Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Hard Times

I received an important e-letter from a friend, Neil Cole, who is in constant contact with dozens of church families like ours across the world. What he said was significant to me right now, so I decided to share parts of it below:

"Having walked with the Lord for over two decades I have come to realize that life has seasons. Every year has its own seasons. Some seasons have horrendous downpours and others have the sun shining and the flowers blossoming. This is a season of deluge for many of our church planters, and I want to alert everyone that the enemy is moving hard and fast against us. This is a time to put our armor on and stand firm.

Almost every one of our church leaders in our movement is under stressful attack. There are marriages under duress, enduring sicknesses, physical injury, unreasonable workloads, financial stress, job loss, huge transitions that dislodge families, and technological gremlins that disrupt daily life. Does any of this sound familiar? Welcome to the battle. Put on your helmet, tighten your bootstraps, pass the ammunition and provide cover for your comrades!

. . . I am writing to let you know that you are also not alone in this battle. We are all facing attack right now. The enemy is threatened and is shooting at us with intense firepower. Hold the line. Stand firm. Realize our battle is not against flesh and blood (your spouse, boss, church member, or neighbor is not your enemy), but against dark forces of evil that wish to kill and destroy the work God is doing in us and through us.

Pray for your brothers and sisters around the world that are also under duress. I want to list their names and their needs but many of the scenarios are of a confidential nature. There are also so many that it would just make the list seem like a lot of names. Suffice it to say, if you know of a church planter anywhere in our movement, they are in need of your prayers right now! The Holy Spirit knows their needs and will also bring people to mind…pray for them—often and in the power of the Spirit. Intercede for one another. Call one another and find out what is going on. Offer support.

I am expecting that if we get through this skirmish we will have won some significant ground and a beach head that will usher in many more troops for service. It is worth it my friends. There are many bright prospects for significant breakthroughs on the horizon this year. This is why the enemy is so busy right now. Our weapons are not of this world, and are powerful for the destruction of strongholds. Realize your power. Realize your enemy. And realize that this is war. You have reinforcements, and you are reinforcement for others. Back to back we face this dark enemy. You are not alone."