Photo by weeklyrob
I remember growing up as a new Christian in high school and some of my spiritual leaders would tell me the catch-22 that Christians face, especially when it comes to spiritual warfare. The catch-22 goes like this – “If you are growing spiritually, Satan will come against you to hinder you from growing, but in order to fight off the attacks, you have to grow stronger. But if you grow stronger, Satan will attack you more.”
Sometimes in my rebellion, I would think to myself, “Maybe the best way to have Satan leave us alone is to simply not grow spiritually.” But then, something about that logic did not sit well with me.
In the laws of spiritual warfare, it makes sense to think that anything that would glorify God or advance His Kingdom, Satan will do everything and anything to resist it.
In the last 3.5 months that we have been here in Indonesia, the transition has been fairly smooth. Even though I was aware of the spiritual warfare in Indonesia before I got here, the reality of it didn’t hit me until recently.
On Sunday night, after an exhausting weekend, I went to sleep. Then, in my dream I was in a confrontation with some people. There were many people surrounding me and then one of them pulled out a knife. He swung it in my direction towards my face. It wasn’t until I felt blood dripping down my neck that I realized that I have been struck. Then I woke up gasping for my breath. After a few seconds, the call to prayer for Muslims started. The apparent “coincidence” was unnerving.
As I laid there on the bed with my eyes wide opened at about 4:15AM, I started to pray and then drifted back to sleep.
In the morning, I told Christina what happened and then I made some observations:
2) We must be aware of the spiritual forces around us. The Apostle Paul tells us, “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” (Eph 6:12). There must be things going on in the spiritual realm when there are millions of Muslims all praying at the same time. We cannot take this lightly. In the Message Bible it translates Ephesians 6:12 as, “This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.”
3) The more we engage in God’s purpose, the more we will face opposition. Ever since we got to Indonesia, our mission and vision have been clear. As we reach out to our target group (expats, Indonesians who studied abroad, and Indonesians who speak English), our greater vision is to reach out to Indonesians who do not speak English, who lived in remote islands and who have never heard of Jesus Christ. The best candidates to bring the Gospel to these people will be the Indonesians who are in our church. This past Sunday, as I was preaching on the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 7), I challenged our members to be convicted and committed to the Gospel in order to bring the message of Christ to all the remote places in Indonesia. The more we get serious about world evangelization, we have to be ready and expect Satan to attack.
4) Prayer must be a priority. Since this battle is not “against flesh and blood,” we have to fight it on our knees. Great things happen when God’s people pray. Prayer gives us the coverage and the protection that we need in order to engage in the battle every single day.
Please continue to pray for us, as well as for the ministry here. As God is working powerfully here in Indonesia, we know that Satan is working as well. But we are encouraged by the words of the Apostle John in 1 John 4:4, “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”