The Bible has much to say about spiritual warfare, and in spite of that, I think we often fail to recognize the spiritual warfare that we encounter along the way. It is very important that we be able to properly identify the source of the issues we have so that we can properly deal with them.
Believe me, when you undertake to reach the world on the scale that media presents, you are going to find yourself engaging the adversary in some bitterly contested battles for the souls of mankind.
I also think we attribute too many things to spiritual warfare that are nothing of the kind. People give the devil way too much credit for things he has nothing to do with. They mistake normal life and problems that are a result of their own doing for spiritual attacks.
“My car broke down last week, the power bill was through the roof, and I caught a cold to top it all off. Man! The devil’s really been fighting lately…”
That is not spiritual warfare. Those are normal issues of life. Many times, they are simply problems that you bring upon yourself.
“I haven’t changed the oil in my car since the summer before last, but it’s been doing real good, so I figured, why mess with it if it ain’t broke? But all of a sudden, the motor just seized up for no reason! Boy, the devil sure is fighting!”
Umm, yeah. That’s not spiritual warfare. That is a self-inflicted problem.
However, if you are engaged in a spiritual endeavor, and things happen that directly hinder that endeavor, you can be pretty sure that you are experiencing spiritual attacks. By continuing onward in that spiritual endeavor in spite of the adversity, you are engaging in spiritual warfare.if you are engaged in a spiritual endeavor, and things happen that directly hinder that endeavor, you can be pretty sure that you are experiencing spiritual attacks Click To Tweet
And that brings us back to the battle we were facing on the other side of the world.
Our team went to Thailand with a mobile video studio to record Gospel preaching in several languages that we didn’t have access to at home.
It seemed a simple enough mission: pack up a bunch of equipment, travel to Thailand with the team, set up the studio in a hotel conference room, record the preaching of numerous national preachers their native languages, pack up, go home, edit the programs, and then broadcast the Gospel to millions of people in difficult-to-get-to countries.
Right. Simple. Until you realize that we were walking into territory long held by the enemy, and he wasn’t about to let our intrusion go unchallenged.
I see our recent trip as a military operation.
Our 5 man team was deployed behind enemy lines, where we armed, equipped and enabled local national pastors to fight our adversary much more effectively and on a far greater scale that was ever possible before.
Essentially, our local church sent out a Special Forces Team, a Church version of Green Berets, heading out to fight the enemy in his own backyard.
But the adversary knew that we were coming, and began fighting early to disrupt our operation.
In retrospect, I can see the three-fold target list the adversary used. This was his plan:
1.Hit their time
2.Hit their money
3.Hit their equipment
I didn’t recognize it at first, but the first shots fired at us came, ironically, in Chicago. The enemy launched a hard preemptive strike to try to protect his territory.
The first target the enemy hit was our time, and as a result of his early attack, we were delayed out of Chicago for at least three hours because of “mechanical problems with the aircraft.”
When your car breaks down because you never change your oil, that is your fault. When your bank account is overdrawn, your power bill is through the roof, or you drop your phone in the toilet, it isn’t a case of “the devil sure is fighting.”
That’s just the consequences of your actions or inactions. It’s the typical issues of normal life.
When the airplane that is taking you to the far side of the planet to record gospel programming in demonically controlled cultures suddenly breaks down, that is a spiritual attack.
Frankly, I would much rather have mechanical problems with the aircraft dealt with on the ground and not somewhere over the ocean! But the fact that the plane had issues at all was suspicious, and events later bore out the fact that it was demonic sabotage.
The original plan had been for us to leave home early Monday morning, arrive Tuesday evening in Bangkok, stay overnight in a hotel there to get some rest, and then on Wednesday morning, we would take a three-hour road trip to the city where we were to be working, arriving there around lunch time.
Then we would set up the Mobile Studio and begin to record preaching that same day, getting things rolling right away.
However, rather than landing Tuesday night as planned, the enemy’s preemptive strike caused us to not arrive in Bangkok until Wednesday. By the time we were even able to leave Bangkok, it was already well into the afternoon.
