Last night was the second annual celebration banquet for Holding on to Hope. As the crowd trickled in and dinner approached the enemy attacked my heart with the usual lies. “When are you going to get this? No one wants to hear about this. You are wasting your time. You planned for way too many. Give it up. You can’t beat me at this. It’s too dark, too personal. Not even the leaders of your communities will listen to your weak message. No one is listening.”
6:30 came and I sensed the presence of the enemy certainly in my ear but also hanging over the room. I have witnessed repeatedly how sexual abuse silences an audience no matter the venue or event. It is not silence from boredom. It is not silence from social awkwardness. It is consistent in groups of friends as well as groups of strangers. It is a deafening silence. It is the silence that survivors experience every day. The enemy has perfected the ability to use Shame to silence individuals and gatherings alike. Try as you may to ease the tension it persists. You can allow it to destroy if you don’t confront it head on.
An incredible dinner was served and then it was our Lord’s turn to confront evil. Julee opened the program with her powerful angelic voice. Daniel Johnson, a recent resident of the Hope House shared by video the power of the Holy Spirit to speak to broken hearts. Richard Hernandez told his story of redemption and restoration from a life of drugs, crime, and prison. Then the angel of my life spoke eloquently of the healing she has experience walking with an abuse survivor and of her commitment to stay the course.
The silence was still a part of the room, but hearts were listening. Hearts were challenged and encouraged to pick up the sword and go to battle. Jesus silenced the enemy in that very room and spoke quietly in my ear…press on son…keep going son…don’t quit my beloved…I am fighting this battle for you and with you. We will conquer together.
The enemy is strong. The silence is intimidating. Discouragement abounds. Stay in the battle. Pray for the warriors. Challenge in your world the evil of avoidance. Live the calling.
TO THE KING!!!!