Care in Attribution

I often hear Christian friends refer to certain difficult circumstances in their lives as “spiritual battle” or a “spiritual attack”.  They seem sure that satan is the hand behind their difficulties.  Yet, we also know that nothing can come against us that has not first been sifted through God’s loving hands.  And, too, God will always be present to give us strength to persevere through trials.  Although it may be difficult, it will lead to something out of which God will bring good. (Romans 8:28)

In recent months some things had come against the Titus 2 ministry…..hard things, things that stretched my capabilities and caused me to wonder if the ministry was being attacked.  Things were just way out of proportion to what would normally be expected by simple statistical probability.

So one night as I talked to Bill about the general issues involved, he asked if I thought the ministry was being attacked.  At first I thought “yes.”  But over the evening I prayed about it and asked God to show me how to interpret the circumstances through the lens of the mind of Christ.  The next morning the most extraordinary peace and understanding came to me as I awoke.  I realized that the situations were, indeed, God’s work and not spiritual attacks by the devil.  God had brought the specific situations to our ministry because we are better  equipped to deal with these particular issues than would have been the case for these individuals if they had been elsewhere.  How foolish and humbled I felt!  That God would trust us with such things amazed me.  And I have the sense that the way Titus 2 responded to the situations must have pleased God, as God is already demonstrating confidence in the faithfulness of our ministry with some new opportunities and challenges.

Paul said that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities.  Sometimes those principalities may be satan’s domain.  However, sometimes the principalities we must face and conquer in the strength of the cross are within the fiefdoms of our own hearts, where fear creates fortresses that much be overcome.