Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
I think one of the biggest lessons I took away from my trip was to not take the devil lightly. When I was there, there was one incident that reminded me of this fact.
One of the things that we did was door-to-door canvassing. We put tracts in mailboxes of the surrounding towns the main church that we worked with.
Some of these towns have not been canvassed in years. Others have never had the gospel brought to them.
We did this on two occasions.
After we did it the first time, the pastor (of the church we worked with) would encourage us. He said, “Do you know that today, you took the gospel where it has never been taken before? Tonight, you knocked on the devil’s door.”
I would hear this, but in my heart I was not really convinced. Is it really such a big deal? I thought.
I don’t remember anything significant happening after that first time.
But the second time was different. That night, I had a nightmare. I woke up the next morning, feeling tears streaming down my face.
I was unsettled and a little shaken. I didn’t have nightmares often, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. The environment was really positive, and with my thoughts tuned to the spiritual, and surrounded by others, I wasn’t afraid.
It was only later in the day that I discovered that I was not the only one.
One of my roommates, J, mentioned how she and another girl, B, had nightmares. It was just something she brought up casually, and then I recounted my experience with waking up in tears.
Another roommate, R, remembered having an intense dream, and our last roommate, A, who was down with a bad cold, had the most difficulty sleeping that night.
If J had not mentioned it, I might not have even realised the spiritual dimension.
Even at the start of the trip, there were signs that there would be struggles ahead. We were falling sick one after another – from even the first day in boot camp, there were people that were sick. (A wasn’t that sick in the beginning, but it did worsen during the trip.)
Then, I got thinking to even before the trip, especially the last two weeks before I flew, how I wasn’t in the best of spirits.
I do not think it was any coincidence that I wasn’t feeling as great as I should have in terms of my mood. I had trouble sleeping early, woke up late, and ended up exercising less than my regular 6 times a week. I struggled with eating right, felt like a failure, and was consumed by much negative thoughts.
Someone at my home church did say at the time that it was very likely a kind of spiritual attack. But it really wasn’t until that incident in Germany that I realised the kind of enemy that we face.
Do not underestimate the devil. The way he targets you is based on your own weakness. It’s funny how I didn’t understand the reality spiritual battle until a nightmare and the shared experience made it impossible to ignore.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Thank God that as His children, we have God on our side.
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.