Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:10-18: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
I am preaching a sermon today on the road to Emmaus passage from Luke. As I started putting together my sermon early this week, I began to notice small “stumbling blocks” that appeared in my way. It was just small, insignificant things that was causing me to lose time that should have been devoted to my sermon. And as the week progressed, these small stumbling blocks became bigger and threatened to take more time away that was devoted to my sermon.
I was able to recognize that the evil one was at work, trying to do everything in his power to keep me from focusing on God’s message. So throughout the week, I prayed for God to not allow Satan to destroy my preparation time. This was a constant prayer that I prayed many times throughout each day of the week, because I could feel the attacks getting stronger.
Finally, on late Friday and Saturday, the attacks increased dramatically. Many things went wrong that threatened to take considerable time away from my sermon and to cause me to completely lose focus. However, God is faithful and He continued to protect me from the evil that Satan was trying to inflict upon me.
Satan tries to attack those who minister for God in many different ways. The evil one puts seed of doubt in our minds, he wants us to listen to what other people are saying, instead of focusing on what God is leading us to do.
The evil one will also use other people to bring trouble against you, causing you to lose focus or to take you in another direction, away from God. One thing after another seems to go wrong, and we get so caught up in dealing with these things that we drift away from God. Satan will try to bring so many things against you at once, that you will find that you have little strength to do what God is calling you to do.
That’s what I felt at the end of the afternoon on Saturday. My strength was almost gone, I was tired and was losing focus. I decided that instead of just sitting down and falling asleep that I would go to the sanctuary at church and run through my sermon and hopefully be able to gain some peace and calm.
As I stood there alone, in the empty sanctuary, I began to sense a calm and peace, run through my body. It was quiet, except for the creaking sounds that you hear in the quietness of the large, empty sanctuary. Satan had pulled out all the stops to try and cause me to stumble, but he was no match for the greater power, that is God.
Thanks be to God for protecting his children and helping us along our path each and every day. Prayer and trusting in God, is what got me through this week, as I acknowledged before God my weaknesses and asked Him for guidance, protection, and help.