Monday, January 25, 2010

Mission and Spiritual Warfare...

I heard the African missionary speak to the church I was attending in 1999. He was sharing stories from his previous year. They seemed so dramatic. In my mind the stories sounded something like near poisonings and kids crawling in bed with a snake, but I can't remember for sure. “Spiritual warfare,” he spoke. “Hogwash,” I thought! You moved to a tribal area in Africa… what were you expecting?

Today this missionary leads one of the most fruitful disciple making projects on the entire continent of Africa! God had a plan and the enemy wanted to thwart it.

We are three years into stepping out to follow God as a missionary in Auburn, Alabama and I fully understand the work of the enemy against those who have turned their back on safety and security and have gone headlong into a greater purpose and mission.

Some things we learn from the scriptures and some things we learn from the irreplaceable institute of the day to day grind. If you have children you know what I mean. You can pound a reality in their brain until your pounder falls apart, but some things they’ll never believ

e until they walk through the fire.

There is an enemy of God and he is very concerned about the progress of the Kingdom of God. He will do whatever God will allow to suppress the plan of God!

I sat and listened to the story of a disciple-maker in Northwest Arkansas last weekend. The closer He tagged onto the coattail of God’s plan for his life, t

he more intense the battle raged. Three lives were lost during a short period. Can the enemy take lives in order to hinder God’s work? Well, I’m still not sure how it all works, but I’ve seen 2 lives snatched from us as a direct and/or indirect result of our following closely behind the Will of God.
I’ll not understand how things work behind the scenes until I pass into another age, but whether the enemy or God is responsible for those deaths, or whether they were simply fate, both God and the enemy has a keen understanding of how to use those experiences for their purpose.

Those lost lives and difficult circumstances may be the very death or the very life of the dreams we follow. I think the tipping point is what we do with those experiences.

If I choose to hold them with an open hand and give them to the redeemer of all things lifeless, He will be faithful to resurrect the death that follows in the wake of the warfa

re. If I choose to grip them tightly and roll around in the feces of self-pity and hopelessness chalk one up for old lucifer himself.

1 Peter 5:8-9
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Matthew 11:11-12
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

Come Broken and Weary, come battered and bruised
my Jesus makes all things new, All things new

Come lost and abandoned,

come blown by the wind
He’ll bring you back home again, home again

Come frozen with shame, come burning with guilt
my Jesus loves you still, loves you still

Rise up oh you sleeper awake
The light of the dawn is upon you

Rise up oh you sleeper awake
He makes all things new
All things New

-Andrew Peterson, “All Things New” on the Resurrection Letters: Part II Album

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