Monday, June 30, 2014

Spiritual warfare

I've heard a lot of people say that they don't believe in Spiritual warfare. The idea that there are forces of another realm out there battling for us- our minds, hearts, spirits, devotion, everything- seems a little "out there" to some. I have to disagree. First, the Bible is clear that this is the case, that we "are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:2)

But y'all, I don't just believe it because the Bible says it (although that is enough reason for me to believe it!). I believe it because I have and AM experiencing it.
Let me explain.

For the past 7 years, my faith in Christ has gone to a new level. It's not a superficial Sunday-only kind of thing. It's my LIFE, my everything. I cannot live without my Jesus, plain and simple. I don't want to live without my husband and family, but I could (that's a hard thought, but I mean it sincerely). Without Christ, I'm just done. I am at a loss for words on how to describe this love I have for One I've never seen with my physical eyes, yet feel so deeply in my soul.

Ever since this deepening, I've noticed a trend. When something big is happening, or God is calling me and my family to something deeper or special, Satan begins to attack. Every. Single. Time. When we go to Ethiopia to serve, something happens here. Our house starts falling apart, cars fail, kids go nuts (literally and figuratively), finances get tighter, jobs feel uncertain, health issues arise. Heck, twice before going to Ethiopia in the past, I've wound up in a cast or a boot just weeks before. Two years ago, I had to have my gallbladder out just before our trip. I could go on.

Some would chalk this up to coincidence, but I don't believe in coincidence.

This morning, my husband and a group of BCM students with Experience 1:8 (along with some folks from Shelbyville First Baptist) left for Guatemala. They've got a busy week ahead of them serving the people there, leading Vacation Bible School with children and serving at local churches. God has great things in store, no doubt. And here's how I know:

Last night, I argued (loudly) with my son. I can't even tell you the last time we did that (Seriously, it's been a long time). It was stupid and a total misunderstanding on both of our sides, but it was ugly and hurtful. And I have to believe that it was just another dagger from Satan to distract Jeff from his purpose while in Guatemala. You see, this is on top of the septic problem we recently had that ruined the bathroom floor in the basement (that stunk, LITERALLY!). It comes after the air conditioner that went out two weeks ago, as part of what we thought was an easy fix, only to go out again, leak gallons and gallons of water all over the basement and destroy the floor there FOR THE THIRD TIME! Third. time. people. As Jeff has prepared to go, I've watched him pull up flooring more times than I care to count. Our basement is in a royal mess as I type, and frankly I do not care. This morning, my son is running a fever, and my daughter was in tears for no apparent reason, even while we were on our way to have her hair done like she has wanted for many months.

Here's the deal. Satan can throw the darts, break the air conditioner, destroy our floors, make us argue amongst ourselves, put roadblocks in our way. But he cannot win.

Psalm 27:2 tells me "When my enemies and my foes came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell". Jesus has our back.

But it gets even better, y'all! In Luke 10:19-20, Jesus tells his disciples (and us!) this:
"And I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don't rejoice just because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered as citizens of heaven"

So, let it come. Whatever Satan has for our family this week, we will stand, not as those who have no hope, not as defeated people. But we will stand firm in the fullness of God's grace, knowing that no matter what comes, we are His and He is ours. We have authority over satan because of Jesus, and I for one, am not taking that lightly. So this week, I will put on my armor and fight the things I cannot see through prayer and worship. I'll praise God for the opportunity Jeff and this team have to serve, and I'll joyfully stand in prayer for them while I'm at home holding down the fort (and hopefully it stays together!).

Pray for the team in Guatemala this week please. And pray for us as we wait patiently for them to come home.