So out of sheer boredom lastnight (and being trapped in the livingroom for a few moments) I picked up "This Present Darkness" by Frank Peretti. Its been on my shelf for some time. Always with intentions of getting read but unfortunately, I only have time to read at night. My mom read the series years ago & thought it was great and encouraged me to read it... in the day time. heheh Because, I have always posessed a vivid imagination that carries thru into my dreams. For this reason, I do not watch scary or suspenseful shows at night... or read scarey or suspenseful BOOKS at night. Because inevitably, they make their way into my dreams.
However, I feel like I'm ready to read this book. It took me several tries to 'get into it'. I like a book that can hook me in the first few paragraphs... this one failed to do so. (What can I say, I read the Twilight series like every other tween and stay-at-home mom... they were gripping! LOL)
But somewhere around page 45 it finally got my interest... when the warriors of heaven were introduced!! Amazing! So I read on. And in just a few short pages I am overwhelmed with the reminder of how much prayer can intercede for us. And how little of this type of praying I've ever done in my life... especially for anyone else.
I think many Christians don't spend much time thinking about the spiritual battle that is warring on every side of them 24-7. The world likes the airy-fairy thoughts of guardian angels, some nicey-nice creature that prevented them from slipping on the ice, or getting hit by a rogue driver. Sure... I buy that. I think they are there doing that for us as well. But that's definitely the easiest part of their jobs. And I'm pretty sure the images of chubby cherubs or whispy fairies with wings makes these mammoth warriors roll their eyes & draw their swords. No, I don't think our guardian angels are meek & mild, but fierce, powerful and strong.
However... should we just be content knowing that they are there, fighting the battles while we carry on our lives, unimpressed by their presence? Again I wonder, what is our roll in this battle that surrounds us daily? How do we fight the battle we can't see with our eyes? How do we survive spiritual warfare when we hardly take the time to acknowledge that it exists?
We all read about the "Armour of God" in Sunday School like its some childish costume to be adorned. I picture a shield with the word "faith" etched into the steel ... but I don't consider a way to strengthen my faith. And the sword of the spirit? How can I wield the weapon with any usefulness if I can't pull my strength from the Spirit of God... and so on with each part of armour.
I might as well be going to battle naked & unarmed because that is how little I know of fighting a spiritual battle.
Ahh, but the most important piece of armour that I can wield at any time and again is prayer. The piece that I most often forget. It can be a whisper for a protection from an evil presence... or a shout, commanding them to flee before Jesus' name.
Lately, my prayers have been "all about me", asking a lot of questions, mostly 'why' and 'when'. Wondering, hoping, straining to listen for the replies. Forgetting the battle around me, around us all, forgetting anyone else, the rest of us, the rest of you, intercession, or praise. Forgetting that I'm called to be a warrior as well, not just standing on the side, high-fiving my 'guardian' for fighting my battle and assuming he will always win it for me.
I underlined one line in the book tonight and that is when I paused my reading to come here. When the 'praying pastor' is being encouraged to give up because he might not survive what could come next and he says this: "maybe I won't come out alive. But God didn't tell me I'd come out alive; he just told me to stay and fight."
Stay and fight, friends!