Last Friday, I made good on a ridiculous commitment I made while my husband and I were dating. I had casually and thoughtlessly agreed that sometime in the future I would attend a heavy metal concert. I dodged that bullet for years. But Friday, I finally went to my first and last head-banging-metal concert. I am free of that commitment from this point forward.
I may be free of the commitment to go, but I’m not free of the overwhelming pain my heart felt leading up to the event, while being at that concert, and in the days afterward.
True confession #1: I hate…seriously hate…heavy metal music. It’s so freaking loud. And repetitive…every song sounds like exactly the same yelling. I don’t understand 80% of the lyrics and the few phrases I can discern I don’t believe are in concert with my Christian faith. I despise that many of the bands in this musical genre utilize symbolology that I deliberately avoid, as a result of my own pagan past. In truth, in the weeks leading up to this concert I was praying that something would happen that would prevent our attendance.
As it became apparent that I was going to have to actually attend, I engaged my prayer warriors to form a hedge of protection around my family while we attended the concert. I was fervently praying for God to close our ears to the enemy, to open the hearts to the non-believers, and to assist with protecting us as we entered a spiritual warfare battlefield.
I prayed as we drove to the venue. I prayed in the parking lot. I prayed in the concession line. I prayed in our seats. I prayed for God to be with us and that Satan would get behind us. I prayed for complete and total intercession. I prayed specifically for my family, but then I prayed for those in my row, in our section, and in the entire audience. I even prayed for all of the band members. I prayed that everyone present would know God…would know His love…would profess Christ as their Savior.
I was praying super big prayers.
True confession #2: I was surprised at how pleasant everyone was around us. Between sets, folks were chatting with us and offering ear plugs (little did they know I had packed several sets of plugs in my purse!). No one was cursing. No one was fall-on-their-face drunk. No one was spouting off about Devil worship.
Everyone was nice. No one was directly threatening towards me or my family. I felt God’s arms around us.
And that’s when I let my guard down. I had prayed through most of the afternoon into the evening, but by dusk I had relaxed a little.
The sun went down. The drunks became rowdy. The smell of weed was prevalent. All around us, people were super excited to hear the first beats of the drum from the headlining band. I stood up to see the stage and when the curtain fell I was in absolute shock. There were images that were blatantly disrespectful of Christ. There were huge areas of literal fire balls. When pentagrams began bouncing all over the screen, I literally burst into tears and fell back into my seat. I know I was the only person in that arena sitting down, but I may have been the only one that was crying and praying out loud to the one true God.
Satan made his presence known.
True confession #3: Spiritual Warfare in America is real and I am fearful that many Christians are turning a blind eye to this fact. I know it’s real because it’s a slippery slope I’ve tumbled down. I know it’s real because I see it in daily aspects of our society. I know it’s real because I just pitched a book about it.
It scares me to death to see how spiritual battles have influenced American society. And yet, I took my family on a trek to see the battle field in action. You read that correctly… “my family.”
True confession #4: My 7-year-old son was with us. He was one of a dozen kids that I saw in attendance.
After that confession, you would be partly justified in asking about my parenting skills. If spiritual warfare scares me so much and if I was so concerned that I dispatched my prayer warriors, why on God’s green earth would I introduce my son to such a scene?
Why? Because I’m raising a prayer warrior. I’m raising a child to someday become a head of household. I’m raising a young man who is in love with the Lord. I can’t shield him completely from the world. But I can teach him how to hold onto his faith, his beliefs, and his focus on God.
Do you know who was praying with me in the weeks up to the concert? My son.
Do you know who prayed in the car that God would protect us? My son.
Do you know who was praying that just one person would come to know the Lord? My son.
Do you know who shielded his eyes from the fire on stage and also prayed out loud? My son.
Spiritual warfare is alive and well in our country. Christians are doing a disservice to the next generation if we aren’t allowing them to become equipped to fight a battle that they may not understand. Shoot, that many of us don’t understand!
Some will say that a heavy metal concert wasn’t the place for a child. I agree. It wasn’t an ideal situation. But because it was one that occurred, I used it as a teaching tool for my child to understand that God listens. He will defend us. He will equip us. He will protect us.
I’m free of the commitment to ever attend another one of these concerts…but I will continue to be vigilant to the spiritual battlefield all around us.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” ~1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)