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Seeds of the Kingdom

Enemies Left for a Purpose

by Jilly Lyon-Taylor

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.
1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV

I recently read an account of some of the horrendous situations faced by soldiers during the First World War. They were longing for the war to end, so that they could return home to normal life. For Christians, however, there will be not be an end to the spiritual war that we are in until Jesus returns, and we can expect no return to ‘normal’ civilian life once we become part of God’s army.

I wonder if you have ever thought, as I have, how much easier our lives would be if we did not have a spiritual enemy on this earth and if we did not have to be constantly alert and on our guard, like soldiers in the front line. We would be able to live our lives unhindered, able to promote the Gospel without opposition. However, God obviously has a purpose in allowing the devil to remain for the time being.

Some verses in the book of Judges struck me recently: ‘So then, the LORD left some nations in the land to test the Israelites who had not been through the wars in Canaan. He did this only in order to teach each generation of Israelites about war, especially those who had never been in battle before’ (Judges 3:1-2, GNB). This shows that God had deliberately left some of Israel’s enemies in the land to test and to train them. Perhaps it is the same for us.

Throughout the Old Testament, we read how the people were continually forgetting about the Lord, going their own way and then finding themselves oppressed and assaulted by their enemies. It was the danger from their enemies that caused them to cry out to the Lord and return to Him. As they looked to God, time and time again He rescued them by mighty acts of His power, so they learnt to trust Him and rely on Him once again. Perhaps this is the answer as to why the Lord has allowed our spiritual enemy to remain, and it is a lesson for us today as we currently face so many difficulties in the world.

Let’s pray that, during this time of shaking for the nations, many will realise their need of God and turn to Him. Let’s also be alert ourselves and stand firm, strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10) and relying on Him.

Prayer: Lord, I recognise my need of You, especially during these times of shaking. Please help me to be alert and to stand firm. I also pray that during these difficult times many will turn to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Jilly Lyon-Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.


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