We are in the middle of a full out battle. Not an argument, not a scuffle. We are smack dab in the middle of the greatest war of all existence. Non of the earthly wars can even compare to the war that is happening in the spiritual realm. And we have all chosen a side. Some intentional, some not quite so much.
When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we joined heaven’s army. That also made us Satan enemy number one. Satan knows the power that lies in the truth that we are seeking to share. He knows that God’s empowering spirit in our lives can drastically change the lives of those we meet. So, he attacks.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:11-12, ESV)
As we get very close to our departure date, I know that I have already begun to feel the effects of those attacks. I have personally been dealing with a lot of emotional/hormonal fatuity. My poor husband has been exceedingly gracious in this mess, but it has begun to create stress about the trip that I didn’t have before.
Another teammate has been dealing with sickness and will hopefully receive the all clear from his doctor today.
And this is before we even arrive at the airport. Once we begin traveling any number of issues are likely to arise:
- lost luggage
- conflict among the team
- sickness of every variety
even something as mediocre as fatigue can be a quiet attack that engenders into other larger issues later on.
But we have a Redeemer who loves so desperately that he fights for us.
Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. … The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14, ESV)
for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory (Deuteronomy 20:4, ESV)
they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you. (Jeremiah 1:19, ESV)
If you are annoyed by the context of those verses (all referring to physical battles that the Israelites faced), then take comfort in that our victory is found through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:57-58, ESV)
1. What challenges have you experienced that may be attributed to a spiritual fight before the trip?
2. How can claiming victory in Jesus provide a solution to those challenges?
3. What will your response be if challenges arise during the trip?
Pray through “putting on the armor” as you continue to prepare.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:13-20, ESV)