And it (the demon) has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him.
Kenneth Boa, the author of “Conformed to His Image” has observed it is not a question of whether or not a Christian is engaged in spiritual warfare, but rather how well that Christian is fighting the battle.
Kim and I prayed with poor Cinderella to receive His protection and complete joy, that God would dry every tear she wept this morning. Keep her from the blue coral reef she spoke about, Lord, perhaps figuratively; may she never be lost in the Devil’s Triangle!
Long ago, I was also nearly cast into water by hellish forces. At a particularly bad time in my life, I found myself alone in a boat on Raystown Lake, early in the morning. I knew there was an abandoned town at the bottom of the lake, submerged when the lake was created in 1973.
The evil thought beset me that I could just slip out of the boat, let the water drag me down, become a permanent resident of that ghostly, underwater town, drown the intolerable hurt forever.
But I remembered there were others out on a boat, also overwhelmed by a sudden storm threatening to capsize them. Jesus was sleeping peacefully in the back of their boat.
I felt a great calm descending on me then because I remembered Jesus was also in my boat. “Peace! Be still.” The wind and waves still know His name.
I wonder if many of the people we meet on the street have fallen victim to spiritual warfare, overcome by the unholy powers of the flesh, the world and the devil because they didn’t know how to fight back, didn’t even know they were in a battle for their lives.
Marcos said that on some days it comes back to him even now, from when he was a ranger in Afghanistan. He can’t stand firecrackers to this day, having come under enemy fire.
“Cowards!” Marcos said of the Taliban. “They hide behind their women and children!” He offered to fight any Taliban present hand-to-hand right there and then on State Street! I can’t imagine what it meant for Marcos in a firefight, having women and children in the middle, an aftermath so brutal. He shared with me the merest glimpse of his suffering.
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
2 Timothy 2:3
Kenneth Boa has said the flesh, our own capacity for sin, is the “port of entry” for the world and the devil. Once the main gate is down, the enemy quickly overcomes the undefended fortress of our soul.
The fruits of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22 have unholy, rotten, worldly opposites:
Love / Hatred
Joy / Misery
Peace / Enmity
Patience / Intolerance
Kindness / Cruelty
Goodness / Impurity
Faithfulness / Treachery
Gentleness / Callousness
Self-control / Self-indulgence
You might see all of these sins on the street, but first, we must cull the “bad fruit” from ourselves, before they ripen unto death. Heavenly Father, deliver us from all evil and give us your Spirit to nurture and bring forth the good fruit of which Christ Jesus has sown the seeds!
…Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit…
Philip, a tall young man, came to the table this morning. Kim sees Philip struggling with the Enemy. He wants to find a job, but he also fights with the temptation to use drugs. He took a good bit of our literature and certainly knows God's word. But Satan is trying to take hold of believers because he knows they do not belong to him and he uses our weaknesses to worm his way back into our lives. Pray for Phillip and all believers for strength against the wiles of the flesh, the world and the devil.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
(1 Corinthians 10:13)
May Philip and all believers find the way of escape God has prepared for us, when we are tempted by sin. But the Father has not left his children incapacitated, helpless in the face of the world and the devil:
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
(2 Corinthians 10:4)
We need to be fully equipped with the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) to defend our friends on the street from the “rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers of darkness, the spiritual forces of evil” confronting believers on the streets of Harrisburg.
Will the real Mr. Ford please stand up?
A correction. This is the real Mr. Ford.
I confused him with Keith last week.
They both wear a lot of Steeler garb. Mr. Ford is the one with new shoes now. May he follow forever in the footsteps of our Lord!
And that is the Word on the Street!
For more information, or to learn how to join us in reaching people for Jesus, please email Living Water’s Director of Outreach, Mike Bongo, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will get you plugged in! You will be blessed as you become a blessing to others!