Written in 1981
Be strong in the Lord and the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
My disciple leaned towards me, his face very serious, “You know that lesson on spiritual warfare? Let’s do that again next week. It’s too important to cover just once!”
It was a joy to hear such a statement from a fellow who had never really been interested in reading or studying the Word. The lessons of Ephesians 6:10-18 have been very useful for my disciples—and for me. Knowing who the enemy is, how God has equipped us and how to use these weapons has clarified a lot for all of us.
We have had plenty of opportunity to apply this knowledge because spiritual warfare is an everyday reality, especially here. When we were expelled from our adopted country twenty-two months ago, I began praying Psalm 86:17, “Give me a sign of your goodness so that my enemies [Satan and his forces] may see it and be put to shame, for you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”
This week God answered mightily, giving such a sign, showing us His power in a miracle almost as startling as the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead! In fact the authorities and lawyers had told us after our expulsion that our chances of getting a new residence permit were as good as a dead man coming to life. And yet a couple of days ago, new permits were granted and we have them in our hands! In the history of the work here in this difficult country, only one other expelled worker has ever gotten a new permit and we get to join him!
Fighting the true enemy with prayer and praise, with truth and trust, with wholeheartedness and obedience is the only way to true victory. This adventure of the last two years with expulsion, return, staying in the midst of uncertainty, applying for a visa knowing it could mean another perhaps permanent expulsion–all of this has been confirmation of the importance of waiting on God in prayer and faith and not giving up. In the spiritual battle, he who persists in the power of God wins.
Prayer: “Lord, help us to take up and use your spiritual armor every day. Guide us in fighting the true enemy with your truth and praise. Help us to join you in what you desire to accomplish in our lives today. Amen.”
Picture: Barbara in the early 80s