Spiritual Warfare! It is real. It is ugly. It can be very intense. It has causalities and requires that we love those Satan entices to attack and/or kill us. Remember, Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy God’s work and God’s people. These words are not a figure of speech, but literal.
When we, as disciples of Jesus, advance God’s Kingdom, we walk straight into a real war that is spiritually driven, not man made. It is the most important war a believer can enlist in because it is the war where we seek to proclaim the one single message that reconciles people to God.
When I think of spiritual warfare, many thoughts come to mind. But, for this post, my focus is missionary mobilization.
Enlisting people into missionary roles is not as easy as simply finding someone with a passion for the nations. When we mobilize someone to the nations, we are mobilizing them to engage spiritual forces in the heavenly realms. These forces are real and not some made up fairy tale or Syfy movie. When believers are mobilized to be missionaries, they put their very lives on the line so that those with no Gospel access have the same opportunity to hear the Gospel that you and I enjoy.
As I sit here writing this, 2+ billion people have not heard the Gospel. I am not talking about the lost living in the Bible Belt who have a plethora of Gospel access. I am talking about people who live in communities where the very word/name “Jesus” is sometimes entirely unknown.
Within these 2+ billion people, 47,000 of them die daily. It is estimated that 86% of all Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists do not know one Christian. About 1,600 languages in the world have no bible because no one is actively seeking to translate the Bible into those languages. Why not let all that sink in a bit.
It is troubling that after nearly 2,000 years of Church existence, the above figures are reality today. This should not be but I cannot change the past. I can only work to help change the present and the future. God is not blind to the plight of the least reached. He is calling people out every day to serve among them, even as Satan is working to stop those same people from becoming involved because Satan knows the power of the Gospel.
Satan knows our weaknesses and he will use every tactic necessary to try and stop the mobilization of missionaries. Satan will try to lead any one of us into fear and convince us why it is wiser to stay home than to follow God and walk by faith. Satan will work to convince us that we are unworthy and unqualified BUT it is God who equips those He has called. Satan will even use our family and closest allies to try and stop us. But, while Satan works hard to influence us to disobey God, Satan is a fallen angle. He is a created being and is as subject to God’s sovereignty as you and I are.
Because of who Satan is, we must also remember that Satan has no ability to outmaneuver God. Satan will never be able to stop or prevent the growth of the Church because Jesus is the one building the Church (aka: the Church is not a building). Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “…the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Church)”. Jesus also said that He will be with us until the very end. These are not empty truths. These truths are as real today as they were when Jesus spoke them 2,000 years ago. Therefore, we can be confident in God’s nature and His Word. We can rest assure that no matter how powerful Satan believes he is or how much he may try to kill, steal and destroy us, God’s plan will never fail. Satan will never outmatch God…Period!
With these truths in hand, you and I must continue the fight to mobilize more laborers to go to the least reached mission fields. We, as the body of Christ, have been given the call to take the Gospel to every nation, and that includes those places we deem unsafe. We are called to go everywhere.
Regardless of whether we are individually called to go or not, we need to join together in prayer for the mobilization of missionaries, especially from within the next generation. We must ask God to raise them up and ask God to give them what they need to walk in obedience. We need to be able to release our best to reaching the nations, even among our perceived enemies. We need to challenge them and each other to walk boldly toward the least reached, no matter what the cost may require of them or us.
Every aspect of missionary mobilization will inevitably stir up spiritual warfare. But, God has given us tools to help us fight. God has given us spiritual armor to fight with, as outlined in Ephesians 6. This armor is powerful. It is from God. God created it and it is what we need to advance God’s Kingdom the way God wants it advanced.
As you think about the reality of spiritual warfare, is God worth the fight? Is God worth sending your children to fight in the most important war ever fought? Is God worth giving your life for this same war? Is God worth the cost that may be required to obey God and walk in obedience?
Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15
Steve Schirmer, President of Silk Road Catalyst and co-Host of Missions Talk. Least Reached Advocate. Dedicated to No Place Left.