At this point last year, I was part of a team that would be going to Zambia during the last half of October. We were all excited and we prayed as we prepared, but I was blindsided by some of the enemy's attacks. I was sure I knew where the attacks were going to come from and that I would be ready; however, the attacks came from areas that I least expected. I found myself struggling in every area of my life and not in ways that I thought were struggles for me. My son's asthma was out of control for over a month and this was the first time we had seen his health crumble in years. Suddenly, the medicine that had kept his asthma under control wasn't working anymore. I had some struggles at work. We were faced with some financial struggles. I was being attacked with doubt. There were other attacks as well and all these things were happening at once. We can walk into something and think we are ready for anything, and we become blindsided by an issue that we would have never dreamed up. The church in Ephesus dealt with opposition that seemed to blindside them as well; please look up Acts 19:32-41.
Yesterday, I looked at the importance of the church understanding why we do what we do. Today, I want to explore what the city leader said in verse 37, "You have brought these men here, but they have stolen nothing from the temple and have not spoken against our goddess." I think this is an important statement to think about. The church in Ephesus was following God without insulting others, yet people still saw a difference. Even while they were innocent, they still were blindsided by Demetrius' attacks.
When we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, we have an enemy who will fight us. The attacks can be surprising and we can feel unprepared. That is why it is so important to keep in prayer and in the Word and being a part of a Christian community. We will read later in the book of Ephesians (Ephesians 6:10-20) the importance of being ready for the spiritual attacks that we will face. The armor of God is not something just to be aware of, we need to use it! The more we speak and pray through each piece of armor, the more we will be prepared to recognize and respond to attacks. We need to be in "training" for the battles we will face and trust God's direction. Training is actively growing in your relationship with God through prayer and the Bible. I believe that scripture memorization is extremely helpful as well. We may be blindsided by the type of attacks we will face; however, we don't need to be unprepared.
Are you in training?
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