by: mike petrillo
CEM's EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 1994 - 2015
One of the Board members for Christian Encounter Ministries brought a full set of armor to church recently. All the elements that are mentioned in Ephesians 6 were evident. It made a good impression standing at the front of the fellowship room, and the talk about preparing for spiritual battle was extra effective because of the display.
Of course, the armor never moved, the sword didn’t cut, the shield didn’t rise. There were no shouts of victory, nor enemies scattered—at least that I could see. This armor was a learning tool, but it did not spring into action. I thought the parallels were striking. The scripture describes these tools, weapons, defenses and their purposes quite clearly, but if we never put them into action, the armor is even less useful than the little steel man in front of the church. At least he provided a good image for training.
We know spiritual battling is invisible, so this topic has some limitations of language and description. But we don’t want to be little pretend warriors; we would like to be armed and ready in reality. It probably will not be visible to anyone. That’s not important anyway. We just don’t want Satan to take free shots at us or the other sheep in the pasture without offering resistance. We would like the enemy to know that he was in a battle—not for our glory, but so that the flock can grow and flourish. We won’t even have to see the results. Hebrews 11 says that faith is invisible. We don’t have to see to activate faith, or see to believe that God is at work. In fact, God loves doing invisible stuff. So, we are not seeking a special vision, special award, or special privilege. We just don’t want to waste the opportunity to engage in what the Lord calls us to do. We certainly don’t want to rust up from inactivity, forget how to wield the sword of God’s word, or get so slow that the shoes of the Gospel are stuck in the mire.
So, for the last 24 hours or so, we enlisted some more recruits in the battle. This is the best way to get into the spiritual offensive. Go at it in teams. Members of the staff and student body of Christian Encounter Ministries were praying through the day and night. We accumulated a big stack of prayer requests, plus four pages of intercessory topics.
The prayer warriors were engaged while I wrote these words. Every kind of prayer was prayed. Some things were prayed for the first time ever today. Some prayers have been ongoing for years. We want to make ourselves odious to the enemy, and we hope to be a sweet fragrance to the Lord.
Some warriors were rookies, on their first big prayer assignment, while others have had 60 years of experience. Sitting (or standing) side by side, they fought for the salvation of the lost, the healing of the meek, the provision and protection of the saints, and the breaking of deception and temptation. Because of prayers prayed today, the devil’s plans for tomorrow will be thwarted. Because of prayers launched tonight, the darkness will be dispelled. We know we are doing some good, because we are already tired. This wrestling versus the principalities and powers wears us out quickly, so we are glad for the reinforcements. We know we are engaged, an eternal prize driving us forward. We know we are led in battle by the Lamb “and that those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” (Rev. 17:14) We need nothing more than Jesus’ word, and the armor he has supplied… and…a few more warriors. Any time you are ready, jump right in. The Lord needs you on the front line.