Warfare

Since becoming a dad, I’ve started to read the Bible differently.  Please note: I take no credit for this shift.   It is not a transformation that was born out of increased piety or holy petition.  I have concluded that the change is a natural bi-product of evolutionary transition.  Before having Jesher, I could only interpret the narrative of the Gospel through the lens of being a son, a brother, a husband, or a friend.  But now I am beginning to see the Bible through the eyes of a father.

For example, I was reading Revelation chapter 12 recently and I began asking questions of the passage that I had never considered previously.  Verse 4 says, “Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born.”  I have probably read that verse a minimum of 25 times in my life…but I had never noticed how one prenatal infant was the cause of such a vehement spiritual conflict.  I mean, the child isn’t even born yet, and the dragon (identified as Satan or the Devil in verse 9) is positioned at the mother’s feet, waiting to eat her child as soon as it is born.

Immediately I thought: “So a baby’s birth can be so intimidating to the realm of darkness that demons (even Satan) are present at the time of delivery?”  The question made me pause my reading.  I began swaying back and forth in my creaking rocking-chair.  I had never considered how the birth of a child could merit Satan’s presence in the delivery room.  And then I looked at Jesher, sleeping one foot away from me.  My next thought sent chills through my torso and the hairs on my arms stood-up in frightful acknowledgment.  My chair now rested motionless.  Jesher, I think evil tried to devour you too

I tried to change the subject, but the thought clung to me like static to a wool sweater.  I even attempted to shake the thought with reprimands such as:

Mike, stop over-spiritualizing your son’s conditionMike, this was just an    unfortunate occurrence that happens to millions of parents each year.  Mike, every bad thing is not Satan’s fault…bad things happen because we live in an imperfect world.  Mike, do you really think your son is a ‘chosen baby’ or is this thought a consequence of early fatherhood and over-zealous expectations?

I continued to rock in my chair for the next hour.  As the wood swung along the squeaking tracks, I tried to talk myself off the cliff of spiritual exaggeration.  I did everything I could to shake this feeling, but I couldn’t banish it.  Jesher is a threat to spiritual darkness.  He has been endowed with spiritual light.  He was attacked as an infant because of what he will accomplish as a man.

I bowed my head and began to pray for him.  In the course of an hour, my prayers had shifted from being primarily concerned with the affairs of the concrete and medical to being primarily concerned with the affairs of the abstract and spiritual.  Now, I wasn’t just praying for Jesher’s health; I was praying against the spiritual darkness that tried to take his life at 26 weeks.

Here is Jesher’s current medical report:

GALLBLADDER–Jesher is now on medication for his high bilirubin levels.  He is being given small doses of Actigall, which is a brand of Ursodiol.  It is used to stimulate proper gallbladder function.  We are happy that the side-effects do not impact most babies; however, micro-preemies are very sensitive to any drug.  Underdeveloped organs can struggle to process medication which can cause physiological complications down the line.  PLEASE PRAY AGAINST THE RISING BILIRUBIN LEVELS AND ASK YAHWEH TO PROTECT JESHER FROM ANY ADVERSE EFFECTS CAUSED BY MEDICATION.

HEART–Jesher’s PDA [Patent ductus arteriosus] is open again.  We were happy to hear that the medicine had helped to close this passage in the heart, but we were warned that the PDA of preemies can be highly persistent.  At Jesher’s age, his heart and brain still believe they are in the womb (I can’t blame them!).  So convincing them otherwise is a challenge.  Jesher will be treated with ibuprofen to encourage the closing of his PDA.  We are asking God to shut the whole so that Jesher can avoid major heart surgery.  PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO CLOSE THE OPENING IN JESHER’S HEART AND SEAL IT SO IT DOES NOT OPEN AGAIN IN HIS LIFE.  

LUNGS–Jesher is still responding very well to his HFOV [High Frequency Oscillating Ventilator].  Although he is showing higher levels of oxygenation, he is beginning to show signs of Respiratory Distress Syndrome [RDS].  This is caused by immature lungs being forced to function so early in their development.  We need Jesher’s lungs to remain inflated and healthy although they are being asked to work tremendously hard.  PLEASE PRAY FOR JESHER’S LUNGS TO RECEIVE THE BREATH OF LIFE AND ASK GOD TO DEFEAT ALL DISEASES, DISORDERS, OR DEFICITS IN THE NAME OF JESUS.

Up until this week, my prayers have been spoken from a defensive posture.  I have prayed for Jesher’s safety.  I have asked God to protect him from adverse side-effects, neurological impairments, and bacterial infections.  I have prayed for angels to attend his bedside and for the Holy Spirit to hover over his incubator.  I have done this diligently each day.  But I am now sensing the need to adjust my strategy.  I am now convicted that Jesher truly is a miracle baby; a baby born under great duress due to the divine calling resting upon his tiny shoulders.  And I hear Yahweh calling me to get up, to gird myself with the full armor of God, and to begin praying from an offensive posture, believing that the war over Jesher is one waged against principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12).  In the name of Jesus, may my son’s story end like the baby’s story in Revelation 12: “But the dragon was not strong enough to prevail.”

