By Guest Blogger: Chase Grindstaff
John 10:10 says “the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.” What does this mean for us? It means that the enemy will never be satisfied until we are defeated. This sounds like bad news, right? Not at all, this is good news! Good news for those pursuing Christ, if we weren’t, would we be experiencing any kind of trials? James 1:2-3 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds. For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” The passage continues down this path and ultimately leads us to reliance on God. Can you imagine if we weren’t facing various trials? Would we see the hand of God in our lives and recognize His glory?
I had the privilege of leading a breakout session called “Know Your Enemy” at Journey Camp in Hilton Head (where our students attended camp). While preparing a message on spiritual warfare, I must admit I was nervous. Mostly since I knew the implications of such a talk would likely result in my own spiritual warfare, and I wasn’t wrong. Journey Camp was by far the best summer camp I’ve ever taken in student ministry. Our students leaned into what God was doing through the messages, worship, breakouts and daily activities. Some of our students stood to take next steps in their faith and all drew closer to God and I almost missed the moment due to the distractions the enemy was throwing my way. These distractions in the big picture were and are superficial. However, isn’t it crazy how little things can become big things when we take our eyes off God?
I know it’s not just me facing these trials, even though there are times when I feel alone and that even God seems to be far away. We must recognize that this is the work of the enemy and it’s a daily process of taking up our cross and following Christ. There is a daily battle for your heart, attention and affections. So, what can be done?
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Don’t let the enemy defeat you! Christ has already won and these are temporary struggles.
SEEK the LORD:
41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Christ is speaking to the disciples in the Garden before He’s arrested. They are tired and about to be tempted like no other time in their lives. I can relate to that! The times I’m most defeated are when I’m tired and coming off big ministry events where God has shown up huge! Spend time with God in these moments where you’re weak and allow Him to give you rest.
PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS and share life in community:
2 Timothy 2:22
22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
You can’t do this alone and you can’t do this without pursuing God. Find a community where you can be encouraged and equipped to withstand the enemy.
1 Peter 5:8-9
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
My prayer for you, our students and our church isn’t that we wouldn’t face trials. Rather, through them we would see God’s glory and His kingdom grow as a result.