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May 2016 Newsletter

An ongoing series of informational entries

When Spiritual Warfare Stops You

By Laurie Nichols

May 1, 2016

Ever feel like every time you seek to step out in faith that the enemy swoops in to halt your efforts? Spiritual warfare is real. Ask Job, who suffered greatly at the hand of the enemy. Or Paul, who explained in 2 Corinthians 11 how he had lived through many beatings, lashes, imprisonments, and dangers for the faith. Or Peter, who said, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Peter 4:12-14).


Pastor, evangelist, and theologian Michael Green once said this about evangelism: “Evangelism is not for wimps. Evangelists are on the front lines for the Lord, so naturally the enemy does not like us much. I just say, ‘Back off, ol’ Nick, in the name of Jesus,’ and I keep going.”


The question is not how frequently we will be deterred in our efforts to love and lead others to Jesus. The question is how often will we get up again, dust ourselves off, and keep moving. Scripture is full of poignant reminders of God’s presence and ultimate plan for our witness:


“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – 1 Philippians 4:13


“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” – Romans 8:11


"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." – John 16:33


Perhaps the best reason for us to keep pressing forward in our efforts to love and lead people to Jesus is this: because Jesus Himself modeled this. He did not shy from the cross; He embraced it. He walked through the darkness and desolation to be reunited with His Father, and in turn, led countless millions of us lost in the same darkness without God into the living and loving hands of the Father.


May spiritual warfare not stop us. It didn’t stop Job. Or Paul. Or Peter. How many countless individuals have come to saving faith as a result of their perseverance? Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus, friends! For we “know that [our] redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth” (Job 19:25).


~Laurie


Laurie Nichols is New Name's very own writer. She writes the beautiful monthly devotionals. The Lord has truly gifted Laurie and we are so grateful that she shares her talent for New Name. Thank you Laurie!