Spiritual warfare is real. If you are a Christian, you have a target on your back. You have a very real enemy whose aim isn’t to just poke fun at you. He’s out to steal, kill, and destroy everything sacred and good about your life. But Jesus won a sound victory for you, so now you can stand in battle, and contend for the abundant life to which your soul is heir.

Jesus said,

“The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I come that you have life, and life to the full.” John 10:10

Though I’ve fought many spiritual battles and endured my share of enemy opposition, never have I experienced a more tangible display of God’s power in the darkness as when I was in Belize for a mission trip.

We were in a small, poverty-stricken village where dogs ran wild and were often abused. These animals had a crazed look in their eyes and, I was told, often responded to the demonic activity in the village by barking ferociously.

One day, several of my friends and I were walking to the village church. We turned onto a road we’d taken many times before, but for some reason, everything felt different this time.

There were no moms out doing their everyday choirs, no children around playing. Instead, there were several groups of scary men who looked like they were stoned, glaring at us with scowling eyes. Music played and the drums beat loud in the background. The dogs ran in packs and were barking at us at a feverish pitch. We felt a thick darkness press in and surround us. Suddenly we were outnumbered and isolated.

A couple of the men looked at us, narrowed their eyes, and stepped toward us. They talked out of the sides of their mouths in their native language. By the tone of their voices and the expression on their faces, we knew we were in trouble.

My friend grabbed me by the hand, and I began to sing, “Jesus, what a wonder You are. You are so gentle, so pure and so kind. You shine, like the morning star; Jesus, what a wonder You are.[1] My friend Ann began to harmonize with me. We looked straight ahead. We sang, we walked, and we refused to be intimidated by the oppression around us.

Instantly, the presence of darkness was pushed back, making room for us to walk down an alleyway of light and peace. The dogs and men stepped back like an unseen hand pushed them away from us. They continued to make noise, but their impact faded into the background. We kept singing and kept walking.

For me, it was one of the most tangible expressions of God’s power cutting through the darkness that I’ve ever experienced.

The Scriptures remind us that what we are battling can’t always be seen with our natural eye.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

If you’re in the midst of a spiritual battle right now, remember this: you are not alone. We’re in this together. We serve a mighty God who helps us fight our battles and the victory belongs to Him.

“Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!'” Nehemiah 4:14

[1] Worship song by David Bolton  *Belize story adapted from Susie’s book, “Alone in Marriage

Strong in battle