What We Can't See
What's at work that we cant' see? Several years ago, my wife had business in Dallas, and the husbands were offered a chance to go to Texas Motor Speedway while the wives did their training. I went, and got to tour the facility, the pit area, etc. They told us about the track and the angle of slope on the curves. Then they loaded us up in vans, three to a seat. I was on the driver's side outside seat, and there was a large fellow in the middle and another man on the right. They hit those curves at about 85 mph, and showed us how they didn't even have to touch the steering wheel, and the vehicle took the angle and slope and practically steered itself around the curves.
They told us on the last lap, that they would stop at the top of the curve. As they began to slow down, we started leaning left. The slower they got, the more we leaned. When the driver finally stopped, I had two guys fighting to keep from crushing me, and I was plastered against the window. As we started moving again, we could feel ourselves slowly being righted back up. We couldn't see gravity at all, but we just got a stark demonstration of it, and how it, track engineering and centrifugal force work together during a race.
We know gravity holds us down, but we can't see it. We know the wind is blowing, yet we can't see it. We understand dangers like radiation, we can’t see it, smell it or feel it, yet it is there, and damaging the cells in our body if the dose is too high. But what about the spiritual world, something that we can't see either?
We can't see what all is going on in the spiritual world. We know God is ultimately in control of everything, but due to men's hearts, Satan rules. 1 John 5:19 says, "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one." We are at war with Satan, and he's winning for now. We see what he's accomplishing through the lives of people, and while we'd like to find a place to hide and watch, we can't, we are in the fight. We are fighting an invisible war! The forces at work are just as constant and just as real as the force of gravity was on the race track that day. The question for all of us is can we recognize these forces when we need to so that we can combat them? How do we fight what we can't see?
Paul spends much of Ephesians 6 talking about our spiritual battles against the devil's schemes. Paul says, " 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." (vs- 12) We can't see Satan, and often we can't see what he's doing until it's too late. To help us prepare for these times, in vs-13-17, Paul tells us of several defensive weapons we have in our arsenal to fight this war, weapons we can use for protection. He then goes on to tells us we have one offensive weapon, which is also a defensive one, and that is the Word of God, the "sword of the Spirit". This is our greatest weapon against Satan, and it's good for all battles. We've heard lessons on this, haven't we?
In vs-18, Paul then tells us to "pray". He says it twice, the 2nd time saying, "Keep on praying for all the Lord’s people". In vs-19, he says to "pray" for him that he can preach the Gospel. In vs-20, he asks for prayers for himself, that he may be bold as he preaches. Paul felt prayer was essential in his battle against the devil, and Satan's forces of evil in the invisible spiritual realm.
In Chapter 4 of the book of James, he says we have battles within us, and suggests we go about things the wrong way. Talking about our prayers, he then says, " ...You do not have because you do not ask God." He's careful to also say, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives..." (4:2-3) James is using these verses talking about our submission to God. Isn't that the most important part of our battle against Satan? I'm not telling us anything we haven't heard before, but how much knee time do we give to praying about this ongoing war we are in?
Let me encourage you today to pray more about our war against sin, against those things we can't see that are opposing us on a daily basis. Let us use those weapons that we have and let us pray fervently that we, like Paul, can boldly speak the truth of the Gospel, and make the Word known to all men in the face of our invisible enemy. If you are like me, you need to spend more time devoted to prayer where you are very focused, and asking God for specific things. Let’s get started today!