Matney: Finding the strength to fight another day (column)
Friends, you and I are the focus of a very real spiritual battle. In my last article, I wrote about the “spiritual reality of the spiritual battle being fought all around us.” The battle is for our happiness, peace and eternal wellbeing. Jesus said, “The thief (Satan), comes to steal, kill and destroy but I have come to give you life and life abundant” (John 10:10).
In today’s article, I would like to share with you a personal experience that underscores the reality of the spiritual warfare going on around us and God’s dramatic intervention in my life as a result of other people’s prayers. If you are going through an especially difficult time, God is aware of your situation and he has a solution for you also.
Late one night, a few years ago, unknown to anyone, I had determined to resign from pastoring the church. All day, and late into the night, I had mentally and emotionally wrestled with problems in the church. I was very discouraged and could see no way out of our troubles. Finally, early in the morning, I determined I would call my district overseers as soon as their office opened and resign from the church. Exhausted from the turmoil, I fell asleep at 3 a.m.
Three hours later I awakened with a roar of victory coming out of my spirit and mouth. I felt tremendous energy and I said, “Satan, you will not defeat me! I will not resign!” I went through the rest of the day on three hours of sleep with energy, victory and joy in my soul. I never made the call to the district office to resign.
A day or so later, one of our church members said to me, “Pastor, I had a dream about you the other night.” I asked what night it was and it turned out it was the same night I had determined to resign. He went on to explain that in his dream he saw me down on the ground and men-like beasts were kicking me and beating me. The dream was so vivid that it awakened him. He awakened his wife and said, “Get up! We’ve got to pray for the pastor; they’re beating him up!” His wife said, OK, and turned over. He said, “No! We’ve got to get up right now and pray.” So, they both slipped out of bed and knelt in prayer. He said they prayed for me the rest of the morning. I asked what time it was they had started praying. He said, 3 a.m. They prayed and I slept. I was strengthened to fight another day.
This amazing intervention into my plan to resign from the church comforted me and assured me that God cares about me and my problems. It also assured me that I am where I am supposed to be. God’s intervention was not the result of any special virtue on my part, and I can only wish all of my struggles could end as wonderfully and decisively as that one did. But God gives grace for the ongoing battles.
Friends, God is at work on your behalf as well. You don’t have to qualify for his love. He loves you unconditionally and wants to help you through the battles of life. If you are feeling overwhelmed or defeated by a situation or a circumstance in your life, or just life in general, there is a place of victory and peace for you. It starts by choosing to believe that God loves you. Jesus came to demonstrate God’s love and make possible God’s solutions for your life. Today, I encourage you to place your trust in him. If I can talk with you or pray with you, please don’t hesitate to contact me. God bless you.
Dan Matney is the pastor at New Life Assembly of God in Avon. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.