Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tyler and Amber at an orphanage in Kampala, Uganda. Today the team left for the 15 hour bus ride to the bush in Karamoja.

I have been invited to speak to a youth group tonight, about Spiritual Warfare.

It is interesting to note what happens in everyday life, as one prepares to teach on this topic. The enemy does not want any of this illuminated, and the battle intensifies. Distractions increase, attempts to harm and/or tempt the speaker (or his family), rise.

When we talk about Spiritual Warfare, there is a tendency in our culture to view this as the dramatic, graphic, satanic attacks that come up against people. Warfare is much more simple than that from the enemies perspective. Any plan to gain and maintain the attention of a follower of Christ, is a successful campaign.

How often do many of us fall prey to this?

The simplest enticements draw our attention away from seeking or serving our Savior. These things are generally found to be very appealing to us...their allure strong. (Never do we see a man in a red suit with a pitch fork). We often give up our attention to the pursuit of these items or situations, and soon find ourselves being assaulted in ways we did not expect, but should have been aware would come.

Other times, the attacks are more obvious. It is if the enemy wants us to know he is gunning for us.

Personally, I prefer these methods, as they are more obvious, and we know almost immediately how to respond. When the warfare is subtle, as it often is, our reaction time is generally slow, and seemingly, lethargic.

There is less fear in the subtle attacks. The often veiled ways they come, tend to catch us unsuspecting and unaware. This should not be.

When we were in the hospital with BJ, I remember one evening, my Aunt Maralyn and Uncle Ray had come from California to visit. They took us out to dinner. When we were walking out to the car, suddenly a man appeared who was out of place and had a psychotic, glazed look in is eyes.

He keyed in on me, and begin screaming. He was dirty, disheveled, with greasy, long hair, and was old. He would have looked "in place" among passed out drunks in a back alley of a dark, downtown area. We were far from there. His appearance and approach were frightening. He was on a mission...and it seemed to be, me.

We quickened our pace to the car. He followed. As we arrived and got in, my Uncle locked the doors, and this man began banging on my window and screaming at me. My Aunt pleaded with my Uncle to hurry out of the lot. The man chased after us...he passed between parked cars to get ahead of us...he seemed to block the way, and my recollection is that we nearly had to run him over to get passed him.

Our collective heart rates were off to the races! How do you process an event like that? What is the purpose or point of such an attack?

We were already in the battle of our lives as our only son lay fighting for his life.
It was difficult to know what to do with this experience. One thing was for sure, we believed it was a demonic attack.

We were already depending on our Lord and Savior for His provision, to help us through the journey. This experience would be no different. Interestingly to me, the only times I ever think about that experience are when I am about to teach on Spiritual Warfare.

With clarity, it seemed that the enemy wanted us to know that he had marked us, and was pursuing us.

Such is most often the case with those who are seeking the Lord with all of their hearts. Seldom are the times that 'lukewarm' believers come under attack. Primarily, because the enemy has or is already, successfully impugning their witness.

Our Lord gives us the tools to battle with. We don't go out looking for a fight. When the battle comes to us or those we love, He has prepared us to engage. We are battling from a position of victory. Jesus wins! We don't have to fight for victory, we are battling from victory!!!

Many are the times that most of us have been engaged. Battling on the Lord's side, with the realization that Jesus reigns, gives us tremendous confidence...not to be haughty...not to be overconfident...but to realize, that He is in control, and we are ready to declare His victory!

We should respect the power of the enemy, but not fear it. The Word teaches us not to fear. The battle belongs to the Lord! Ours to be obedient to Him and to follow where He leads. He will prevail.



At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The experience you talked about today is vivid in my mind. Even though I haven't thought about it in a long time, it all came back reading your blog today. Even to exactly how the man looked.
We all need to be reminded that the Devil is alive and well and will use any one or any thing to try to get us. You are always in our prayers and will continue to be.
Love you.
Aunt Maralyn

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you as you go to speak!

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for that insight today dad. I haven't thought about a spiritual attack before in light of some of my personal experiences right now but as I reflect on what you have presented, it begins to make sense.


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