WINNING THE BATTLE
I stood in my front yard surveying the damage. There was no denying it: We had been attacked.
As is usually the case with attacks, I simply didn’t see it coming. But while we were sleeping, a group of pranksters targeted our home and showered it in toilet paper. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of a prank war that would leave me tired, without a tooth brush and forever checking my food for fake cockroaches. Though I lost this particular battle I did learn a few lessons along the way.
First and foremost, while my story is about a prank war between friends, we all have an enemy that has waged war on our soul. Here’s the truth: He has come to kill, steal and destroy, not to play friendly pranks. His methods are not innocent nor are his attacks harmless. Like my friends that came in the darkness of night to toilet paper our house, our enemy also comes when we least expect it. I recently heard Pastor Zane Anderson say that it is important to always be in awe of Jesus but also to be aware of the enemy. If we hope to win this spiritual battle, we must be prepared at all times, and learn to recognize the enemy’s attempt to discourage, distract and destroy us.
My friends’ pranks were relentless. I found that I was so focused on all the real life tasks I had to accomplish that I didn’t have time or energy to engage in their little war. Therefore, as the hits kept coming, I was unable to fight back. In much the same way the enemy’s attacks are strategically relentless. He knows how to distract us from Jesus, make us question our call and forget our mission to reach the lost. When we are weary from life, we are also too tired to engage in battle. And it’s in this very weariness that it’s easy to forget we have a God that is willing to fight for us.
When we fight spiritual attacks out of our own strength and knowledge, we are playing right into Satan’s hand. He would love nothing more than for us to fight back on our own, to respond out of our ever-changing emotions and to react in a way that inevitably causes more damage than good. I don’t want the enemy to gain ANY ground or cause any more damage to this world or the body of Christ, so I am determined to keep my eyes on Jesus. When we do this, we enlist the help of God, who is far stronger and able to fight much more effectively than we ever could – He has already won the war, on the cross.
At the end of this little prank war I had the opportunity to call out these pranksters and expose their schemes. I didn’t. Instead I chose to bless them. Granted it was only with an Amazon gift card (that they will most likely use for more supplies to prank me), but I blessed them nonetheless. God is glorified every time we repay evil with good.
If we want to win the spiritual battles that constantly wreak havoc in our lives, our families and our churches we must choose to respond in love. Jesus displayed the ultimate act of love when he died on the cross for our sins – and focusing on that truth is the key to winning each and every battle.