On our schedule for this week it simply says “What is spiritual warfare?”
It seems that leading up to this week every team was experiencing some kind of spiritual warfare. But I was determined to be an encouragement.
This particular week, I was in charge of everything during out team time. I was responsible for providing a snack, a fun fact about Japan, an icebreaker for our team, and a devotion. I was looking forward to the devotion I would get to share.
Currently, I am studying my Bible by listening to Pastor David Hocking on the radio. It is so insightful and helpful, but because of this form of study I was wondering if I would have difficulty finding something I could share with my team. But having a pastor guiding me has helped my desire to know God’s Word grow, and my understanding of it has increased as well. So God graciously led me through my preparation by taking me through Ephesians 4:1-16.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first[c] descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
I felt compelled to share about everything I read. Each verse made me think of something else, but in the end it was just a reminder that we are all members of the same body and it is important to stick by each other and encourage each other. This is especially important when we go through times of spiritual warfare, when the enemy is coming at us with all of His might and force and it causes us to lose faith. We need to remember the love of Christ and give it to each other.
After I shared my devotion, we had team time like I had never experienced before. We played worship music, and shared favorite Bible verses, and offered up prayers of thanks and supplications.
Our leader shared with us the ACTS prayers, where you offer up Adoration for God, Confession to God, Thankfulness for all He does, and Supplications. It was just an awesome time.
It was in these moments when God was showing me that I need to be even closer to my teammates. In Japan, we are only going to be able to rely on God and each other. Our families will not be with us and contact with them will be limited. It scared me a little bit because I know when I am away from my family for a long time and surrounded by people who do not know me the way my family does, I can get overwhelmed. When I am overwhelmed, I do not enjoy being around people or talking. That will be a problem because I am going to Japan to converse and share the Gospel. It just reenforced the theme of the evening: Spiritual warfare is real, and we need to rely on prayer and the Word of God to get us through. When the enemy senses our weaknesses, that is when he will hit hard. And that is when our faith in God needs to be confident and resolute.
I came away from this week of training with a resolve in my heart to find more ways to prepared and to increase in faith every day. He will equip the called!