Battles

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

God is amazing. I spent a full minute thinking how to start this entry, and that’s the best that I could come up with. There’s no better way to say it. God is simply uncanny in His ability to mix and match situations in each person’s life, creating a massive web of interconnections that only He can fully comprehend. Each person deals with unique situations, and yet each of those situations have implications that sometimes we don’t even realize. A decision that we think we made on our own turns out to be divinely planned. This is what I’ve been realizing over just the past few days. God is huge. There are just too many coincidences to say that everything happens by accident. God is everywhere, and He’s constantly at work in each and every person’s life. All the time. Even when it doesn’t seem like He’s anywhere to be found, He’s there, and He’s doing something. We may not understand just what He’s doing, but He does, and He’s working everything for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purposes. And that’s us Christians.

Things seemed pretty normal last night. Yesterday afternoon, I read Matthew 8, a chapter in which Jesus casts out demons several times. That was pretty interesting, and while reading, I reflected on God’s awesome power. The one time, when Jesus cast the demons out into a herd of pigs – you know the story – they called out to Him and said He had no right to torture them before the appointed time. That showed that they knew their ultimate fate. And I sat there thinking about just how much power God has. Even the demons know they’re doomed, because He’s already gone and conquered their power anyways. They’re just making their final stand, trying to do as much damage as they can before they get completely wiped out. So that was interesting. Later on that night, when I got home from work, I decided to read part of Wild At Heart, and it was talking about a battle to fight. It was discussing the enemy, actually. I had already read the part about the sinful nature, and now I read about the world and about the devil. After reading about it, I prayed and asked God to make me into a warrior. I mean, I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but that’s what I knew I needed to do. Of course, I didn’t know why.

So last night seemed harmless enough. I mean, I was feeling pretty pumped up and everything, after praying about the whole spiritual battle thing, and now it was time to take another day head-on. I went through my usual routine for the morning, and was just getting ready to walk out the door. Then I remembered that I hadn’t turned on the radio yet. I normally do that, because my dad apparently thinks that thieves will be fooled by this simple trick. But whatever. As I walked over to the radio, a flashing light caught my eye. It was the answering machine, flasshing to say it had new messages. That was a little odd, so I played the new message. And that’s when my day changed. It was my sister, who had left the message probably when I was in the shower, and she sounded serious. She said that if I got the message before I went to school, to just call her back. Then she said something about how she didn’t know if mom or dad had told me anything yet, but if not, if I could just pray for her. I could hear the slight waver in her voice, and so a million thoughts rushed through my head in that instant. If she was asking me, her little brother, to pray for her, it was serious. So I picked up the phone and called her.

To sum things up, basically Jennifer told me that she and her roommates had been encountering serious spiritual opposition in their apartment. Like, this wasn’t the whole “my landlord isn’t a Christian, how do I reach him for the Lord?” deal. This was like supernatural stuff. Demons, forces of evil, stuff like that. She explained that before this, she had just kind of thought that yes, they exist, but that she didn’t really give it much thought. But now they were experiencing this. I sat there in shock as she told me the situation. And then she added that they had been calling everyone they knew to help them pray for the situation. They were going to go to prayer about it at 2:00 today, and she asked if I would remember them at that time. Every brotherly instinct in me wanted to just brush her off and make some joke about it, but I knew that she was serious about it. It wasn’t the time nor the place to make a joke. So I said yes, I would pray. And I did.

My day, which I had anticipated as a normal day, took quite an abnormal turn. On the bus ride to school, I decided that I’d leave my mp3 player in my bag and pray instead. I did so for the entire bus ride. As the day wore on, things got back into a normal routine, but I made sure to pray in between 3rd and 4th period, which was at about 1:50. I prayed for power in their lives, and I prayed for deliverance. I probably quoted every single big word in the Bible that had to do with the subject, but this time it wasn’t just words; I meant every word. It’s a lot different when family is involved. I prayed that they would realize that the forces of evil have already been conquered, and that Christ has the power to drive them out. And in that instant, I realized that God is amazing. Who else would have used my simple decision to start my devotions for the new year by reading Matthew to help me pray? I mean, I’m no spiritual prayer warrior, but I’d really like to think that since every Christian prays to the same God, that it doesn’t matter how much of a “prayer warrior” we are. God’s the one with the power anyways. But who else would have used my half-thought through decision to pick up that Wild at Heart book and read the rest of the chapter to do something? I mean, if neither of those two things had happened, I likely would have been at a loss for words trying to pray for something to happen. But now I had something on my mind, and I knew what to ask God for specifically. I just hope that it helped. But I have faith that it did, not because I prayed, but because of who I prayed to. God’s a lot bigger than anything we can face.

God is amazing. His thoughts are so much deeper than ours, and His ways are known only to Him. Even a revelation of a mere portion of His knowledge will floor us, and even a show of a fraction of His power will blow us away. If you ask me, it would be wise to keep Him as an ally. When He is on our side, nothing can stand against us. That’s a thought that should give you great joy. As I contemplated this again during my devotions this afternoon, I got to thinking that the whole situation with my sister is a great blessing. After all, it must mean they’re doing something right if they’ve got the forces of evil on their tail, trying to hamper their efforts. I can only pray that they realize that. It might be a reason to quit what they’re doing, except for the fact that they’ve got a God the size of infinity right behind them, just waiting to crush Satan’s pitiful imps. They’re nothing in His sight. They’re the equivalent of fruit flies. So we don’t need to let them stand in our way when we’re doing God’s will. The fact that they’re there is all the more reason to keep pressing on. And when it seems like the whole world is against you, just read 2 Kings 6. Elisha reveals to his servant that “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” If God was willing to use an entire host of angels and chariots to protect Elisha and his servant, He will surely do the same for each of His children. If that’s not an encouraging thought, than nothing is.

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