Nancy Pelosi will use all the ammo in her arsenal to prevent Trump from appointing another Supreme Court Justice. She will play every card in her hand and the ace up her sleeve. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing is far from checkmate; she knows she has plenty of moves left.
As an American, any one of the three sports metaphors I used above would have been a more obvious choice for describing Pelosi’s options for leading her party in blocking a third Trump Justice appointee.
Americans love sports. Yet, archery or the word “quiver” is not the natural choice of sports reference. I got what she meant but I had to look it up to be sure that it was a “saying,” or, “turn of phrase.” It is. In the UK.
But the real reason her phraseology stuck out to me is that the day I read her quote “we have arrows in our quiver,” it was the third time that day that the Lord had put “fiery darts” into my ear.
A dart is just an arrow. Nancy Pelosi has darts in her quiver. She has multiple darts stored up for use against the president.
Fiery darts are extinguished by faith. They come against our minds, emotions, thoughts, and relationships. They undermine our core beliefs about ourselves and the nature of reality around us. The strike of a fiery dart creates confusion and causes us to say, “I just don’t feel like I even know what’s true anymore!”
Since Monday, which is when this topic of “fiery darts” began to pop up for me, there has been an unfolding revelation of how we must recognize “the fiery darts of the wicked one” if we are to press into repentance in this season.
Day of Atonement is in five days. We are now in the period of time called “The Days of Awe.” This is 10 days of prostration, self-examination, and repentance as we look forward to the Biblical convocation called Day of Atonement. You can read about it in Leviticus 16 and Leviticus 23.
So, this teaching that the Lord started to minister to me began because I had this horrible moment on Monday. I was washing my hands in our bathroom when like a flash of a scene of a movie in my mind, I saw my husband, Dave in a library study room with a female classmate. They were kind of in, like an open embrace; the really silly, overly posed kind that would be the trailer image for Highlander or a grocery store romance novel. And in a similar soap opera way she said something to my husband like, “she doesn’t even know;” and he answered something like, “oh not at all.”
Dave and I had had a brief argument about this classmate two years ago that went something like this:
Me: Honey, I know you’re trying to help this girl but she has poor boundaries.
Dave: No, no, it’s fine. She doesn’t like me.
Me: Let me explain the thought processes of girls that like married men.
Dave: Girls are scary.
Yet, my immediate response in my heart and my mind to the reel I had imagined was “Oh my god, that totally happened. I know that girl and that happened. I guess I just have to live with it.” Then it’s like I was shaken by the shoulders! And I snapped out of it and said aloud even, “That is a fiery dart of the wicked one! I pull down every vain imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. And I pull down the altars and high places in my mind!”
Immediately, the Lord laid a list of things that I needed to repent for in order for me to disable the onslaught of the enemy. Experiences like this are to be expected at this time.
Before I get too deep into this, I want to say. This is a season of fiery darts, vain imaginations, and identifying altars of idolatry.
The three instances of the phrase “fiery dart” that I received on Monday were in three contexts: personal, ecclesiastical, and political. I heard them in that order. The first was the intercession moment in my bathroom I just described. The second was a prophetic dream of a season of warfare for the church that Perry Stone preached about 5 years ago that popped up on YouTube. The third was Nancy Pelosi’s comment about opposing and even impeaching Trump (again), saying, “we have arrows in our quiver.”
We have all been told to pray during this time of COVID, BLM, and the election. We’re told to pray and intercede. To repent. For our nation. Right? Conservative Christians really want Trump to win, so prayers are being prayed for him. There is repentance happening. People are repenting for the nation, for abortion. There is a lot of repentance for the wrongs our nation has committed against our black communities right now. I feel that the pastors leading that movement think they are repenting as a form of racial reconciliation in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and others, however, God is probably actually moving them to repent because we are in a season of repentance for all of our nation’s sins.
So, many people are engaging in high level warfare. Many people are probably also neglecting more “local” warfare. You might be railing against principalities, powers, rulers of the dark world, and spirits in high places. If you have been commissioned for that kind of high level intercession, thank you for your service! But for the rest of us, we cannot think, “I’m not a prayer warrior so the call to intercede doesn’t include me.”
Yes it does. God has appointed people to repent and intercede for the global Church, the American church, denominations, local churches, local pastors, the generational sins of the historical church that we have not stopped perpetuating…There is plenty that is within any Christian’s “rank” in the spiritual chain of command to repent for and in so doing you pull down altars of idolatry. You might not be called or anointed to do warfare for a region, but you are called and appointed to do warfare for your home.
Let’s talk a little more specifically about fiery darts, vain imaginations, and altars of idolatry to be torn down. For study, you can word search and find these phrases pervade the Bible.
- Fiery Darts
Fiery darts in the Bible are from the enemy. Darts are also spoken of as God’s judgments against us. His arrows hurt because they are convicting. But fiery I think is a descriptor reserved for Satan’s darts.
This is how I feel a fiery dart looks in real life: a sad memory, an unresolved conflict, an object that triggers a trauma response, a person who always treats you badly walks into the room, a chronic medical condition, etc.
A fiery dart is a real, physical thing that enters your day and messes you up. Right before I had that crazy mini-movie play out in my head about Dave and this classmate, I had a memory that was triggered by a text message. In the blink of an eye, without any contemplation, that text turned into a memory of a past argument between me and my husband, and that grew right into a vain imagination.
