On April 15th, Paul Catungal wrote a blog entry titled First Love. In this post, Paul wrote… “There comes a time for a Christian when the fire in their heart just fades away and for the past week, that's my situation. All of a sudden the fire that I once felt vanished.”
On April 24th, Stephanie Cutrone wrote a blog entry titled “Thanks… and a bunch of jumbled throughts.” In this post, Stephanie wrote… “I've been asking God to rekindle the fire in my heart for Him; I feel like such a hypocrite, telling God I love Him and going to church while I'm holding resentments, sinning, thinking the wrong things- all the stuff I DON'T want to feel or do. I feel so far away from Jesus sometimes.”
In my last devotional post titled “Three Enemies of the Warrier and the Trap Ahead,” I shared where a friend of mine sent me an email where he wrote, “I was going through a trial period in my life where I just felt down.” He also spoke of the need to “rekindle” his vision for future.
It's amazing that out of last three Chrsitians that have shared the state of their heart recently, all three of them mention that they had been feeling down, weakened in their faith, and were praying for a rekindling of the fire.
Once again, I'm going to refer to the book “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge. In my last devotional post, I talked about the three enemies that we battle against, the Flesh, the World, and the Devil. In this quote below, John describes one of the tactics of the Devil in trying to thwart the communication between believers (our fellow soldiers here on the battlefield) and our commuincation with our commanding officer. Here's what he writes…
Before an effective military strike can be made, you must take out the opposing army's line of communication. The Evil One does this all the time–in ministries and especially between couples. Marriage is a stunning picture of what God offers his people. Scripture tells us it is a living metaphor, a walking parable, a Rembrandt painting of the gospel. The Enemy knows this, and he hates it with every ounce of his malicious heart. He has no intention of just letting that beautiful portrait be lived out before the world with such deep apeal that no one can resist God's offer. So just like in the Garden, Satan comes in to divide and conquer. Often I'll feel this sense of accusation when I'm with my wife. It's hard to describe and it usually isn't put into words, but I just receive the message that I'm blowing it. I finally brought this up with Stasi and tears came to her eyes. “You're kidding,” she said. “I've been feeling the very same thing. I thought you were disappointed with me.” Wait a minute, I thought. If I'm not sending this message and you're not sending this message…
Most of all the Enemy will try to jam communications with Headquarters. Commit yourself to prayer every morning for two weeks and just watch what'll happen. You won't want to get up, an important meeting will be called that interferes; you'll catch a cold, or if you do get to your prayers, your mind will wander to what you'll have for breakfast and how much you should pay for that water heater repair and what color socks would look best with your gray suit. Man, many times I've simply come under a cloak of confusion so thick I suddenly find myself wondering why I ever believed in Jesus in the first place. That sweet communion I normally enjoy with God is cut off, gone, vanished like the sun behind a cloud. If you don't know what's up you'll think you really have lost your faith or been abandoned by God or whatever spin the Enemy puts on it.
Oh Yes, Satan and his demons are REAL! They exist and are very much concerned about your daily life. The Apostle Peter wrote… “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Have you ever heard anyone quote the Bible as saying.. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”? If so, this is not the actual quote from the Bible. I would suggest that Satan would love us to memorize only this portion of the scripture because it is not the full promise of scripture. You can resist the devil at every turn but if that is all you do, he isn't going to go anywhere! He will constantly continue to push back at you until you are so weak that you cave in to his temptation.
So what does the Bible Say? Well the quote is from the Book of James, Chapter 4, verse 7. The actual verse says… “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Do you see the difference. Resistance alone is futile. You must first submit yourself to God. I wonder if I won't be writing more about this in the days ahead.
Until then, I would like to point out that Satan is attacking my communication with a fellow warrier. I've been attempting to contact my prayer partner for two weeks now and I have failed at every attempt. About two weeks ago, we talked for the first time in nearly a month! At that time, we got caught up with what was going on in our lives, we prayed together, and we vowed that we would spend less of our time talking about tech stuff and more time talking about prayer requests and spending time in prayer. Well that was two weeks ago! Since then, I'm aware of a HUGE issue that he's facing. Bigger than anything he's ever faced before in his life. Since then, I've added a third Ravenscraft child to my family and have huge thoughts going through my mind about ministry that I'd love to run by him. Huge events are going on in each of our lives and we can't even hook up for a sixty minute phone call to encourage each other through Christ once a week, let alone on a more regular basis.
To see just how big of a deal this actually is, you should read my blog entry about “Prayer Partnerships.” Robert Johnson has been my prayer partner for many years now. We generally talk for at least an hour once a week and have done so for probably five years now. This is impressive because he lives in Florida and I live in Kentucky. It never fails though, when the biggest issues we face are going on in our lives, Satan does whatever he can to “take out the opposing army's line of communication.” I mean we have each other's home, office, and cell phone numbers. We have each others email address. We have the ability to leave a comment on each other's blog, which I see he did on my last devotional post. But with all this “ABILITY” to communicate, it means nothing because Satan has us both so distracted with the “Daily Struggles of Life” that we fail to reach out and communicate!
Hey Robert! If you can hear me! Please give me a call brother!
For the rest of you, how is your communication with Headquarters? Are you getting clear directions from our commanding officer? And what about those on your battlefield with you. Are you fighting along side of the other officers (Christians) that God has placed in your life to help you battle for His cause? Or are you holding grudges, fighting for who's going to get the most authority to make decisions, etc?
Join me in making a commitment to better communication efforts with our God and with our fellow believers in Christ. Let's not forget that we ought to be fighting our real enemies and not each other! And also, we can't do what God wants us to accomplish in this mission on our own. There's a reason he's placed the Christians He has placed in your life. We need each other. Make a call today and pray with another Christian you know.
Think about that… As I mention picking up the telephone and making a call to any Christian you know just for the soul purpose of praying togehter for a few minutes, how does that make you feel? Can you submit yourself to God, resist the devil's tactics of destroying our lines of communication? I know you can! Who are you going to call?