He’s still prowling around
Well, what a month it has been! It has been my privilege to minister to officers, lay leaders and soldiers in two divisions in New Zealand and Australia. Beryl and I had been looking forward to the trip and planning it for many months always sensitive to the probability that Satan would once again get involved.
We have been aware for many years that he (Satan) is not happy with the kind of ministry we are involved in since it is in direct opposition to his desires. In fact, way back at the beginning of MISSION2000, he started attacking Bill Hunter and myself. I guess a goal of trying to double the strength of USA West was just too much for him to stand idly by.
We noticed how he consistently tried to take us out of “the game” at strategic points, attacking our health, our families and stealing our time. In fact after logging 15 or so such episodes we stopped keeping count assured that if we kept “the heat” on he would not fail to respond.
Recently, after many years of battling physical ill health, my dearest friend and companion in the war was promoted to glory. He fought hard and knew the nature of the real enemy. He has his crown.
So it was that, with much prayer support we (Beryl and I) planned to fulfill this recent campaign.
The enemy hit Beryl first, just five weeks before the trip, with an urgent need for heart bypass surgery that literally killed her on the operating table. Thanks to prayer, CPR and the skill of God-guided surgeons, she was brought back to life and is recovering well. Preparation time for the trip was, however, severely impacted and–once I knew Beryl was recovering well in the care of our son and daughter and Beryl’s stepmom–I pressed on trying to get ready for many hours of teaching.
I finally got away feeling handicapped by lack of preparation time, but confident due to Satan’s activity that God wanted this visit to take place.
On arrival at Auckland, NZ, I could hardly pull my computer bag for angina and chest tightness. Not sure it was other than fatigue, I pressed on with the trip, resting as much as possible, praying frequently but having the tightness every day. Return to LAX found me in the condition I had left–unable to pull a small bag on wheels. A quick visit to my cardiologist resulted, two days later, in my having tests which revealed that only two major heart arteries were functioning, one 99.9% blocked, the other 65%. Every day of ministry was a miracle!
The good news is that both have been reopened and, God willing, I should be fine (if I am careful) for the foreseeable future.
Why do I write this way? To remind us that the battle we are engaged in is spiritual warfare. Growing corps will be troubled since Satan will not sit idly by and see his plans thwarted. We can be sure he will do all he can to fight back. The sooner we recognize this, the better we will be able to respond with the supreme weapon we have: prayer.
There is no doubt that the “every day” miracles that enabled me to do God’s will were the result of sustained prayer–the prayers of myself, my wife, family, friends and a host of intercessors who are sensitive to the nature of the real war.
I had no indication of Satan’s intended onslaught and neither may you in your present area of ministry. Thank God for the power of prayer and use it. It could be a matter of life or death!