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  Ephesians 6:10-11

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18 thoughts on “Warfare

  1. Very powerful analysis. Particularly since Christ was satanically tracked and dogged through the crucifiction until his resurrection. The same power that sustained Christ will sustain Jesher, and will never lose one iota of strength. Be encouraged, no rejoice, in the superiority of divine power over satanic power.

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  2. I continue to pray for Jesher, Lhoraine and you. God is in charge of all of your lives and He has you in the palm of His mighty hands. Continue to go deeper with God, praying as you never prayed before. He will carry you.

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  3. The devil was after Jesher at conception! But he will Be Strong Smart and Faithful! Like you, he will hold on, like you and Lhorraine, he will bless souls in spite of the outcome of the trials. God will do a great thing! Hold on.

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  4. Mike, I’m encouraged by your steadfastness. I continue to pray for Jesher and your family. Your beautiful wife I lift and I pray for her faith! Thank you for allowing those of us who are also traversing the challenges of family illness to draw strength from your gift of narration.

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  5. Your posts provide us with updates and at the same time…a devotion. Thank you all for your selflessness..making vulnerable your journey. You are blessing our hearts while we pray earnestly for little Jesher and his parents. My daughters, husband and I are praying big, bold and specific prayers for God’s little disciple…Jesher Polite.

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  6. Mike, I came to a similar conclusion a few weeks ago while reading about the circumstances of John the Baptist’s birth. Margie and I continue to pray for Jesher and believe inasmuch as God has preserved his life despite the odds, there is divine purpose for his life.
    “And all those who heard [these things] kept them in their hearts, saying, ‘What kind of child will this be?’ And the hand of the Lord was with him.” Luke 1:66
    Keep the faith. – Uncle Steve

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  7. Around the time that your son was born, I had a conversation with my boyfriend about you. And I remember him saying that one could tell that you spend time with God, a statement with which I strongly agreed with. At the time we had no idea what you and your family were about to go through or we’re going through. God kinda just invited us to consider your life.
    Later I reflected on the conversation and thought I would love for people to just see me and be able to say the same. Every morning that week you came into my thoughts and I made sure to spend a bit more time each day with my morning worship. On the 4th day I got the news about your son and I felt it so deeply because I thought wow, why them and especially why now when his life had just been such an inspiration to me. I didn’t think it to be a coincidence at all.
    I searched my devotion for the morning ( March 15, 2018) for some kind of explanation and I found 2 Corinthians 6:8-10. I felt like your life and your faith had somehow been put on display (kinda like Job), a public testing of your faith maybe. The news was so heart breaking, but I knew right then that this was a spiritual battle that God had already won. Keep the faith, many are watching and I will continue to pray for your son, your wife and yourself.

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  8. When I was born I was born with a number of heart and lung problems. I had to be placed on ECMO, amoung other things. I’m here today, 100% healed, because of prayer, and my parents being steadfast that I was meant to do great things for God and His Kingdom.

    Every person in this world has the potential to do BIG things for our Lord and Savior. I believe it is Satan trying to minimize the importance of Jesher and other people’s lives with the idea that this is just happenstance, it could happen to anyone. God knew what He was doing when He created each one of us. I think that’s why the Holy Spirit had you recall those verses. We are living in a Great Controversy and everyday is a battle for good and evil. I’m so glad that Jesus has already won and that through our life’s experiences we can testify that (even through the painful times).

    I’m praying that you and Lhorraine will be edified in your faith and as parents and that Jesher will continue to grow stronger and properly respond to medical interventions.

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  9. What a powerful testimony! Jesher’s life is already a testimony in many ways and the ole fool is trying, note I said trying, to silence him but he will not win in Jesus name. Jesher’s body will heal in amazing ways that would amaze everyone on his medical and praying team and even you his parents and family. This is my prayer for baby Jesher. Get ready world, Jesher has been born to testify of the power of Jehovah Jireh!

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  10. The sower went forth to sow” (R.V.). In the East the state of affairs was so unsettled, and there was so great danger from violence that the people dwelt chiefly in walled towns, and the husbandmen went forth daily to their labor outside the walls. So Christ, the heavenly Sower, went forth to sow. He left His home of security and peace, left the glory that He had with the Father before the world was, left His position upon the throne of the universe. He went forth, a suffering, tempted man; went forth in solitude, to sow in tears, to water with His blood, the seed of life for a world lost. COL 36.1

    The word of God is the seed. Every seed has in itself a germinating principle. In it the life of the plant is enfolded. So there is life in God’s word. Christ says, “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. “He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life.” John 5:24. In every command and in every promise of the word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized. He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God. COL 38.1

    Every seed brings forth fruit after its kind. Sow the seed under right conditions, and it will develop its own life in the plant. Receive into the soul by faith the incorruptible seed of the word, and it will bring forth a character and a life after the similitude of the character and the life of God. COL 38.2

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  11. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5.

    God knew Jesher before He formed him. Before Jesher came out of the womb God set him apart and ordained him a prophet.

    “If he shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:

    Mike, you have asked God to do the healing through Jesus’ name and I know it will be done. REMEMBER
    Mark 5:36 “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he said unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.”

    Jesus has heard everything that you are being told. But He is telling you now ” BE NOT AFRAID, ONLY BELIEVE.
    God is in control!!! praying for you and all your family… it shall be well.

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