When you are on the mission field, doing the work of Jesus, Satan will attack to keep the eyes of his herd closed to the glories of Jesus. Instead of merely attacking the work, he attacks those that are doing the work to nip the work in the bud. If he can rid the neighborhood of us, then he can rid the light from the darkness. Not because we are special, but because we are the workmen of Jesus being used by the Spirit to show off who he is.
Why my wife? Peter tells us to love our wives like a weaker vessel, put in our vernacular, like a prized vase that you take great care of and keep from breaking. Satan figured that if he could take out my wife, she’d crumble and our disciple making would be over. Satan has not only attacked my wife through our neighbor, but he has also shown up in visions and dreams of demons surrounding her, trying to show her his strength against her. I’ll add something to this a little further down.
So, why did this neighbor attack my wife, or really us as a family? This neighbor knows us pretty well, as our family is very open and honest about our struggles and our lives in general. He knows who we trust and the hope and peace we have in Jesus. When you live in such a way where you have an honest hope and trust in something greater than yourself, and there is no explaining it away, you end up showing others that they actually don’t live in true peace and hope. We believe in the end, this neighbor started to see that his life was being threatened by us.
He had a view of what Christians were, namely hypocrites that don’t look like Jesus in any way. Now he had people living ten feet away from him, loving him without restrictions, without any strings attached, and I believe it crushed his view of not only Jesus, but of his whole life, which he thought was peaceful and hopeful. When that crashed around him, he attacked because he didn’t know what else to do.
This isn’t some “look how great we’ve been to our neighbor” act, but it is the reality of the Scriptures. Think through this. Why was Jesus hated? Because he showed the people that their deeds were evil (John 7:7; John 15:18-23). Why will we be persecuted? Because we live godly in Christ Jesus (2 Tim 3:12). When we do these things, we are discipling people to Jesus, and this kicks against not only the individualistic American Dream but against Satan himself.
So, as you prepare to live a life on mission to show off Jesus … be ready. Satan is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. That someone is you.
GOD IS GLORIOUS, SO I DON’T HAVE TO FEAR OTHERS, INCLUDING SATAN
The beautiful thing about all this is that God is glorious; he is greater than all things and beings and is in complete control. Therefore, we fear nothing or no one, including the devil.
After this happened to my wife, I told her that it was time for us to rest and allow God to defend himself in this matter, and that we didn’t need to defend ourselves. We told no one, besides our MC, as we didn’t desire to spread rumors or slander against our neighbor. During this time, many emotions bubbled up. This was not a time where we were perfect, nor handled it like stoics. There were times of fierce anger, lots of screaming about the situation and asking God why he was allowing this to happen. After the incident on the porch, another time the family attacked my nine-year-old’s character. They were persistent. We didn’t know if we’d ever reach out to our community again because the hurt to our family ran so deep.
We didn’t hide these emotions from each other, God, or our missional community. One beautiful thing about this was the wisdom and insight we received from God through our people. Two women had visions and dreams about our neighborhood and the attack that was happening. One described it as demon possession and that much prayer needed to happen for the family. Not only that, but this woman and her husband offered us up a place to stay if we desired to flee from the devil and his schemes. It was a beautiful time for our MC family. Another woman said that God gave her a vision of not only the army of darkness that surrounded our house, but that God confirmed for her and us that the army of God was protecting us and would one day send us to proclaim the good news again.
One of my elders spoke to us telling us that Jesus had many people that hated him, and he still partied in their midst. Jesus literally was at parties where his enemies were and they would scorn him in front of others. This elder reminded us of the good news of who God is and our calling to love others for the sake of the glory of God.
As we prayed, my wife was given a vision. It was in the middle of the night and she woke in terror. She saw demonic beings up and down our walls seeking to attack her. I was leaving to speak at a conference, and Satan was telling her that when I left, he was going to attack her. That was when another beautiful thing happened: my wife felt comfort. Terror left her. Fear was gone. Peace and joy filled her as she told Satan:
“My husband is not my protector. He is not my savior. He is not the one who ensures my safety. The only one who can protect me, save me, and ensure my safety is the God of the universe.And I call him Daddy.
Through all of this attack, although our emotions were up and down, Satan failed. Jesus won. Our Jesus allowed this to happen to bring us closer to him and to understand why we are on the mission field. It is not about ourselves or what we’ll get from it. It’s not so we can grab attention or get anything from those we serve. There is only one reason we are on the mission field–to show off who Jesus is.
As we show off who Jesus is, the God who is all glorious brings us along in his power and protection so that we’ll press more into him and the understanding of his glory and might and not our own. Satan thought that by trying to break my wife, he’d win. What he did instead was to press my wife even further into the loving arms of her true Savior, her true Protector, her true Salvation. And by doing this, he strengthened my understanding of what it means to love my wife and trust that my Heavenly Dad loves her far more than I do.
When we begin to understand this, we can press even further into the mission of making disciples who make disciples, knowing that Satan is ready to attack, but that our Protector is there and ready at our defense for the sake of his glory.
It’s his mission. It’s his power. It’s for his glory.
[author image=”http://www.vergenetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/sethmcbee.png” ]Seth McBee is the adopted son of God, husband of one wife, and father of three. He’s a graduate of Seattle Pacific University with a finance degree. By trade Seth is an Investment Portfolio Manager, serving as president of McBee Advisors, Inc. as well as a MC leader/trainer/coach and executive team member of the GCM Collective. Currently Seth lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife Stacy and their 3 children, Caleb, Coleman and Madelynn. He is also the artist and co-author of the wildly popular (and free!) eBook, Be The Church: Discipleship & Mission Made Simple. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll follow Seth on Twitter: @sdmcbee.[/author]
To go more in depth into the gospel centered life, read Unbelievable Gospel by Jonathan Dodson.
For more free articles about spiritual warfare, read Spiritual Warfare Prayer by Winfield Bevins.