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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Spiritual Warfare For Women

Leighann McCoy is a sought-after speaker and writer.  Her husband, Thomas J. McCoy, is the Senior Pastor of Thompson Station Baptist Church in TN.  Leighann serves alongside her husband as the prayer and women's minister at Thompson Station Church.  She has written a number of devotionals and Bible studies for women.  A copy of her latest book, Spiritual Warfare For Women:  Winning The Battle For Your Home, Family, and Friends, was sent to me by Bethany House for the purpose of review.

Spiritual Warfare For Women is a very well written and organized book.  Dr. Neil T. Anderson in his foreword to the book writes,
"The first concern of our LORD is that we be kept from the evil one, and being sanctified in truth is the means by which that can happen.  The only way to overcome the Father of Lies is to know the truth, and knowing the truth will set us free...When we put on the armor of God, we are actually putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, who it the Truth, and we are saved by His righteousness.  The only real sanctuary we have is our identity and position in Christ."
And Ms McCoy writes the book from that premise of our battles being fought from our firm position in Christ.  The book is divided into four parts:
  • Part One:  The Most Powerful Weapon of All - the Love of God
  • Part Two:  The Enemy Exposed
  • Part Three:  The Targets in Our Lives
  • Part Four:  Victory Is Mine
Each chapter ends with a personal prayer prompt, a "sharpen your sword" section where McCoy provides passages of scripture cited in the chapter for further study and reflection and a "commit the Word to memory" section where she encourages and gives tips for memorizing scripture. 

The thing I appreciate most about McCoy's writing is this:  It is sound biblical teaching.  She writes from two places in Spiritual Warfare, her daily struggles and God's Word.  Throughout the book, McCoy is careful to direct the reader to the Scriptures.  In her chapter titled "What My Enemy Does" she encourages her reader to identify where she is being "heckled by the enemy" and to ask God for "a specific word, a word that speaks His truth into your confusion and chaos".  She tempers this with sound advice about how to approach God's Word in such a situation:
"Some people use the fact that we can take God at His Word to fuel a 'name it and claim it' kind of faith.  They take verses out of context of Scripture and wave them around like magic wands with a 'hocus pocus', as if God were just waiting for them to tell Him what to do next.  When I encourage you to stand firm on the Word of God, I am not endorsing this ridiculous practice.  Become a student of the Bible.  Read it with both discipline and delight.  As you grow in your love for God, His Word will become more and more personal to you.  During your daily Bible reading you will often feel like He fed you personally with His words.  Be careful as you lay claim to God's specific promise that you understand the context in which it was first written, and that you submit to the lordship of Christ in your life.  When you do this, God will fulfill His Word in you and proclaim His name through your life just as He did in the lives of those we read about in the Bible."
This is refreshing to me.  I've read many other works on spiritual warfare and often the subject is handled in a mystical kind of "hocus pocus" way, while having one looking for a demon around every corner.  My pastor said something in a recent sermon (He's been preaching through Ephesians 6 - the section covering the armor we are to put on).  He said that the demonic is not setting your mind on the things of God.  From page one to the last page of her book, that is exactly what McCoy repeatedly encourages the reader to do:  Set your mind on the things of God, particularly through His Word.

This is not another book written by a pastor's wife who has it all together and feels some high and mighty duty to teach others about how to fight satan.  This is a book written from the trenches by a woman in the midst of the battle.  Leighann began writing her book in Febuary.  In March she was diagnosed with colon cancer.  On May 1, Thompson Station Church was flooded causing $275,000 worth of damage to the worship center and children's classrooms.  On May 3, her firstborn daughter, age 18 and just graduated from high school, moved out of her home and into a tiny apartment with her boyfriend, leaving behind numerous scholarships at a great Christian college.  Leighann finds out on June 18 that this same daughter is pregnant.

She continued writing the book:
"Why?  Because I refuse to worship a lesser god.  I believe more today than I even knew to believe in February that I serve a God who reigns.  He alone is supreme; there is no other being in heaven, on earth, or under the earth that is more powerful than He.  I am confident that as I write this book He will continue to prove himself faithful to His promises as He brings glory to Himself in and through my life and the lives of those I love."
Leighann McCoy is real and you will want to take the time to read her book!  As a matter of fact why don't you grab a group of ladies and go through the book together!  You can order the book by following the link to below: