I know, another story from that Bali island- I talk about it a lot because it was a pivotal season in my life and I learned so much there. It was on those humid roads, walking and wishing we knew even in a hint of the language, that I realized what spiritual warfare truly meant. Bringing the Light into a dark, dark place is something I cannot convey with words- it's so difficult to describe (which should totally motivate you to go and experience for yourself!!!!!). In a way, I am absolutely thrilled to be taking the Gospel to a people group who fear demonic powers rather than the Almighty God. In other ways, however, I am completely terrified to again face the warfare Satan challenged me with 2 summers ago in Bali. The darkness felt as if it was peeling away as we tread down the paved roads, but my heart felt heavy for the people. Satan tried hard to battle our efforts. All we could think to do was memorize Ephesians 6:10-20, and I'm so glad we did! When we put the armor of God on, we are taking our stand against the devil's schemes. He may fight, provoke, prod, push, shove, lure, and tempt us into thinking we cannot go even one more day in ministry to a dark world, but with the armor that God provides (truth, righteousness, peace/readiness, faith, salvation, the Bible), we will be able to stand.
This week, I have felt a dreariness and had strange feelings about going to Niger this summer. I have gotten frightened, felt incompetent, and questioned God on His command that I go and share Christ with the Songhai people. After slapping myself awake a little, I was reminded of Ephesians 6 and how real spiritual warfare is- even here in America! Satan is obviously trying to put me down and keep me from preparing for the trip. Thankfully, we serve a God who is greater than any kind of demonic force or devilish scheme that comes our way, if we'll only put on our armor.
So, I have a request- if you read this, will you pray? The Lord is moved by prayer, He includes it as part of our armor, and Satan hates it when we pray.
"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." -Eph. 6:18
Keeping in mind that spiritual warfare is all around us, how can you fight the devil's schemes... right where you are? Oh, the potential that we have for being God's effective tools, if only we would fight valiantly the battle against "the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms"!