2. Vain Imaginations
So here is the definitive quality of a vain imagination, to me: You immediately accept them as true no matter how preposterous they are.
Essentially, vain imaginations are fantasies or daydreams. Or daymares, I suppose. They can be an internal enactment of a desire, a belief, or an expectation. Vain imaginations give the power of speech to your desires, beliefs and expectations.
You might desire recognition. The little skit in your mind plays out a scenario where you receive it. For that moment you hear as truth: “I will finally be recognized!” If you believe that your spouse will one day be unfaithful to you, Vain Imagination might speak right into your heart, past the gatekeeper of your reason, “He has cheated on you.” Perhaps you have experienced abusive friendships, relationships, and family dynamics. Your expectation is that you could be suddenly rejected at any time for any reason by anyone that you love. Loud and clear, Vain Imagination uses her free speech: “I will be spitefully rejected if I express myself.”
3. Altars of Idolatry to Be Torn Down
Altars being torn down is iconic in the Old Testament. Anytime someone had a visitation from the Lord or an angel, they built an altar of remembrance. Anytime there was a reform movement happening, the king, priest, or prophet leading the people would tear down the altars of all the false gods. The extent of the reform and length of spiritual fidelity that followed depended on how completely the leader executed their task.
In the process of tearing down altars, the Lord pressed on me this week that I have to acknowledge that I have created inroads and cracks in my shield of faith through my own ungodly reactions to people, responses to hurt, and disobedience to God’s word. I have to dismantle the emotional stones, the belief stones, the stones of my affection for things the world values, and the stones of my affinity for certain worldly ideas.
Altars are built on my responses to fiery darts, my indulging the temptations of the flesh and my believing seducing spirits. Altars do not get built just because “I’m wounded so I sin.” They get built through a combination of reacting to fiery darts and, giving in to both the desires of the flesh and the deceptions of my own heart/understanding.
How do we dismantle the power that oppresses us?
Well, I was immediately moved to pray over myself when I had this attack on my marriage and sanity on Monday! Right off the bat, I pleaded the blood of Jesus over my mind, how mom taught me to! (You fellow childhood pentecostals know what I’m talking about). Then it was put on my heart to repent for my past fornication.
I love the word fornication ’cause it’s so dorky. We make sex between singles so cool. Whether it’s star-crossed teenagers in “Romeo and Juliet,” or the geriatric couple that Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton play in “Something’s Gotta Give,” if you’re single the sex is hot.
To Americans, being single and having sex is like the pinnacle of expressing our freedom as citizens of a wealthy nation. Hence abortion. How could any American conceive of curbing the freedom of fornication or suppressing the civil right of ill-advised sexual encounter?
So, I did repent. I repented being sincerely convicted, not ashamed or cowed, but convinced that I had in fact sinned by fornicating.
Up until this incident, I really was not too convicted about having had sex while I was single with single men. I felt more like “welllll, it happens.” You know, like how gossip and bullying and lying just happen. The kind of sin that is “normal” enough that you kinda just try to stop doing it and move on with your super holy life.
But in that moment in my bathroom on Monday, I realized, “the enemy has direct access to the altars of my idolatry.” Because I had not dismantled the emotional hurts, the Western sentiments regarding sexuality and women’s worth, or the need to overcompensate for ridicule that I had experienced from teachers, preachers, parents, and peers, Satan had a dart that he could fire into my being and twist it until I laid prostrate.
You might be thinking, Natalie, I have repented and repented and repented and I just can’t get free. Well this is the word for this moment: WHERE THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD IS SIN FLEES.
While writing this, naturally some memories of men I had relationships with came to mind. And as they did the image of one particular person turned into a merman– a Bubble Guppy, actually, for my fellow mothers of preschoolers. In the Bible, the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and put it in the temple of Dagon, a merman. The idol was a man with a fish tail. Dagon’s statue fell over multiple times once the Ark was placed next to it. The Philistines kept putting it back up. Finally, the statue fell over and its hands were found next to the entrance of its own temple– the idol had been trying to escape the presence of God!!
Get into God’s presence. Get into His presence to praise. Get into His presence to pray and read His word with Him. Get into His presence to hear the word preached. Tear down the altars stone by stone, and then let them crumble in the presence of God.
The Altars in America
Finally, while I was preparing to finish writing this post, I had a vision of Nancy Pelosi. She was cocking her head extremely toward one shoulder. And then her image became the image of a bald eagle cocking its head– the way birds do when they are looking at something to investigate it.
Eagles are birds of prey. They eat carrion like vultures do. They feed on the flesh of dead and dying things.
In the Bible, eagles would be unclean to eat. That doesn’t mean, however, that they always symbolize evil. They do, however, tend to symbolize God’s protection or God’s judgment carried out through world leaders. An eagle’s wings shelter in Psalms. An eagle carries off the top of a kingdom to a far away land in Daniel and Ezekiel (if I’m not mistaken). The evil birds also carry off good seed planted in the Parable of the Sower.
Remember that the nature of fiery darts is that fiery darts use something true to stir up a vain imagination that isn’t true, yet we wholly accept it as true. Regardless of whether Nancy Pelosi succeeds in the purpose of firing her arrows, she will be carrying off some of God’s people with her.