe you don’t. But I often do.
St. John Vianney and the devil
Have you heard the story about St. John Vianney? The devil used to harass him so much it became routine. One night when he was trying to sleep, his bed was bouncing around like crazy. He peeked under the bed and saw the devil. His response? “Oh, it’s just you again.” Then the saint went to sleep.
Should we fear the devil? Should we fear temptation? We can’t conquer demons on our own. They are fallen angels, much more powerful than mere humans. But we have the Holy Trinity living in our hearts. Christ conquered the devil on the cross. The devil hates it when we remind him of this. We have the power to rebuke him in Jesus’ name.
Fighting demons by humility
In homeschool, we have been reading a swath of passages in the Golden Children’s Bible that speak about our power over the devil. In the midst of them, the disciples argue about who is the greatest. Then Jesus takes a little child and says that we must become like children in order to be great. Why is this passage placed where it is?
Because humility conquers the devil.
Pride turned Lucifer into Satan. Pride was the original sin. The devil can neither stand nor understand humility. He can’t do anything with it.
I feel disrespected when my hard work is undone, as though I’m a slave instead of a mother. This is pride. I yell at my kids, because I think a display of “power” will make them behave. I should be humbly using the authority God gave me. I argue, because I feel attacked and become irrational. If I were humble, I would triumph over my temptations.
Humility brings peace
I must open my heart to grace in these moments, acknowledging that I don’t have the strength on my own to do God’s will. I must offer Him my weakness and accept His strength in return.
The Holy Spirit works silently in my heart. He doesn’t make a show. But He can slay all my dragons while I remain at peace.
You might even say that He fights my demons while I sleep.
Share with us: How do you fight temptation?