Spiritual warfare is a term that most of us, especially in our western comfortable culture, don’t understand. Even for those of us who do experience it tend to write it off as coincidence or poor circumstance. I have heard stories from the spiritual front lines of scary confrontations with obviously demonic forces but that stuff doesn’t occur in our lives here, in the United States. Right?
When Heather and I were planning our long road trip for this month to fundraise and share about our ministry everything was going smoothly. Almost too smoothly. With almost no resistance, no complications, we planned each leg of our 3 ½ week tour of the U.S. Southeast. We were excited to get started.
Then it happened. The week we were to depart for our journey, Heather came down with the flu. Awful. She was down for the count for three days unable to do more than take care of baby Samantha and rest. I was trying to unpack from our previous trip, pack and prep for our up coming trip, care for Heather, care for Calder and we were trying to decide if we should leave on time, push the trip back or not go at all. Finally we decide to leave one day later than we had planned. The morning was a rush. Finish packing, load the car, get the kids ready to go. Our departure time was moving later and later, 3 year-old Calder was giving us extraordinary fits. Finally we are all in the car, I turn the key and… nothing. The battery was dead. I had just run the car the night before and I have no idea what happened to kill the battery overnight. I was able to jump start the car off my truck and we were on the road a little while later. The next three days of travel went surprisingly well but now we are sitting in the middle of the worst winter storm Tennessee has seen in years and we are looking for a clear window of weather in order to continue our trip.
So how are we to view these sorts of set backs and frustrations? If this was any other type of trip, non-missionary related, we might just say to ourselves “there’s a bunch of frustrating circumstances. Too bad.” But as it is, we have to call it what it is, spiritual warfare to frustrate our efforts to do God’s will and we pray, and ask others to pray, against it. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Satan loves to find ways to raise our anxiety and put fear in our hearts. I know there are other Christians in this world suffering horrific outward oppression and suffering at the hand of Satan, but he is also called the deceiver and would love nothing more than to subtly trick us every day into thinking that God does not love and care for us. Every time little things happen along our journey and we question, “Does God really want us do to this? Will he really take care of us?” it’s like Satan telling Eve again, “You will not surely die [God has lied to you].”
We pray for our journey and yours that we always remember God’s faithfulness to us everyday. Even though we encounter trials and frustrations, big and small, we are called to live as sons of our living God, heirs in Christ Jesus, remembering our place in his kingdom.
1 Peter 4:12-13 – Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.