A wise woman once told me that if I am not experiencing spiritual warfare in my life…then something is wrong. Why? Well, simply because that would mean that I am not a threat to the enemy.
OK…I just lost some people. But it’s true. As much as I know that God is real—I also believe satan is real. And satan’s best scheme of all time is to fool us into believing that spiritual warfare and that he, himself, does not exist. One of my dearest friends has been involved with starting two very powerful ministries–and she always talks how the roads to both of these are paved with tears. I must agree.
I experienced opposition more than any time in my life when I went to do mission work in China–but I also saw the Lord in ways I never thought possible. Talk about everything going wrong when we started Wiphan–every roadblock possible…yet the Lord made a way. And our road to adoption has been no different. Some of you who are very close to us will remember when Laney was diagnosed in August with MRSA–a infectious disease that would have kept us from persuing adoption. THEN the Lord miraculously healed our girl. When our Isaac was being born–the enemy was trying to distract us and make it impossible for us to persue adoption. We had people all over praying–and His glory shined and our daughter was healed.
We have had countless other things happen, but as we put on our full armor and stepped forward trusting God–He and His faithfulness overcame…time and time again.
Today, I just want to encourage those of you on the front lines…where ever you are and whatever you are doing. Some of you are being called to the mission field…and there seems to be no way either financially or emotionally to continue. Others of you are called to adopt…and you feel like everything seems to be taking too long or not going as you hoped. And others…maybe you are starting a ministry and you just feel continued defeat.
That same friend who has experienced hardship as she followed the Lord in ministry is teaching her 3 year old son to put on his armor and his sweet little 3 year old self is memorizing David’s speech to Goliath…”You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty…” (I have to say I love how this little one pronounces javelin;).
There will be many things that come to you and try to defeat you on your journey to following the Lord. Some things you will have to take that sword and fight through. Remember whose name to come to fight the battle with! There will be opposition…but the Lord is able to overcome it! And then there are other things you will be up against…that you will be tempted by…called…
When the Lord asks you to step up—the enemy is going to tempt you to sin. Be careful. And be ready.
I encourage us to cling to scripture and follow the Lord NO MATTER WHAT. Because sin entangles us and will get us off where we need to be. And that will be the enemy’s chief aim when you step to the front lines. Here is some scripture to cling to and remember during your call whatever it may be:
Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
This may mean keeping your opinions to yourself—and most certainly not being judgemental. Each man must be accountable for his own choices–so let us not look to the left or the right and keep our eyes instead focused on the prize set before us in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, to do others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law of the Prophets.”
Before you act of speak…put yourself in the other persons shoes. Try to see their heart…and try to love them as Christ loves them.
Leviticus 19:16 “Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD.”
Notice the LORD said this. And what people is He telling us…YOUR people. That’s other believers. Maybe even friends. Maybe even family. If you can’t say it to them…if you can’t share you opinion about them directly to them and know their heart before you speak…just don’t speak. Why? Because I AM said.
And what are we to do when we do? Matthew 5 tells us to first go reconcile to our brother—before we go to the Lord again…go to our brother and be reconciled. And then…be encouraged.
One of my favorite Proverbs is Proverbs 17:17. You know it. “A friend loveth at all times…” I remember this “Precious Moments” doll a childhood friend gave me and that was enscribed on the bottom. BUT the last part of the verse…THE BEST PART of the verse…was left off.
Be encouraged when doing the right thing is hard…when going to a brother for reconciliation isn’t easy because of the 2nd part of the verse!
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born in adversity.”
I love how God always, always, always trumps the enemy. The enemy causes us to sin. But God always offers hope. And in following the Lord even in reconciliation—A BROTHER IS BORN. Amen?!
I write this…to encourage you.
Hold tight to Jesus.
Memorize the scriptures.
And as you follow the Lord—keep your eyes on Jesus…but be ready. Because the enemy is always lurking about looking for a way to steal, kill and distroy. The Bible said it, I believe it…and I have experienced it. I have seen it in ministry—and I see it now some times with families in adoption. I have had to confess sin to my own brothers and sisters in Christ…but I have been blessed by deeper relationships as I follow Him and His commands. Don’t let the enemy fool you into sin–and even worse don’t let him fool you into not following the Lord into forgiveness.
Let us not give in to sin but hold tight to Jesus as we step to the front lines…together.