Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spiritual Warfare

I'm a firm believer in Spiritual Warfare. I truly believe, with all my heart, that there is a spiritual battle going on all around us, in which angels and demons wage war against each other in a fight for our allegiance. This is a fairly new concept for me, as I have recently delved deeper into study about the subject. Brad and I began discussing the influence of Satan and his angels about a year ago when he started reading some of John Eldredge's books. Then, the idea started coming up more frequently in church Sermons. About that time, as I worked through my reading list, I got to Screwtape Letters, a fictional book by C.S. Lewis based around the premise of "one expereienced demon teaching a apprentice demon how to triumph over God," and it gave me an interesting perspective on the various techniques that might be employed by the Deceiver. Finally, our most recent Sunday morning Bible class was focused exclusively on Spiritual Warfare. I could tell that God wanted me to get the message. And I listened.

So, fast forward to this morning, and the battle that was waged right around my computer at work. I know, sounds silly, right? But hey, I already stated that I'm a firm believer in spiritual warfare, and, as I understand it, Satan and his followers will do anything and use any situation, even small and insignificant ones, to discourage us and distract us from our Joy and Purpose. He definitely does not want us to be passionate for our Savior in any way.

Well, it just so happens that I've been a little bit on fire about my faith lately. My Father has been working wonders in my heart the past few months. I have the greatest church family that has nourished my spirituality; I have the most incredible friends that have encouraged my relationship with my Lord. And I have been exposed to the insights of Ray Vander Laan ("RVL") and his ministry, That The World May Know, first through friends and then (coincidentally?) through a video series in our current Wednesday night Bible study. I'm pretty pumped about all of the things I'm learning and the different ways in which my faith is growing. Needless to say, I'm anxious to share it with people.

I came to work today excited to introduce Bryan (a fellow Christian with whom I frequently share my faith) to RVL for the first time and specifically discuss the lesson from last night's Bible study. When he passed by my desk as the day began, I mentioned it to him briefly and told him that I couldn't wait to really talk about it later. He was genuinely interested and excited.

I should have known. Not only does the devil want to squelch my enthusiasm, but he also would go to great lengths to keep whatever zeal I had to myself and not share it with anybody else. So, he started out slowly - my email didn't work. Eh, not a big deal. I was a little frustrated, but you can go on with your day even if your email is on the fritz. Just give it time, and it'll work itself out. I didn't think a thing about it. 1st attempt: failed.

It's Busy Season here at the accounting firm (April 15 is coming quickly, people!) and it's kind of like a mad house around here. Even though it was the start of the day, the phone wouldn't stop and clients were filing in one after another. I nearly grew overwhelmed, but the memory of this beautiful weather that I had just enjoyed on my commute in (and my exceptionally short commute, thanks to spring break traffic) was too close at hand. And besides, having a busy job is something to be grateful for, especially in this economy. I still felt Joy. So, that tactic didn't phase me one bit. 2nd attempt: failed.

Here comes the doosey. As I was placing one call on hold to answer another line, my keyboard stand broke. It just broke. It was no longer peacefully hovering under my desk, but was rather dangling vertically as my keyboard slammed onto my lap, and then my feet, before finally landing on the floor. "Whoa! What just happened! That was random..." Hmm. No big deal. Bryan, our resident handy man can fix anything. After I handled the clients on the phone, I buzzed Bryan and let him know about the commotion that had just occurred up front, and he came right up to check it out. Wow, what a great opportunity to talk further about last night's lesson, while he looks at the mangled mess under my desk. 3rd attempt: totally backfired.

Looks like it's broken beyond repair and we'll have to install a new one. As a result, my keyboard is rudely hogging all of my desk space as we speak. That's that. Moving on. It's only 9:10 AM, and time to go forward with the day. After a great discussion with Bryan, I tried to get back on track with my tasks at hand. Wait-a-minute... my mouse is dead. Just dead. As a doornail. Urgh. Time to call Bryan, our IT guy. He can fix anything. 4th attempt: dumb devil, you should just give up and leave us alone.

Apparently, my batteries just died. Easy fix. He gave me some fresh-out-of-the-package AA's and I popped 'em in ready to get to work. Huh, that's weird. Why is it still not working?? The fresh set should have fixed the problem. By this time, I'm getting on to Satan's scheme. A light bulb goes off, and I become fully aware of the situation at hand. I'm not only in a great mood, but on fire for my Lord. And I'm trying to share some sparks with a fellow believer. Of course the Enemy would want to distract and discourage me! I say a little prayer. "Lord, I know that there is more going on here than meets my eye. I'm aware that it's just silly computer problems, but I believe that Satan or, at least, one of his followers is trying to rob me of my joy and steal the opportunity to share my zeal. Cast him away from this place."

Well, up comes Bryan again to wiggle some cords, jiggle some hooks and rearrange my mouse sensor. Huh, that's all it took to make it work like a charm? Very interesting... We both laugh as we acknowledge the triumph that has just taken place in a realm we cannot see, and we happily arrange for me to bring him a copy of the video series from our church library. We're anxious to further discuss our growth in our faith, and we are grateful for the blessing of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

I can't help but find it interesting how God defeated each of the devil's plans. God wanted me to have that conversation with Bryan. Clearly, Satan didn't. I feel a great sense of "neener, neener, neener" when I understand that every attempt the devil made to take me away from the situation, the Lord used it to bring Bryan back up to my desk! I have a big God, and He can do all things, and His Will will prevail. No attempt from the Evil One can defeat Him. Isn't it nice to know that we're on the Winning Team? Now, it's 9:45. What else is the devil going to try to pull on me today?...


Chara said...

I have a horrible habit of not noticing things like that until the day is over and I'm reflecting, or way after the fact, when truly there is nothing I could do to fix or change things. I'm impressed with your focus and I think that I might need to practice a little more of it myself.


Pam Hays said...

This is irrelevant to your post, which I think is awesome BTW, but how do you find so much time to blog at work?

Anonymous said...

You are simply wonderful! love you!

oh...and of course...Our God is AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

The devil put this bucket of chocolate on my desk and keeps making me eat it!

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