Spiritual Warfare; May 19, 2020

Revelation 20:9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.

When I first read through today’s passage I wondered how it had been included in the readings on Love, and then I looked back and saw this verse. What I realized at that point was that God loving us doesn’t mean we won’t get into tight spots, it just means that the outcome will be good. We tend to get into a panic when things don’t look good, but that’s because we aren’t looking at the right things. God always looks good! 2000 years of Church history tell us that believers can be martyred, sometimes in horrible ways, but their eternal outcome is glorious. When that is the case, why do we get uptight about what are essentially minor irritations? This isn’t at all to say that we are to seek suffering or that we are to ignore injustice. Far from it. We are to be agents of God’s kingdom here on earth, and He is always righteous and just. However, even in the middle of that battle we are to be at peace, knowing that the final outcome will be excellent indeed. Right now on many fronts there are pitched battles, some physical, some political, and all spiritual. We aren’t to draw back from any fight into which the Lord sends us, but we aren’t to be anxious about anything. Right now a lot of the dirty tricks of the enemy are being exposed and we are to rejoice, but at the same time not be vindictive or self-righteous. We are to pray for one another, even when our own battle seems to be demanding all our attention. I am reminded of the saying, and the little ditty that was made from it, around 50 years ago: “I read the back of the Book, and we win.” That is the ultimate message of Revelation, and especially now, when we seem to be in the middle of it, we need to remember that.

I was in the US Army in 1970-72, and I have been aware of spiritual warfare ever since not long after that. I was in spiritual warfare before that, but I didn’t recognize it! The intensity has varied, as it does for everyone, and outcomes haven’t always been as I would have liked. I am reminded of when Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be opened, so that he could see the heavenly forces arrayed to protect him. (2 Kings 6:17) I am not to be distracted by my immediate circumstances, but neither am I to ignore them. Rather, I am to proclaim God’s victory over them, and trust Him for how that is going to work out. It is entirely possible that the forces of evil will think they have won, at times, but I know what the final outcome is. I am not to be lax and let the enemy blindside me, but even when that seems to happen I am to remember that in Christ I am more than a conqueror. (Romans 8:37)

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for yesterday and all it held. Thank You for all that You are doing around the world. These are exciting times, and they can be intense. Help me remember to rest, relax, and rejoice, just as You have told me, to that You may be glorified as Your will is done, even in and through me. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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