Tuesday, 7 June 2011
With Spiritual Eyes
Over the last couple of months I've become acutely aware of the spiritual war we, as Christians, are engaged in throughout our ordinary everyday lives. For me, it began at our Women's Retreat at the beginning of May when I identified that perhaps the struggles our women's ministry team are facing are more spiritual in nature, than a pragmatic problem requiring a creative solution. The minute I identified this possibility I felt the pressure of what I now realise was spiritual attack. Took me three weeks to figure that out...obviously I'm quite slow on the uptake! As the weeks have passed however, and things have settled down, I am more aware of things I hadn't considered before. Of course, as the church related 'stuff' has abated I am becoming aware of some things at work.
All of the things I struggled with during those three weeks (and since) came in the form of people-related stress. What strikes me as extraordinary in that, is how Satan is able to use God's children to wreak this havoc in our lives. A barbed retort here. A cold shoulder there. Emotional hot-spots becoming inflamed. It's so easy for him to take these things and twist them in the places they hurt the most, thereby rendering God's children distracted and ineffective. It galls me to think that I and my fellow believers are being used in this way.
We who are immersed in Western cultures are at a great deficit in the matter of spirtual awareness. Our lives are rather divorced from even the possibility that events happen in realms we cannot see. In one sense, I think we become ignorant of these things because they are unseen and therefore often not obvious. A bad day or a difficult situation may indeed be more involved. Of course it may not be. I'm not inclined to see a demon behind every door. But I if the last few weeks have taught me anything, it is that 'critical thinking' is not just something educators would have us engaged in. I think it is a skill all Christians need to hone in relation to being aware of the spiritual forces at work in our lives.
For the moment, it is this Truth that I am seeking to engage with ~ knowing the difference between a bad day/situation and seeing the event through a spiritual lens. It's quite the challenge!