Friday, May 18, 2012

Spiritual Warfare and Adoption

Never before have the spiritual forces of good and evil been so real and active in our home as when we followed God's heart to care for the least of these.  Since beginning our first adoption in 2008 up until present day, I am more convinced than ever of God's love and devotion to the marginalized in our world.  I feel God's comforting arms wrapped around our home and hear God's still voice reassuring us, "I am with you".  I am equally convinced of Satan's hatred and disdain toward God's children working to live a life of Christian purpose, fulfilling our call to care for those neglected by the world.  I have never before felt these kind of spiritual forces armed with hatred, attempting to throw us off course as every turn, seeking to turn us against one another, trying to instill fear and worry and all kinds of nasty, Satan-like vices in our home.  

Satan is ANGRY, friends.  Because he knows what this ultimately means for him, and it ain't good. The clock is ticking.  He sees God's children getting the message, the message!  The message that underlies, in my opinion, the entire purpose of faith in Christ. The one that is jam- packed into the Old and New Testament.  I feel God at work and instilling God's message of justice and love in Christians around the world, regardless of denomination or affiliation. People are on the move!  God tells us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly (Micah 6:8).  The prophet Isaiah (58:6-7) tells us that "this" is the kind of fasting that pleases God: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the chords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke.  To share our food with the hungry and provide the poor wanderer with shelter; to clothe the naked, and not to turn away from our own flesh and blood.  Most of Jesus' messages in the New Testament were about loving God, living in Christ, caring for people, loving one another, and not being defiled by the world.  Jesus himself tells us, "Whatever you did one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."  Could it be any clearer?  It makes sense then, that when Satan sees God's children mobilized around the globe (praise God!) in increasing numbers fighting for the least of these, that he would become infuriated an unleash all powers in his disposal to thwart efforts.  

But, I've got bad news for you, oh nasty evil one: you lose!  You may have thrown me through a loop the first go-round when we decided to step out of our comfort zone, turn our back on the world's values, and welcome Sporty into our home.  Yes, back then I didn't know how much you hated the oppressed, the orphans, the afflicted; nor did I realize how much you you had on the line.  Now, I know. My family knows. Those is our adoption community know.  We are armed with prayer and perseverance, with love and support, and with the will of God.  And if God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)? The movement has begun.  At no other point in history have Christians been more equipped and mobilized as they are today.  We know the truth.  We know who God cares for.  We are resourceful and passionate and seeking to live out our life's calling.  And, we know that if we claim to love and follow Christ, we must do as he did. So we do, and we pray that more will get the message and join the kingdom movement.  We march forward despite Satan's best efforts to keep us back knowing that following God's will is the means to a purposeful life on earth.  

I have scoured the Bible looking for passages that speak to spiritual warfare and combating these evil forces.  Two that have really helped me pray against evil are Luke 10:19-20 which says, "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  I pray those two verses a lot with my children, because they are subject to the spiritual battles as well, as we have sadly yet boldly learned over the past few years.  Chapter 8 of Romans is my other "go to".  The gist is that through Christ we are made righteous and nothing can separate us for Christ's love.  We are to die to the flesh and live in the Spirit.  

So, as we have been preparing to bring Big Sister home, it should have come as no surprise that our family has been under attack.  Satan, the coward that he is, always likes to kick us while we are down.  In the hustle and bustle of getting ready to expand our family, Satan tried at every turn to throw up road blocks, big and small.  As we enter this home stretch and await Embassy clearance, I humbly ask for your continued prayers.  Please pray that God protects our family, surrounds us with his love, and gives us clarity, wisdom, and courage.  Big Sister is coming from a broken background and will need lots of love and comfort during our initial transition.  Your love, prayers, and support and always greatly appreciated.  We look forward to introducing our newest child very, VERY soon.  

And in case you are wondering how the story ends for Satan, this is what the Bible has to say in Revelation 20:10:  And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.  
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