Not unlike ancient times, this generation struggles to have faith. The key, I believe to having faith is in trusting God no matter what the outcome. THAT takes a humble and surrendering heart! Hmmmmm…..I think Jesus talked about that a lot. So, why don’t we just do it? We act as if this life on earth is the be-all end-all and it’s not. There is a glorious eternity in the arms of Jesus ahead. It’s true, there is a battle going on for your heart and soul. It’s a battle that has been already one by Jesus. Just make sure you are on the right side.
It’s hard to imagine a battle raging around us trying to draw us to the dark side and out of the light, but if you think about it, it’s true. Of course we want to envision soldiers, warriors, angels and demons with wings and horns. The truth is…. it’s an invisible battle that is so visible sometimes we can touch it! It’s called Spiritual Warfare!
Mark 9:19-20 (TNIV)
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
Jesus is about to heal this young boy and what happens? Satan snarls and the boy goes into a tailspin! It’s interesting to me that Jesus detects the lack of faith of those on the scene. We hear a biting rebuke come out of His mouth, “You unbelieving generation”. However, we will see in the coming verses that faith is restored, so is the boy, and it doesn’t take much.
I have seen often that when Jesus is about to make a difference, Satan and his demons get downright upset and cause trouble! They roll up their sleeves and look for a stick to throw between the spokes. Their goal is derail our faith.
The key to faith is to recognize and accepting the outcome, continuing to fight the battle with truth, honesty, integrity, compassion, and love instead of bowing to untruth, losing your integrity, bitterness, anger or hate. With faith, we know that ultimately Jesus WILL win! You see, we can’t win the battle using Satan’s weapons. That’s the biggest lie we fall for is when Satan looks at us and says, “Hmmm, I see you are having some problems. Here are some weapons that will help you battle the problem.” Satan knows that if you use his weapons, you will continue to lose the battle. Don’t fall for that maneuver!
I have said before that I often see, that when someone is baptized (often, but not always), all hell breaks loose in their life……BUT……when they cling close to Jesus, everything subsides.
Indeed, when our church, LifePoint began this journey to becoming a more permanent part of our community in 2011, a tree hit our building. I remember being interview by a news crew outside the building and being asked by the newscaster how I felt about the turn of events. “Well, in all honesty, we must be doing something right”, I said. This caught the newscaster totally off guard and he looked at me quizzically and said something like, “Come again? Your building was just practically destroyed!”. I told him, “Sir we must be doing something right. There are forces that want to stop us. We aren’t worried.” You know, that tree turned into a blessing. Through that incident, as a church, we got into the strongest financial position we have ever been in and now are in the beginning stages of seeing that vision God gave our elders come to a reality!
Additionally, as we get closer on the journey of fulfilling this vision, the battle wages, but we choose the right weapons and fight with. Even today there have been many things happen that try to pull us away from the task at hand, things that try to take our eyes off Jesus, but we stand strong with our Savior!
Here is the ultimate key to understanding spiritual warfare: Satan can only throw a last gasp of a blow before Jesus brings relief and wholeness. Trust in Jesus, have faith in all things….indeed….have faith in the outcome.
Just like that tree that destroyed our building, dashing our dreams of fulfilling God’s vision, the truth is, God turned it around (I believe, because of our faith) for the good and it became a weapon against Satan. “Damn!” he says (please forgive me, for using that word, but Satan wouldn’t say darn), “Didn’t work! Got to get their eyes off Jesus! Foiled again!”
Trust in God’s wisdom, His words for us in Scripture. Trust in Jesus. Have faith, no matter what the outcome seems. You are indeed safe in Jesus’ care!
Take that Satan! Foiled again!