You will have to excuse me today. I am engaged in some serious spiritual warfare. You see, I am unable to gaze upon the world at the moment; my Spirit is heavy with an ominous foreboding. I don't know if you are feeling it, too, but it seems as if Satan has taken his mask off and is boldly controlling so many aspects of our lives. What's more, it feels like he has accelerated the pace of his attack, and destruction is right around the corner. The Enemy has been clever in drawing my attention away from my Source of Life.
He whispers in my ear, "Do you see it? Right is wrong, and wrong is right. People are fighting over food on the grocery store shelves in snow-bound Atlanta. Your weather patterns no longer make sense; it is 23 degrees with freezing rain one day, and sunny and 80 degrees, a day-and-a-half later. More Americans are unemployed than at anytime in the last 35 years, yet your First Lady feels the need to wear a $12,000 dress to a State Dinner for the French President. Your government is out-of-control in almost every aspect of its authority; it no longer listens to the people, and, Look! It is purchasing sniper ammo!"
He then shows me that all those crazy conspiracy theories that have abounded over the last few years, don't seem so preposterous anymore. There are Facebook posts of UN troops in Texas, and announcements by Iran that it will position warships off our coast. Churches offer nude worship services, and teenage boys kill a girl so they can "sell their soul to the devil". (At this point, he giggles to himself over his witticism).
The Devil counters with the claim that God's Light no longer shines on us, but I refuse to take the bait. I do believe God's presence is near; I do not think He has abandoned us. He promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. I will accede to the idea that God has turned us over, as a whole, to our natural inclinations. And when He pulls away, well ... the Devil wins a few and you get headlines like those above. Because I know that if we refuse to honor and glorify God, He will give us the opportunity to see what life without Him and His influence is like. That means that those of us who yearn for Him will get to see just how strong our faith is, and if we're up to this spiritual battle.
I must tell you that lately, I have given some ground in this duel with the Devil. My thoughts have drifted along these lines ... I am growing weary of this world and its systems. I'm tired of worrying about the future; I realize that this earthly existence is temporary, and an eternal life awaits me. But the pressures of this sinful world are becoming more burdensome and impossible to ignore. Then I get mad at myself because I know my God is so much bigger than what my bank balance is, or the news on the TV. After all, when I am united with my King, all these "thorns in my flesh" will be forgotten and of no consequence. I simply must endure until then.
Then I take back the high ground, when I recover from my selfishness and ask for forgiveness of my sinful worries. I take a stand against all the workings of Satan, and renew my allegiance to the Ruler of the Universe, knowing that I have won the victory against Evil through the blood of Christ.
So, if like me, you find that there are days when you are feeling low and longing for a brighter future, I would tell you, "Don't despair!" We have been told that these days would exist. But we have also been told that when the Enemy comes against us, we have mighty weapons to quench his fiery arrows.
Just stay focused on the sovereignty of God, and His power to deliver from the strongholds of Satan; whatever yours might be. Those of us who are Believers can expect to be engaged in spiritual warfare in the coming days, months and years. But we can rest in the knowledge that whatever is sent against us will be bound in heaven, if we will only pray and present our petitions. And that is what I have done today. I know that this won't be the last day I do battle, but I pray that the days will be further apart as I shout and claim my victory over the darkness.
Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”