John Eldredge posted an article last month in which he unpacked the connection between the pace of life and our weakened resistance to spiritual attack. “The world is utterly draining,” he wrote, “and when we are drained, we are vulnerable.” He also offered eight suggestions for drawing close to the Lord and building our defenses against the adversary.
I agree with John in his assessment of my vulnerability. Whether it’s a direct spiritual attack or just the barrage of the world system, my defenses become worn down by the distractions and pressures of life. Like all believers, I need to refresh and refocus on Christ through prayer, study of the Scriptures, solitude and the practice of other spiritual disciplines. The power of God in answer to prayer cannot be overstated.
I am preparing for a trip into enemy territory, so I’ll need prayer support: I know that our facilities will be primitive, so (lame camper that I am) I’ll become edgy from physical discomfort. Since I’m leading a team, my prideful natural impulse will be to hide my struggles and put up a facade. Because the people around me in Haiti will be in such need, I may compartmentalize my emotions so that I don’t experience guilt, shame or anger.
Pray with me that I draw my strength from Christ, and that I find my rest in Him. That I know that the truest thing about me is what God says is true, so I can walk in His truth, live openly and honestly, and not hide who I am or how I feel. That I would experience what I go to proclaim – the Gospel – and that I’d be filled with His resurrection power, His abundant grace and love, and His overflowing life. These prayers can begin now – no need to wait until we board the plane.
Let us recognize that the spiritual battle is real, and that we are living on the front lines. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39.)