For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
According to the Bible, spiritual warfare is a reality of the Christian life. Most of the time, we're pretty clueless on how to talk about it. Someone once said, "Either we give Satan too much credit, or we ignore him altogether." Neither approach is helpful. I always knew that church planting and missions carry an extra amount of spiritual warfare. Yesterday, things might have gone to a new level.
Here's a quick confession: I don't believe in demon nests, but I do believe in strongholds.
We believe that God might be calling us to do some ministry in a new part of the city. I'll share more details as soon as they are official, but I'm pretty excited. Yesterday, I did some prayer walking in this area. It was really cool, but I felt all kinds of heaviness afterward. When we first came to Portland, we found it to be scary. It was a new place filled with new people. In the past year and a half, so much of this has begun to change. They're no longer those people. They're our people. They may not claim us, but we claim them. My affection for this city has really grown. I haven't felt this kind of heaviness is a while.
We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4
Last night it was really hard to sleep. I felt tons of anxiety. It didn't make a whole of sense. I remember one of my professors from college said he would go through similar experiences during his experience with missions. This morning I spent some great time in the Word of God. The light of day brought new mercy and new clarity. I'm reading through a reading plan in the Psalms. God is really faithful. He brought me to an incredible passage.
1 O Lord, I have so many enemies;
so many are against me.
2 So many are saying,
“God will never rescue him!”
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
4 I cried out to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy mountain.
5 I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side.
7 Arise, O Lord!
Rescue me, my God!
Slap all my enemies in the face!
Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
8 Victory comes from you, O Lord.
May you bless your people.
Spiritual warfare doesn't have to be scary. I know I need to pay attention, but only to realize that Jesus is fighting our battle. I know I have friends who read my blog who are not believers in Jesus. You probably think I'm crazy. I'm ok with that. I also have a lot of friends and family that know Jesus. We've never needed your prayers like we do right now. Thanks for being such faithful friends. And thanks for making sure we never walk this church planting journey alone.