Ephesians 6:10- 20
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
While I am aware that we are in a spiritual battle, I used to think that the battle is only about our sinful nature. Then in January 2019, I read this article that says:
When God Moves, Satan Responds
The consistent pattern throughout the Bible is that every significant move of God is preceded by a season of increasingly difficult, discouraging opposition. And if we take Ephesians 6, Daniel 10, and other warfare texts seriously, we can understand why: God is invading what Satan considers his territory. God’s kingdom is breaking through the lines of the domain of darkness (Colossians 1:13).
If we are not encountering opposition, it’s likely we are not attacking a strategic location. But if we are, we are on to something. Where the enemy is fortifying his forces is where we must focus our assault.
And where the enemy is fortified, there is going to be a fierce fight if we are going to achieve a breakthrough. We are going to receive volleys of flaming darts (Ephesians 6:16). We are going to be attacked on the rear. There will be spies in the camp. There will be jeering and intimidation and accusations. There will be efforts to destroy our morale and determination.
A Call for Breakthrough Determination
So this is a call for holy determination. Keep praying and don’t lose heart (Luke 18:1). Just like in any large-scale war, there are many battles. Some breakthroughs are achieved relatively quickly; others require long, persevering endurance. But either way, breakthroughs require a determination to keep up the assault.
Usually breakthroughs are not achieved by prayer alone — there are works to be done and courage to be exercised. But real spiritual breakthroughs are not achieved at all without prayer. Concentrated, specific, persistent, prevailing prayer, often engaged in by two or more (Matthew 18:19), is needed to weaken our spiritual opposition. And fasting is a wonderful help. “Fasting tests where the heart is. And when it reveals that the heart is with God and not the world, a mighty blow is struck against Satan” (A Hunger for God).
So if you’re praying for a breakthrough and not seeing it, and in fact experiencing more temptations to discouragement, frustration, weariness, doubt, and cynicism than before, do not give up. Increasingly intense fighting always precedes strategic breakthroughs. Strategic ground is not yielded easily. You’re up against more than you know. But “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). He has overcome the world (John 16:33) and he will give you justice (Luke 18:8).
Don’t lose heart. Grow determined. There’s a breakthrough ahead.
It was because of this article and a prayer that the Lord placed in my mouth that made me understand everything I have been going through since 2017 is because of the war I am waging — proclaiming the Gospel.
The Lord is doing something great; there’s an incredible story I had only been sharing with my family and friends but the Lord wants me to share it to the whole world through different media platforms. And He promised an abundant harvest. This promise is actually more unimaginable for me than the story I’m about to share. And it is the only goal I’m looking at, it’s what fuels me in everything I’m doing now — God’s promise of an abundant harvest.
The war is fierce; everything came unexpectedly for me and once it’s revealed it may shock everyone. Although it’s nothing compared to what the apostles and the first-century church experienced or even what Christ went through. Every day the Lord upholds and encourages me. Yesterday He told me what Paul and other apostles went through to encourage me from their example, a lot of believers experienced greater sufferings than I have, and to teach me how to respond, which I find more difficult than persevering:
We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. (1 Corinthians 4:10-13)
I also read a post on Facebook about last Sunday’s sermon where our senior pastor was tagged: Don’t Shut Up! (pertaining to the proclamation of the Gospel). I decided to attend the Tagalog service with my mom hoping she’d no longer sleep during the sermon and I barely got anything. 😭 But this short encouragement from the English service filled me. 😁 And I’m excited to watch it online. It’s exactly what I need in moments when professing Christians are hounding me to stop what I’m doing without realizing it meant stop sharing the Gospel! It’s obvious where that came from.
It’s only now that I realized I am in the frontline of the battle. Flaming arrows are coming from every direction and they are either distracting or slowing me down from the task. I’m not used to sharing my spiritual journey in public because I consider it an intimate portion of my life, neither do I share prayer requests with strangers and I rarely share my deepest prayers with anyone. But now realizing I am in the frontline made me understand I badly and urgently need someone to constantly pray for me, not just me praying for this alone. Sharing this is even difficult for fear that it may offend but God is continually training and teaching me to speak boldly, and reminding me that my allegiance is to Him alone.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Thank you. I greatly appreciate your prayers. God Bless!
This is just a quick note and isn’t part of my weekly blog, I hope to publish this week’s post tomorrow.