Do you know about that car that was going to strike you while you were jogging, but swerved back to the left of the shoulder because the driver woke up just in the nick of time? How about the man with the gun that was going to rob the store that you were in, but was intercepted by a cop who saw something suspicious? What about the horrendous nightmare that was going to invade your peaceful sleep, but was warded off because of a “special agent”?
The fact of the matter is that we have absolutely no idea how many things have not happened in our lives that were going to happen without intervention from God—who is always paying attention. There are many—a countless number—of attacks by the Enemy that have never reached us.
We live in a world filled with evil forces—a spiritual enemy—that will do everything in its power—and within its rights—to defeat us, whether it’s physically, emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually. Jesus said that the Enemy “has come to kill, to steal, and to destroy.”
However, God, who is infinite in knowledge and perfect in love, is also our Defender. If you know Jesus Christ as your Lord, you’ve got someone who is not just the lover of your soul, but is also the Commander-in-Chief of all of the forces of Heaven.
Our Father wants us dependent upon Him, not on ourselves. He wants to be where we turn when life gets overwhelming. He wants to be our Hero.
That said, nowhere in the Bible does it say that “God won’t allow more to happen to you than you can handle.” That’s a wrongful twisting of Scripture. People who believe that have been set up for a fall. What God actually promised was that there would be no temptations that would be greater than we could overcome.
For those of us who trust in Jesus, there are still going to be bad things that will happen. In fact, Jesus said, “In this life you will have troubles.”
But, you see … we have a Savior. And “we are more than conquerors through HIM who loved us.”
Our Savior gave us armor. He gave us weaponry. He gave us authority in His name.
These are no small things! Read Ephesians, chapter six, and find out exactly what you have your hands on and those things that are available for your protection. I say “available,” because it’s a decision—your decision—to go beyond what the Lord is already doing behind the scenes.
We are given responsibilities. We must participate. We must engage in Spiritual Warfare, especially when we are being assaulted. And, my friends, you know when you’re being assaulted. Most of the time, we in America, blame God for the bad things that happen to us or to those we love. But, He’s not the only being that we cannot see.
There are angels, and there are demons. Both are terrifying and powerful creatures, though only one side wishes us harm.
We must all learn how to fight. Learn how to protect. Both for ourselves and for those we love. There is a reason why the writers of the New Testament call us “soldiers.”
This world, with an evil behind the veil that we cannot see, is more dangerous than it appears, but most of us don’t act like it. We have a tendency to take the “ignorance is bliss” approach to life. But that is part of the Enemy’s plan: keep us blaming God when things go wrong and to not engage in the actual war that is going on all around us. This war involves reaching out to the lost who do not know Christ. It involves teaching our families the truths about the darkness that surrounds us. It involves understanding that this world we live in today is not our home.
Because we oftentimes choose ignorance instead of investigation, many of us live lives of mediocrity; lives that will not lead others to Christ; lives that will keep the people around us on a fast track to a very real Hell.
We’ve gone so far as to disbelieve in a real devil named Satan and the echelons of demons at his command. When difficulties come, we have a tendency to strike things up to “bad luck” or just an “unfortunate turn of events.” However, some of these things could have been—can be—prevented in our lives. Some of the attacks that we feel, that seem relentless, can be pushed back. How? By using our authority in Christ Jesus.
Another problem that we have in America is that we think that we can say just a quick prayer and, Voilà!, God’s going to do whatever we ask. Too often, we shun the idea of intercessory or travailing prayer—especially travailing prayer. But we are told by Jesus in Matthew 7:7-11 that we are to ask, and keep asking, seek, and keep seeking, knock, and keep knocking … pressing into that situation which needs remedied.
Adding to all of the above, is the incorrect assumption that prayer is the same as Spiritual Warfare.
Prayer is something that is directed to God. Spiritual Warfare is supposed to be directed toward our Enemy. These are two totally different things, except that in prayer we can request help in the midst of the battle. But God gave us His authority, in the name of Jesus Christ, to be warriors for the cause of Christ and to also protect us from our enemies. And—listen to me, now—Spiritual Warfare cannot be done silently! It must be done with an open mouth, with words being formed with tongue and lips.
To learn more about Spiritual Warfare, you can read some of my other blog posts, talk with your pastors, read up on it in your Bibles, or through books from a Christian bookstore. You can find a reputable website or two, and even read the books of the Otherealm Saga that I’ve written, beginning with Deliver Us from Darkness—a novel written to teach as much as to entertain.
One of my favorite authors, John Eldredge, wrote a prayer in one of his books that I love. It is a series of requests to God, based on the Ephesians 6 weaponry and armor. I would like to close with that.
“A Warrior’s Prayer”
Wild at Heart
By John Eldredge
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist …” Lord, I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Show me the truths I so desperately need today. Expose the lies I’m not even aware that I’m believing. “… with the breastplate of righteousness in place …” And yes, Lord, I wear Your righteousness today against all condemnation and corruption. Fit me with Your holiness and purity – defend me from all assaults against my heart. “… and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace …” I do choose to live for the gospel at any moment. Show me where the larger story is unfolding and keep me from being so lax that I think the most important thing today is the soap operas of this world.
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one …” Jesus, I lift against every lie and every assault the confidence that You are good and that You have good in store for me. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me, because You are with me. “… Take the helmet of salvation …” Thank you, Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from You, and I declare that nothing can separate me now from the love of Christ and the place I shall ever have in Your kingdom. “… and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God …” Holy Spirit, show me specifically today the truths of the Word of God that I will need to counter the assaults and the snares of the Enemy. Bring them to mind throughout the day. “… And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Finally, Holy Spirit, I agree to walk in step with You in everything – in all prayer as my spirit communes with You throughout the day.