Spiritual Warfare isn’t something that is often preached about, nor is it something weoften go looking for, unless we are determined Kingdom builders. Warfare from the enemy is normally only ‘attracted’ to us when we set our stall to gatecrash his ‘territory’, take on board the really big promises of God for the world, for people we know, for ourselves.
I don’t know who came up with the quote, ‘If you haven’t met the devil today, the chances are you and he are walking in the same direction.’ Fulton Sheen wrote: “Satan has very little trouble with those who do not believe in him; they are already on his side.” Both quotes are very true. I meet a lot of people who don’t believe in a real devil who wants to destroy those of us who want to see God’s Kingdom Come and God’s will be done.
Right now, believing that I heard from God that I should move to Welshpool last July – and I still stand by what I believe I heard God say – the onslaught from the enemy has been so intense – physically, emotionally, financially, and even in some friends who are very close to me – the war I’m in (and believe I’m coming to the end of) has been the toughest of my 50 years as a Christian. And the war would suggest that my being here is right.
I’m desperate, for the sake of the lovely people who have given me a home here, to let them have their home back, and to have my own place. But my, my, the battle to find a place to live and the means to live there, has been beyond belief. There are promises, which I believe totally, but the hold-ups, delays, blockages are the enemy’s way of discouraging, and demoralising me.
Physically, most of you know the enemy has battered my knees for 25 years, what began as an injury morphing into chronic osteoarthritis – and yes, I’ve been prayed for hundreds, maybe thousands, of times – I know it’s a war: but I won’t give in, These last few months it’s been added to by the enemy with deep vein thrombosis AND cellulitis in my left leg, no warning, and making life immensely difficult. But as we’ve rolled over into 2020, I’m determined to get going again big-time, and keep going, keep preaching, keep praying for the sick – in meetings and yes, over the internet – and seeing people healed. Just because God hasn’t healed me – YET – doesn’t mean he won’t use me to be the conduit for his power to heal others.
A friend in another country is under immense attack – with a ‘death-threat’ from diabolical (the dictionary definition of that word!) surgery a major threat. Currently (today) going through a third surgery in the same wound. A believer, a fighter, determined – the enemy sees this person as a threat.
If you’ve ever read – and believed – Proverbs 13:22: ” the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous” it’s very easy – to read (AND it’s a promise!). When you start to move to stake your God-given right to make that verse reality, wow, does the enemy fight you! He’ll do everything in his repertoire to stop that happening, especially theft, corruption of every sort, lies, accusations… BUT – that wealth is there for the righteous, so it WILL happen. The ‘war’ along the way sees Satan as his most devious, venomous, assaulting, and very, very dangerous. ‘But do not be afraid for the Father has chosen to give you the Kingdom’ – and fulfill all of His promises. Spiritual warfare scares many people: but I’d rather the enemy have a go at me as it means he’s rather disturbed by what I’ve done, what I’m doing, or what I’m going to do. I guess at 67 years old, the ‘world’ would consider that I’m past middle-aged (I don’t think I am!) but C S Lewis said this: ‘The long, dull, monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather for the devil.’
There are times when we face extended spiritual conflict. We fight, endure, and finally prevail. Yet, don’t forget: our enemy is a thief and he comes to “steal, kill and destroy” (Jn 10:10). You may be so relieved the main ordeal is over that you fail to notice that your joy is gone. You’ve won the obvious battle but now has your peace been compromised? It’s good to routinely take inventory of your soul. Make sure that the full complement of the Spirit’s fruit is operational in you — that “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” are all evident and still growing (Gal 5:22-23).
If you desire to see the reality of God reproduced in your loved ones, set your heart to walk in the fruit of the Spirit. The seed that empowers spiritual reproduction is not found in our religion, but in our fruit.
“Your current difficulties will define for you a new place of identity. Rise up and occupy a new persona in God’s presence! This is the year of your rising. God is calling you up to a high place in His loving kindness and favour.”
The more peace you have during spiritual attack, the more truly you are walking in Christ’s victory. Remember, it is the God of Peace who shall crush Satan beneath your feet shortly (Rom. 16:20).
I’m looking forward to the end of these last 8 months – I’ve no idea how long it’s going to be, hopefully soon – but I know what I’ve learned, I’m more aware than ever of what Satan can do, but even more aware of what he CAN’T do! WE WIN!!