Marching as to war....
I've been receiving prayer requests lately from a woman at a nearby church, whose unconverted brother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. Every so often I get an email, along with everyone else on the prayer mailing list, with a report on how he's doing, and requests for targeting our prayers.
Two nights ago, his health took a bad turn. In her message, this woman wrote that she feared he might be dying. That night my prayers were less for a physical recovery and more for a spiritual miracle- that he would give his life to Christ and find salvation before it was too late. The report came in the next day that he had done just that. According to the email, this man is no longer afraid to die.
It's so far beyond amazing, beyond triumphant, that God has snatched another soul out of Satan's clutches. That one more soldier has joined the Lord's army and will never be defeated by death. A battle was fought for his soul that night, while so many of us were on our knees- a reminder of the spiritual war that's raging all around us, for each and every soul we see in each and every day. The spiritual war between good and evil is not always invisible, and it's victories like this that remind me of God's power and the power He's given us through prayer. We are called to fight in this war- not just angels, not just saints, but us. The little Christian soldiers, marching through our lives, while battles rage around us every day.
Spiritual warfare has become a fascination for me, brought to life by incredible books like C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters and Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness. The presence of real evil in this world- real, powerful, relentless evil- seemed like a far-off, abstract idea until I read these novels, and they've inspired me to tackle spiritual warfare as a subject in my own writing. They're not just good books- they're important. A reminder of a very real Enemy who has us under constant attack- but also of the power we have over evil, through prayer, faith, and Christ!
To close with the words of Charles Spurgeon, “The trumpet still plays the notes of war. You cannot sit down and put the victory wreath on your head. You do not have a crown. You still must wear the helmet and carry the sword. You must watch, pray, and fight.”