“If there is a sudden change in cabin pressure, a mask compartment above your head will open automatically. If this happens, quickly reach for the nearest mask and pull it firmly to you; this will start the flow of oxygen. Please ensure the plastic bag is clear of the mask and attach the mask firmly to your face. Breathe normally. If you are traveling with a lap child, put on your own mask first, then help the child.”
This is the recorded announcement on every American Eagle flight. The idea is that if you have your mask on correctly, you are better able to help someone else do so as well.
We definitely need something to help us breathe deeper when we find ourselves in a pocket of spiritual turbulence. As I interview overseas workers regarding spiritual warfare, their reoccurring theme is the sinister way in which they find the evil one attacking their children. Usually in the form of night terrors and bad dreams, the evil one has a habit of preying on the youngest and weakest.
Listen to the testimonies of a couple of workers in dark places:
“During the thick of a time of spiritual warfare, our daughter, age 4, woke in the night to a voice. She came running to my bedside and repeated it, imitating the gravelly voice saying “I’m going to kill you.” The evil one doesn’t care how young or innocent children are…he is out to destroy.” – Susan L.
“In our life overseas, spiritual attacks centered on me and the kids. The devil knew that (my husband) this would distract and discourage him, by hurting those he loved.” – Carrie Vipperman
As I struggle with the reality of spiritual warfare, I’ve come to realize that fitting our children with truth isn’t only by teaching them Biblical principles. No, we are to also be daily fitting them with the belt of truth in prayer after we have buckled on our own – kinda like the suggested method for our oxygen masks.
Although most people have never actually used the dangling orange masks, our belts of truth must daily be donned. We must “be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He is trying to crash the plane at every turn.
So, are we and our children defenseless?
Absolutely not! Simple resistance and belief in our Commander in Chief is all that is needed (1 Peter 5:9; 1 John 5:4). Truth and trust blast the evil one from his purpose like lightening ejects electricity to the ground (Luke 10:18).
How do we resist, you ask? By praying on the full armor of God and standing firm in His provision (Ephesians 6:13). Firm standing not only includes absorbing portions of His Word daily, but also asking for His pure Truth into your inner man (Ephesians 6:14).
Ask the Father to give you a reminder daily to add this practice to your spiritual discipline. And as you adjust the little elastic bands and begin to breathe normally, turn in prayer to fit Truth into the lives of your children, grandchildren, and loved ones as well.
It’s officially spring now and all around me are signs of new life.
The crocuses and daffodils planted by previous owner have bloomed and the tulips that Mark and I planted last fall are peeking through. I’m encouraged knowing that warmer weather is on its way.
But, it’s not always this way. Some people are surprised that we get snow here in Texas. Just last winter, we had several inches that blanketed our backyard.
And this year, we’ve had some record lows and bitter winds even a few weeks ago. But despite the winter weather, we always knew that summer would come. It always has and always will.
Think how silly it would have been, had I feared that winter would last forever. Imagine me sitting beside my window, cowering from the cold, complaining about the snow, and crying about the ice. What if I had allowed a “forever winter lie” to so control my thoughts that I neglected to water the bulbs in the ground or pot the seeds in the shed?
Of course, whether or not I believe that spring is coming, it will come. Yet, readying our yard for its arrival makes it all the more enjoyable once it does arrive, don’t you agree?
Right now, we are in a season of life in which the devil’s winter seems all around us. Some days, the news causes us to despair rather than hope for the future.
We read Ephesians 6:12 about the rulers, powers, world forces and spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places and want to just turn tail and cover our heads. Invisible somehow translates to invincible and we doubt we have the strength to overcome.
Indeed, Paul’s reference to our dark foes testify to a spiritual reality which we don’t readily understand. Their influence extends past geographical localities and they are very busy “hovering about us, trying to obscure and pervert the truth (by dazzling) our eyes with the glory of earth, (and entangling) us in subtle temptations” (H.M. Spence). If that were the whole story, life would be quite unbearable.
But spiritual spring is inevitable. All of these invisible creepy-crawlies have already been dominated by Life (Colossians 1:16-17). And Life is on our side.
Just as the sun melts the snow and ice to become moisture for the coming spring, Christ has already melted the death and destruction of those rulers and authorities to be your victory (Colossians 2:15). It is a done deal.
The first step of spiritual victory is a faith that believes that He is indeed stronger than our foes (1 John 5:4). His strength and His armor is more powerful than the powers of darkness, even in your present moment. Becoming pliable in God’s Hand melts away satan’s grip (1 Corinthians 15:24).
Sure, satan is on the prowl for someone to dig his teeth into (1 Peter 5:8). He stands in the heavenlies just looking for a way to accuse God’s people (Zechariah 3:1). But it doesn’t have to be you!
Submission to the Lord is more powerful than the sun coming out to melt the snow. Becoming pliable in God’s Hand melts away satan’s grip (Luke 10:18).
And that’s a scene, I want Christ to experience day after day in my life. Let’s believe together, shall we?