“He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” – Genesis 3:15
Scripture is clear in describing Satan’s plan in John 10:10a (HCSB), “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.” So what is it that the Enemy desires to steal, kill, and destroy? The answer is obvious—anything God has planned for us! p. 13, FD’s 3rd edition
Satan takes full advantage of the struggle between the old nature (the flesh) and the new nature (God’s Spirit). His first attempt will be to weaken our new nature by tempting our old nature with distractions meant to diminish our desire to study the Bible or spend time with God in prayer. p. 46, FD’s 3rd edition
For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. 2 Timothy 1:7, HCSB
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32,HCSB
Slowly but surely the Sleeping Church is being awakened to the horrific persecution against Christians in Iraq. Those who react with disbelief cannot deny the pictorial reports of innocent children lying dead in the arms of ISIS soldiers. Suffering and persecution seems rampant from Africa, to China, to the Middle East, and even America (remember 911?)
AND STILL THE CHURCH SLEEPS?
WAKE UP TO SATAN’S TACTICS TO KEEP US DISTRACTED WITH FIERY DARTS.
-Of course, the initial response for many is to pray. But the fiery darts will attempt to convince us that praying is a hopeless effort.
-The fiery darts will have us focus on the horrendous images in the news, on the internet to the extent that we will be overwhelmed. We will begin to despair that the evil cannot be overcome and will continue to spread, no matter what we do.
-Guilt, is one of the most effective of fiery darts. It’s poison will have us feeling guilty for every blessing that is ours, feeling guilty because we aren’t over there trying to help, feeling guilty because the fiery darts have tricked us into believing there is nothing we can do. The guilt will increasingly weigh us down with every passing day.
-We turn our eyes and thoughts away from the genocide because the fiery darts induce us to think it’s too horrible to bear. So we coil up within ourselves and hide from the evil. Besides it’s far far away from us. Perhaps, it will eventually die down and just go away!
Especially, Christians all over the world, but especially those of us in the USA. Can you imagine anything more horrible than children being beheaded and entire Christian communities being assaulted by rape and death? I can’t. Then what would only add to this gruesome image would be for Christians to think that praying was a feeble act.
But here’s how Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 felt about prayers:
8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers,2 of mthe affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us nrely not on ourselves bout on God pwho raises the dead. 10 qHe delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. rOn him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 sYou also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf tfor the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.-
The grievous trial that made them despair of even living was given so that they would not trust in themselves, but in the God who raises even the dead (He became their ONLY hope) AND the PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS HELPED HIM! Can I just shout it again? THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS DELIVERED A GIFT TO HIM THAT EVEN THEIR PRESENCE COULD NOT
Ask the Lord to awaken the world to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Iraq and to provide pathways for Christians and others to respond.
Ask God to miraculously protect the Yazidis and other Kurds who fled into the mountains; ask Him to provide a means of rescue and temporary homes for the refugees.
Pray that ISIS leaders and soldiers would experience the love of Jesus Christ and that their lives would be transformed.
Ask God to preserve and embolden the small remnant of believers in Mosul and Kurdistan, so that one day through their witness, every Iraqi might have the opportunity to hear the Gospel.
BP: “Help respond to Iraq’s refugee crisis by donating to the International Mission Board’s general relief fund or by texting imbrelief to 80888, which will donate $10 to that fund. To give through Baptist Global Response, visit gobgr.org/donate or text bgr to 80888.” (More info here)