It was dark out by the time we arrived at our hotel and by then, everyone was just too wiped out to do anything but go to bed. We had left our homes around 3:30 Monday morning, and been traveling for about 54 hours.
So we slept.
And then Thursday came.
Along with it came the most ferocious spiritual battle we have ever seen in the studio.
It began with the hotel telling us that instead of the conference room which we were planning to use as a studio costing us just $50 per day, they were now demanding $200 per day. We simply did not have that much money available to cover that cost.
The devils had successfully attacked our time and now, they were attacking our money.
And that is when the call went out to the church.
The Special Forces team that was deployed was under heavy attack, so they got on the horn and called for an emergency resupply. The church immediately joined the battle!
In very short order, the church came through in a major way, and more than met the need, enabling the deployed team to continue the fight deep behind enemy lines.
We then began setting up the studio, where we ran into a full scale attack by the adversary. In military terms, we were digging in, and the enemy launched a coordinated attack with everything he had.
The spiritual fight was so hotly contested that it spilled over into the natural realm.
The enemy had hit our time, and significantly delayed us, but we still arrived and got busy, working late into the evenings to overcome the time deficit that we faced.
Then he hit our money, but the church was fully involved in supporting the battle, and overcame that need very quickly.
And this is when the enemy began to hit our equipment.
Studio light bulbs began popping one by one. Audio equipment failed, video equipment failed, computers failed. Electronic components melted. Issues we had never seen before plagued us, and we were simply not able to get the equipment to function.
It seemed like just a run of bad luck, which is exactly what the adversary wants you to think. As long as you are not seeing the source of the attack, he can continue to attack at will.
We quickly recognized that this was nothing other than a spiritual assault by an adversary determined to prevent us from recording the Gospel in languages of cultures that are almost entirely buddhist, and firmly in the grip of Satan.
And that is when we called for reinforcements.
We sent out messages about the battle that was raging, and God’s people responded with fervent prayer.
The hedge of protection began to grow up around us, but the battle continued unabated for hours. It quickly escalated beyond my technical skill level, and fell into the hands of the technical minds of the team. They tried every trick they knew, and even a few they didn’t know.
The enemy had us stopped cold.
But the church kept praying for us and the hedge of protection kept growing.
We finally cobbled together a minimal system that could record some programming. It was not what we wanted, but it was what worked at the time, so we went with it.
We had beaten the enemy back and gained ground, and began recording our first program.
Then, the enemy struck with everything he had left in this fight. With only 4 minutes left to complete the recording of the first Gospel preaching program, the power to our makeshift studio room surged, and everything blew out. Every light. Every camera. Every piece of electronic equipment. Every power outlet in the conference room where we had set up.
But the church kept praying for us, and the hedge was still growing.
After a couple of hours, power was restored, we were able to get a makeshift system working, and we completed 4 recordings late that evening.
And as we slept that night, the hedge completed its growth.
When we returned to the studio in the morning, there was literally a miracle waiting for us!
Everything was working as if nothing had ever happened at all! The devil had been thrown back, the Lord’s army took the hill, and we held it for the rest of the time we were in Thailand!
In spite of the adversary’s best efforts and fiercest fighting tactics, we were still able to complete the recording of 91 programs in four languages in just 6 and a half days.The Importance of the Gospel is evident in the fury with which the devil resisted our efforts to record and broadcast the Gospel. Click To Tweet
The Importance of the Gospel is evident in the fury with which the devil resisted our efforts to record and broadcast the Gospel. If what we did was not going to significantly impact the devil’s grip on people in Southeast Asia, he would not have fought us so hard.
It was spiritual warfare on an epic scale, but Greater is He that is in us that he that is in the world. The battle was the Lord’s and we are on the Lord’s Side!
When you decide to be obedient to the Great Commission and use media to reach the masses, you can count on stirring up the enemy, and he does not take that lightly. You will find yourself locked in the epic battle of the ages for the eternal souls of men, women and children.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed, and while the battles can be fierce, you can be ready, and with the Lord’s help, you can be victorious, and countless souls can be reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!