“Put on your mask first, then help the child”

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“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.”


Sounds familiar? 


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.