“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” -Ephesians 6, THE MESSAGE
Church, I have to tell you (but I’m sure you already know) we are in the last days. And in these last days spiritual warfare is increasing in intensity like never before. The topic of this blog (and my own odyssey as a pastor at a church where our pastor fell) is all about spiritual warfare at the highest level. There is no greater victory for the enemy than taking out a pastor of a church. In doing that he succeeds in destroying the work of God, if only for a while, in that pastor’s life and in that church. It disheartens the parish, shames the church in the community and confuses (sometimes beyond recovery) some who are new to the faith.
The world is glad to laugh and mock a pastor who falls. It’s vindication to them that they weren’t “fools” to be part of that “Christian thing” and the church goes through a time of spiritual warfare that is more intense than many could imagine. Now, for us 6 years out, we are still in the midst of intense spiritual warfare. It’s tiring, discouraging, disheartening. It makes you want to give up!
Paul writes, “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own.” He was so right! The enemy has found, through the fallen heart of every pastor, a way to destroy or at best cripple a church. Pray for your church. Pray for your pastor. You need to know he’s under heavy attacks from the enemy and especially so if he teaches the bible and invites people to trust Christ as savior. Our greatest weapon is prayer. Our greatest ally is God himself. Our best offense is to simply stand, pray, trust God and continue to preach Christ.
In case you wondered the church is the front lines of spiritual warfare. The enemy is working in the life of your pastor to destroy him, his family and your church. Pray for him, encourage him, care for him and yourselves. Pray for each other. Watch out, be prepared, pray.