March 23, 2012

At the front lines

Spiritual warfare means taking up the Word of God and using it to fight the lies of my spiritual enemies. This might be for my own sake since Satan continually tries to thwart my prayers by whispering falsehoods about God, my salvation, and my relationship with Jesus Christ. This war can also be for the sake of others, the ones for whom I pray. This week, it has been both. 
Tuesday brought amazing answers to prayer for our daughter who was traveling. It also brought a request from a frightened neighbor whose daughter was in labor with her first baby. Then I was given devastating news about another family member whose life has fallen apart. 

I rejoiced concerning our daughter’s good news, prayed with the neighbor for her daughter whose baby was eventually delivered by caesarean, and tried to pray for the needy one in the family. Then the war began.

Wednesday was rough. I felt so heavy that I could not pray. Every time I tried, distractions pulled me away. My mind was all over the place, and even when that was not happening, the telephone was ringing. In the evening, we visited the one in so much trouble. He was talkative and while obviously in need, we gained insight into his situation and were better equipped for prayer. 

Yesterday was better. After praying for a while, I was able to do my chores and carry on. However, my body hurt and I felt very tired. Besides that, it seemed that everything I did was a waste of time. I’d prayed, but still had trouble concentrating and again felt like I could not pray.

This morning God encourages me to focus. My duties and other activities are not important compared to this battle to which He calls me. It is God’s will that I do not go AWOL.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15–17)
Time-management experts would apply this verse to the chore list of the day. Those who are Christian would advise me to seek the will of the Lord as I tackle my to-do list. In other words, they think (as I have thought), that time management for Christians is about using biblical principles to plan my day. However, I’m now convinced this has very little to do with chores and priorities regarding temporal responsibilities. The convincing phrase is, “because the days are evil.”
We prayed for our daughter without knowing at the time that her safety was threatened by tornados. By a matter of minutes, God got her out of danger and protected her from that evil. 

I prayed for my neighbor because her daughter and the breeched baby was threatened in childbirth. God protected her from evil also. The surgery went well and both mom and baby are fine.

We are still praying for the other family member because he is now, and has been, in grave mental, emotional and spiritual danger. He needs Jesus. The evil one does not want him to realize that. Our prayers are a battle against his lies and destructive power. 

These verses say that the days are evil because they are. Satan is alive and well and walking among us. He wants us to fall for his lies, trust them (and him) instead of Christ, and never secure forgiveness and eternal life. Making the best use of time is about wisely finding out the will of God and praying, “Thy will be done” to combat that evil that threatens our spiritual safety.

Lord, it is 9:00 a.m. and this battle started almost two hours ago. I’m already weary. While You care about safety in travel and in childbirth, something even greater is at stake in this war. You promise renewed strength to those who wait on You. You also promise that Your strength is perfected in my weakness. I am waiting, but I am also weak. Whatever else is needed today, Your strength is up at the top of the list. I need You, not so I can get the laundry done, or so I can rightly prioritize my chore list, but so I can do battle for the souls of those I love and those for whom Christ died. Please, empower me today.

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