I have been especially reminded this week that the enemy does not want us to be fruitful and effective. Yes, I know I talked about spiritual warfare in my last post, but last month’s attacks were overt and this week, I am seeing more subtle but devastating work. God is able to triumph, but we ourselves often give the enemy a foothold. In our English Bible study (which is such a refreshment even though I love the Spanish Bible study and church service I go to), we have been reading the two letters by Peter. We are in the middle of the second one now and it is rather ominous. It gives warnings about false teachers and the destruction for which they are headed. The enemy can attack from the outside, but he also works from the inside, looking for the seeds of pride, greed, and lust to turn an effective servant into a self-serving, power hungry leader.
This past week, I found myself crying quite a bit about things not even related to leaving Mexico (things related to leaving Mexico have also been making me cry). I have cried for a family I love and am worried about. I have cried for my university and spent a lot time thinking about its situation. I have a regular habit of prayer, but even with that, I realized I had neglected to pray for my alma mater like I had intended to when I graduated. I wrote in my prayer journal… “Continue to use CIU as a powerful place for training those serious about making disciples of the nations. Please bless them financially, guide their decision-making, and help the entire bodies of students, faculty, and staff keep their eyes on you and your work.” I have prayed this often, but not with much urgency. I felt like my university was on track and I think that affected how I prayed. I think I viewed it as maintenance prayer, just keeping up the good momentum that was already going. I only graduated three years ago anyway. How much could go wrong? That was a mistake. The people and churches and organizations that are the most effective have the strongest attacks launched against them.
All that is human is fallible. All that is human is broken. Confidence cannot be put in friends, pastors, local churches, missions agencies, Christian schools, or godly marriages. By that, I am not saying not to trust them. I am saying that they are not our source of life. 2 Peter uses the analogy of waterless springs. What is more useless than a waterless spring? Christ is our source and we cannot live without Him, even though sometimes we might be deceived into thinking it is His blessing or other believers sustaining us, rather than Himself. The bride of Christ (The Church) perseveres by His Spirit, not by human will or past legacy. The most faithful would fall, but for his grace.
So, this week, I can say I was a little shaken and very saddened. However, it has been a reminder to turn to the Lord in prayer because I’m relying on Him after all, and not anything else.
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