Spiritual Warfare

I hear some refer to spiritual warfare as spiritual conflict, but I am not sure what to think after some of the experiences I have in a world of spirit worship. “Conflict might be too understated for the reality of what the demonic realm wants to claim. We are now in rebellion against the rebellion,” Ed Stetzer.

One can be buoyed by prayers, intentional prayers for protection.

Recently, I heard a story of some of our council members and their families gathering to pray. As they prayed, one of them saw a vision of their pastor dressed in armor, the spiritual armor of God. Quickly as I heard the story retold, my mind ran to a certain group of special humans who gave a great quote in their movie, Avengers. “Let’s Suit up!” Makes you think, huh…

Well, back to the story. Their pastor was in full armor, but one of the flaming arrows of Satan was about to strike his breastplate. The arrow made it past his shield of faith, which is designed to snuff these darts of fire out. Here it comes in their vision, about to strike their pastor. They rallied their fervor and prayed for him as the head of the church. They even got the picture from Nehemiah to stand as the wall of protection around the church.
When I asked them about when this prayer took place, they told me how it was a few days earlier. Then what seemed like a nice story of people in the church praying for their pastor suddenly upped the ante. They received a clear vision from God during the time that I was super sick a couple of weeks ago. I was wiped out, but we’ll save the nasty details from this forum.

Sometimes, we overlook the spiritual realm in our prayers. Sometimes, we forget that God wants to speak to us through our prayer time, and we just come with our list, outline or structure to prayer. The spiritual realm is not left to the angels and demons, but God uses us to play a part in the fight. A fight that carries eternal stakes.

Have you seen God speak to you in such a vivid way before, how?

Prophetic Word

This week over thirty people serving with or alongside Foursquare Missions International in SE Asia gathered together in Bangkok for three days of seeking God’s face and encouraging one another. Personally, I loved the time around the table sharing stories, listening to the goodness of God in others’ lives as we ate yummy Thai food. God is moving in an incredible way through the lives of those serving in this region…

Yet we never want to stay in the same place, stagnant or stuck in a former place of glory.

We always want to move forward into the next place God has for us.

This is where the prophetic helps play a critical role. We need to hear God’s voice calling us out of comfortable place into new unchartered territory. Or when the path seems to be collapsing around us, we need the prophetic to grab onto and pull us out of the raging rivers of life into solid ground. (See I Corinthians 14 for more clarity on the role of the prophetic in the church.)

In our meetings, we paused consistently to allow God to speak through one or another of us in the prophetic. One word that resonated with many of us in the middle of our conference came to drive us forward into more mission.

The word came one evening as worshipped together.

The word was that God wanted to expand our path. It went on to paint a picture of a bridge spanning the width of a canyon but without all the planks yet in place. Every step we made forward, God put the plank in place just ahead of our foot stepping down. We needed to step out in faith and see God meet us as he created the path for us to cross into new arenas of ministry or spheres of effectiveness with him.

For me, this word resonated deep in my heart as planting a church in Bangkok seems like one faith journey after another, and yet each step of the way, God has been laying the planks of the bridge in place. We can boldy continue forward knowing that God has the path laid out for us. He is a light unto our path and a lamp unto our feet, Psalms 119:105.

Where is God desiring to expand your path or lead you forward if you are willing to step out, or where are you tentative to step out with God?