For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
If you are part of our church family in Moore, you may already know that God has called us to Ukraine to shine His light in that distant land. We have been listening for God’s voice and praying and seeking Him in all these things. Well, a few weeks ago, we determined that He is indeed calling us to this work. We thought we were moving there about 5 years ago, but He directed us to wait. We have begun announcing that now is the time.
Generally, we are pretty aware when the evil one (satan) is meddling and trying to divert our attention. And frankly, he’s been busy. Very busy. The last 6 weeks, we have come under very strong spiritual attack. If you don’t know what I’m talking about…now and here is not the time or place to try to explain that.
As part of this move, obviously we are going to need some pretty significant financial support. Part of God’s plan for that is for me to start a web design business and I’m full speed ahead with that venture (M11 Design). You’ll see what that has to do with spiritual battle in a minute…just hang with me…I promise to tie it all together. So about 6 weeks ago, I used part of our tax refund to purchase a laptop to do all my web design stuff and Eli Project (that’s the adoption ministry we started) work on since I’ll be losing my MacBook when I’m gone from the church. Obviously, I didn’t have the funds for a Mac, so I just got a Windows machine. Migrated all my web design data to it and all of my Eli Project files and was getting used to using a Windows computer again.
Something else that happened recently is that I switched our cell service from Cricket (which was pretty cheap…but shoddy coverage) to Walmart Family Mobile (REALLY cheap and great coverage since it’s built on T-Mobile). Low and behold, I was able to use my old iPhone again with this service for only $25/month. Versus the VERY expensive bill I had to pay when I used it on ATT. In fact, that was the very reason I dropped using it and switched to Cricket. I really hated to see it go. So to be able to use it again…was just a wonderful blessing. Yeah I’m a tech-geek. And yes…this has impact on the story too.
Wednesday night, Mary and I and our two older kids had the opportunity to share with our worship choir and orchestra what God was doing in our lives as it relates to us moving to Ukraine in or around January 2012. It was such an affirming night. There was such an outpouring of support and love. It’s sad to leave (we’ve been at Moore for 18 years), but we are also very excited to follow God in this journey. We went to bed relieved to have finally been able to tell what was going on and to express the amazing and incredible things that God is doing in our lives.
Thursday morning I was leaving for Dallas for a Design Conference that some friends sent me to to help me with my web design business. I was very excited about this too! Excited for their support of what God was doing…and excited to go to this top level conference that would help me carry out this part of God’s plan for our financial support.
When I took my duffel bag and brief case out to load them up and head out of town, I unlocked the hatchback and immediately knew something was wrong. I had intentionally left my backpack in the hatchback because we had gotten home late Wednesday night and I was leaving early Thursday. When I took my briefcase out of the back Wednesday night, I purposely squished it down out of sight and edged the stroller that was also in the hatchback on top of it to cover it up. Well…as you’ve guessed…the backpack was gone. I couldn’t figure out how in the world someone had gotten it and then went and searched in the house (even though I knew that it wasn’t there). When I went back out to the car, I realized that one of the back doors was unlocked. Yep…one of the doors that I told the kids to lock when they got out of the car (even though I reminded them to lock the doors). Just like I remind them every time they ride with me. I never leave it unlocked. Ever. So I opened the door, and there on the back seat, I saw a little flashlight that the thief had dropped.
The police came and took a report, took the flashlight and very politely told me that the chances of me getting anything back was almost nil. So in the backpack was the new computer that I had purchased for the business God told me to start. On it was all my web design software, photoshop actions and theme paks and plug-ins that can’t be replaced without purchasing them again; all the original artwork I had created for the sites I’m currently working on, all my Eli Project files, paperwork, financial documents, contributor information, handbooks, information sheets, etc. All of it gone. Also in the pack was my iPhone…it’s use and ownership I considered to be a fabulous blessing from the Lord. My iPod was also in the backpack. My headphones…and they weren’t the cheap kind (I have very small ear canals and only certain headphones will go in my ears). A brand new web design book. And other stuff that I don’t even remember…but am sure that I will remember when I start looking for something that I can’t find.
Needless to say, I was pretty irritated, angry, frustrated and as high as I was Wednesday night, I was low Thursday.
On my drive to Texas, though, the Lord reminded me that I’m not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities and darkness. Believe it or not, I took great comfort in that. Why? Because as Mary and I discussed…these many battles that we have fought over the last weeks are just further confirmation that we are walking in obedience. Of course we should expect the battle to be waged against us following God. Of course the evil one doesn’t want us to take the light around the world. Of course he doesn’t want us to minister to orphans and those who care for them.
So did I tell you this story to get sympathy from you? Nope. I recount this for you that you may know that when we follow God, trials come, battles are waged and wars are fought. And sometimes those things enter the physical world. Yeah, I admit, I was a bit fearful when I realized that the spiritual battle had turned physical and wondered if someone in my family, personally, would be harmed…but all the while, I know that all things go through my Father’s hands. All things. So whatever comes…I know He’s fighting for us. It’s not my battle. It’s His. We will continue to walk in humble obedience and claim the blood of our precious Savior as our protective covering and salvation.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!