Hey yall. This is usually out of character for me, but I’m writing today to ask you for something. I’m writing today to ask for prayer.
It’s easy to say that the past few weeks have been hard. Not just like, I have lots of homework, I’m not getting any sleep, I hate my friends kind of hard… But the WE ARE AT WAR, front line, enemy firing shots at us without letting up kind of hard. This may sound insane, and you may think I’m being dramatic, but just hear me out.
For those of you who don’t really know what the heck I’m doing with my life, I am currently living in Branson, Missouri, working for a gap year program called Kanakuk Link Year. I completed the program last year, and was offered to come back and help out as an intern. Link Year is a gap year program designed to help 18-20 year old high school graduates develop a firm foundation in their faith before going to college. The goal in doing this is that these students would be equipped in their faith enough to go out and impact their campuses for Christ. Well, guess what? It’s working.
This year’s class of students has a spiritual hunger unlike that of any group of young adults I have ever seen. They are digging DEEP. It’s incredible, and so encouraging to see these guys and gals go through exactly what I went through last year, only with so much more passion. They are doing everything I wish I did. They are taking full advantage of the many opportunities they have been given to learn and absorb as much as they can about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and what it means to truly live for him. It is so humbling to be a part of the way He is truly changing each and every one of them from the inside out.
This campus is burning with a fire so vast that it cannot be tamed. And that is a challenge that the enemy is willing to accept.
Like I said, we are at WAR. Not a physical war, but a war against the spiritual forces of evil that currently control this earth. I’m talking spiritual warfare.
In the past few weeks, an overwhelming feeling of darkness has consumed my heart. I have been frustrated for no apparent reason. My joy was literally ripped right out from under me. I couldn’t stand to be around people, and I was rude to everyone around me. I was definitely not representing Christ well. I felt like there was this huge barrier between the lord, who I used to walk so closely with, and myself. I didn’t know why, and I was afraid to admit it to anyone. I was afraid to admit my struggles, because I am in a position of leadership, and I didn’t want to show my weakness. I thought that to be a good example, I had to have it all together; and guess what? I don’t.
As time went on, I kept hoping that things would get better, but they never did. In fact, they just got worse and worse. I was consumed with things, doubts, struggles that I hadn’t dealt with since leaving high school. I thought I was completely alone. I thought that no one would understand. I had actually convinced myself that my boss would send me home if he knew. Satan isolated me; he trapped me in my own fear.
It wasn’t until last Wednesday night that I understood why.
Every Wednesday night after our weekly church service, we have a time of questions and answers with one of the directors here at link year. One of the guys asked a vague, yet personal question. He asked if we could change God’s plan by neglecting his will. He was directed to Isaiah 55:8-9 which says…
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
But he couldn’t even finish reading before he excused himself, and ran out the back door. Before the doors even closed, we could hear him screaming. Crying out to God. Taking out all of his frustration.
The rest of us were silent. We didn’t know how to react. Adam Donyes, the man leading our discussion prayed for him, and then, again, we sat in silence. Donyes shared with the group about some personal things he and his wife have been walking through the past few weeks, and all of a sudden, it was like a ripple affect. Person after person, story after story, they began to open up. We had all been experiencing the same oppression; the same separation from God. This was not coincidence.
Two weeks ago, 6 students and one staff guy went up to a church near Springfield and wreaked havoc on the darkness that that church had been consumed by for years. They spent time with the youth in a three-day conference, and showed them for maybe the first time what it means to follow God. Satan had a foothold in that church. There was darkness in that church. But what happens when light comes to the darkness? Everything within the darkness is exposed. And that is exactly what happened that weekend. And guess what? Satan was pissed.
He has seen the work that these students are capable of. He sees the potential these student have to change the world, and it TERRIFIES him. Why would he not try to stop it?
That’s how I know that this is not coincidence. It is not a coincidence that this has been happening for the past two weeks. It is not a coincidence that this group of students is experiencing this oppression more than any group before. It is not a coincidence that we are leaving tomorrow to spend the week serving Kansas City Missouri. It is not a coincidence.
Satan has a foothold on the college campuses these students will end up at. Satan had a foothold in that church. These students came in and spread the light that has the power to kick him out flat on his butt. Satan has a foothold in Kansas City. We are going to be right in the midst of the second most dangerous neighborhood in the United States. You better believe that he is going to do everything he can to prevent us from going out and spreading the good news of the gospel.
THIS IS WAR. We are at war with the spiritual forces of evil that rule this world. We are on the front lines. All of us. Daily. If you are a Christian living your life to impact the world for Christ, this means you too.
Its time to fight. It’s time to be fitted with the Armor of God that Paul describes in Ephesians chapter 6, and take up our shield and our sword and FIGHT. There is no room for complacency. There is no room to hide. There is no room to let Satan in. He is not welcome here.
Prayer warriors, I come to you in need of prayer. I come to you asking for help. There is nothing we can do to combat this warfare other than pray, and we need you on our side.
We have been given the opportunity to go and make war on one of the darkest neighborhoods in the United States. But we cannot let the darkness overcome our light! This week will either make us or break us. If we can continue to stand strong in this war against evil, if we can continue to combat the darkness with the light, we have the potential to do great things for the sake of the kingdom. BUT, we cannot allow the darkness to overtake us. We cannot allow the enemy to distract us from the mission at hand. We cannot ease through this week. WE ARE CALLED TO MAKE WAR.
I have a strong feeling about this group. I know that the Lord has huge things in store for them. This confliction is unlike any other I have ever experienced. And that’s not a coincidence. I truly believe that there is revival in store for this nation, and I truly believe that it will start in Branson, MO.
Your prayers are appreciated. Pray for boldness, safety, and faith. Pray against distraction. Pray against temptation. Pray against complacency. Pray that we may stand strong against the attack of the evil one. Pray.