Several years ago, as a young twenty-something, I was doing youth ministry out in California.
I remember a period in time when it seemed all the young people in our church were struggling. Like really struggling. And I knew I needed to call on people to pray.
So, first things first, I met with my buddy, Rosalie, a favorite prayer warrior and friend and we prayed. And then I send out a publication (I called it Saturate) and sent it out, far and wide. It didn't ask for specific prayers about our student's personal business. The goal was simply to awaken the church to pray for her young people.
People prayed. Or I assume they did, because I could feel the pushback. The oppression. It hit in ways that were personal to me at the time, and it hurt. I became depressed. I knew right away that there was a connection between the prayers going up and my discomfort, so do you know what I did then?
I stopped asking people to pray.
I didn't have the maturity or strength of faith at the time to press in and push back. So I called it quits.
It's funny that I remember that time in my life in such detail because I have a pretty terrible memory. Friends and family will often recall things we've done together, things I've said, even gifts I've given them…and I won't remember.
But I remember this. And I'm certain there's a reason God brought it to mind this morning.
As I type this, I can still feel a stiffness beneath my eyes, where tears were welling only minutes ago.
The devil is putting up a big fuss about this boy I'm on my way to meet, and he's not shy about letting me know how he feels. Now, I know we may not all be on the same page about how this whole spiritual warfare thing works…and that's ok. But let me tell you, I've experienced it firsthand many times, and I'm experiencing it now.
I'm not a rookie anymore, so as much as his fighting gets under my skin, hurts my feelings, hurts my flesh, hurts the people I love the most, threatens my confidence and wastes my time…
he will not win!!!!!!!!!
It is NOT time to shrivel up, back down, throw in the towel.
It IS time to press in.
To push back.
Stand up straighter.
Narrow my focus.
Capture my thoughts.
Trust God for safety for my family, Anna's family (who's traveling with me) and everyone we come in contact with.
Recall a lifetime filled with kept promises. My God is faithful. Always.
Will you all pray with me? And call on others to pray?
God is greater. GOD IS GREATER!!
And it's go time.
T-minus 26 hours to takeoff.
This boy has a mama. And she's on her way.