When our son Lance was a young teenager in Panama, he was walking on the beach with a group of friends playing with a laser pen he had recently bought. As the sun set across the ocean, he saw an older gentleman in the distance walking towards them. Lance sighted the laser pen on the man’s chest, just to see if he could, not anticipating the man’s reaction at all. When the man saw the small red dot flickering on his chest, he stopped dead in his tracks frozen in fear, raised his hands above his head signaling that he surrendered. You can imagine the man’s anger and relief when he realized that the threat wasn’t real but only a teenager playing with his laser pen.
Many, who have walked with God into the enemy’s territory, have experienced that awareness of being in Satan’s sights. As we continue to follow God down this path of serving missionaries and their families, the poor that are in need of counseling, and the efforts to offer a new beginning for victims of human trafficking, we are acutely aware of that flickering red dot on our chest. In the past, that awareness gave us confidence that we were doing something right and emboldened us to move forward. Whether that was faith or foolishness I cannot say, I only know that as we get older we struggle not to have the same reaction as the gentleman on the beach. Please stand with us in praying Ephesians 6:10-13, as intercession on our behalf.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Eph 6:10-13 ESV)
We are asking our supporters to stand in prayer with us, claiming this verse on our behalf. We have entered into 2014 with a spiritual weight that could so easily overwhelm us. The tasks at hand give us cause to see the varied trials we face as a singular spiritual effort to distract and/or discourage us. These tasks have the potential of making a real difference in bringing the battle to the enemy.
Even though we know we will win the war, it is our desire to fight and win as many battles as we can. We have been greatly challenged by the practical truths of, and maybe more importantly the personal applications of 1 John 3:17-19.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 1John 3:17-19
For confidence, boldness, and God’s peace as we resist Satan and the real desire to duck and hide, claiming James 4:7.
As I prepared to post this, I found these Scriptures in my morning devotional. I hope they encourage you as much.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.1
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.2 I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.3
Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?4 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.5 In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.6
The effect of righteousness shall be quietness and assurance for ever.7 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.8 Peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come.9
1Isa 26:3; 2Psa 55:22; 3Isa 12:2; 4Mat 8:26; 5Phi 4:6,7; 6Isa 30:15; 7Isa 32:17; 8Joh 14:27; 9Rev 1:4
Serving Together with You,
Marty, Toni, & Ryland