Friday, March 15, 2019 -
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 NASB).
Of course, I know this to be true, but often I tend to overlook the specific challenges and trials to be the devil’s doing. This week, my wife had to remind me that she believes the physical ailments she has been experiencing are attacks from Satan. It was a sullen reminder that even though I’d been diligently praying for her healing, and for the Father to remove her pain, I had not been praying against the obvious attacks of Satan.
And so my prayers changed, specifically targeting the “darkness and wickedness in heavenly places” which were attacking my wife – especially while I could not be with her in person. You see, her condition had gotten much worse since her visit with me on Sunday. But Tuesday night Kathie said something to me on the phone that caused me to have to repent of how I’ve been praying for her. And by Thursday, after not much more than 24 hours of diligent prayer binding the power of Satan over Kathie, she was better! Yet I know I must continue to pray in such a manner as we are in an ongoing war!
For that matter, I know that my entire situation can and should be blamed on the devil trying to take me completely out of the picture for what God was using my life for. Satan has used Janet Jenkins, the prosecutor, and even the judge! And yes, what is meant for evil God can use for good, and will! However, even in these attacks of the devil that have landed me unjustly in prison and cost enormous sums of money which could have been used to further God’s kingdom, I have not been adequately battling in my prayers in a way that recognizes this as a spiritual battle. I must learn to be more forceful in taking up the full armor of God – including constant and persistent prayer and petition, in order to defeat these vile, evil forces. Yes, I have been praying, but Ephesians 5:18 says, “With all prayer and petition pray at all-time in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” In other words, we must never forget in our prayer who our enemy is. But we must pray in the Spirit for our prayers to be effective – constantly and diligently!
I know many have been praying against Satan in this regard for Kathie and me. Yet have I been diligent and constant in prayer coming against what has happened in light of it being a spiritual attack? Probably not, and for that, I repent.
I know that the spiritual realm is real. When Josiah was six months old, he was suffering from colic, and Kathie’s mom was not far from death in her hospital room. Josiah would cry and cry, but anytime we took him in to see his granny, he would calm down and coo and smile. It was amazing! She eventually told us why he was calm in her arms and would be looking around at the ceiling, saying, “Well, can’t you see them? He sees the angels all around.”
In another instance, my company was being drawn into a business contract with one of the big three credit agencies. There was a huge financial opportunity outside of our usual Christian clientele, but Kathie especially felt apprehensive about being “unequally yoked” with unbelievers. She was praying fervently for me when I was in my meeting in a hotel lobby in Washington, D.C. Kathie was not in the meeting, but when she looked at me, sitting between the two men, she later told me that there were two angels, one standing on each side of me, with their swords drawn. I consequently turned the deal down before she could ever tell me what she saw!
Then, just last evening, “C” was in my cell, and somehow we got on the subject of hell. He told me his former life of drug addiction was literal hell. He went on to tell me how even on two separate occasions he visibly saw the demons surrounding him and his children. That’s chilling! But “C’s” life now is a real miracle of God, because he has such a passion for God’s Word and being a living, walking testimony for Him!
And so this week I am reminded in a very sober way who our real enemy is, and what I must do to conquer him. I encourage you, read Ephesians 6!
I wasn’t intending to write anymore today, but I just received a letter that seemed to fit perfectly with the subject above, It is from a woman who has been writing me very encouraging letters from Tennessee I have never met. She says, “I pray you will find encouragement in this Scripture. I’m studying Revelation again, and I’m always fascinated by the words that seem all new to me.
“And there was a war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought his angels. And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him.
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they have loved not their lives unto death. Therefore, rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having a great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time’
“As Christ-followers, we will not be here to see what’s happening in this war but will be rejoicing that Satan and his evil will be over and none suffer anymore at his accusations.
“Philip, you know too well how evil Satan’s accusations can cause suffering. God calls us to stand strong in His truth and we will mount up on eagle’s wings (Isaiah 40:31).”
After reading this, I received an email from Kathie, who told me once again she was attacked this afternoon with weakness. I must go back into battle immediately, I responded. Please join me in this battle. Thank you so much, once again!