We all know, don’t we, that satan is a thief and a liar. If you couple this with the fact that many of we English find it hard to be assertive, let alone aggressive, the enemy gets away with far too much. But I want to remind us all that there are some things definitely worth fighting for. Our health, our marriages, our churches, the City where God has placed us and many others, but I particularly want to talk about fighting for our children.
David and I have two sons, Jason and Jarrod, conceived and raised for God and could not be more loved, precious and important in our lives, as most of our children are. I don’t want to shock you but for us certainly having greater priority than any ministry!
There have been times in their lives when we have had to fight with them or for them. On one major occasion, they were in their mid-teens and going through that period many young people go through, when they ask, ”Is the God of my parents, my God too?” Jason, who was about sixteen years old at the time, says he loved God, but was finding the church difficult and couldn’t identify with his Christian peers. He was also hurt on our behalf at occasional criticism and problems within the church. He came on Sunday morning because he knew this was our desire and because his love and respect for us had never altered, for which we thank him and God.
Jarrod, about 14 years at this point, was in church regularly and in fact already in the worship group, but, outside of his music, totally spiritually introverted and unable to verbalise or express his feelings towards or about God. At one point he was put out of the worship group for not being a worshipper! That’s given us a few laughs since, considering his present ministry.
Things came to a head in a mid-week meeting with a guest speaker from the U.K., Paul Newberry. At the end of the meeting he called forward all youth for prayer. Because it was mid-week Jason wasn’t in the meeting and Jarrod, who had been on the keyboard, ran out of the church as if satan himself was after him.
I looked at the shiny, happy faces of our church youth waiting for prayer, from all sorts of different backgrounds and although I was thrilled at their openness to the Spirit, my own children, raised for God, were not there. Deeply distressed, I ran out to the little kitchen at the back of the hall and began to cry. Not polite little sniffles, but great racking, noisy sobs. Some of the women came out to see what was wrong and all I could say was “My children, my children!” The enemy told me I was one lousy mother and a lousy Christian too, since I had been unable to influence even my children for Jesus. ( Remember he is a thief and a liar.)
Something broke in me that day and a new assertiveness even aggression grew in me. Satan was not having my sons. I submitted to God, I asked him to forgive any parenting mistakes I may have made, children don’t come with a manual, do they? And in spite of my love for the boys, I genuinely didn’t know if I always got it right. I asked Him to guide me as a parent, when to speak, what to say, when to keep silent.
And I resisted the enemy. David and I began to pray with renewed determination and faith for a spiritual breakthrough for our sons. I spoke in tongues as I cleaned their room, I laid my hand on their empty bed and claimed them for God. When our children are small, we can accompany them almost everywhere, but who knows teenage boys are not too keen to have Mum or Dad tag along with them socially! So when ever they left the house, we asked God to appoint angels to keep them, protect them, to allow them to do nothing that would damage their lives.
I would like to tell you this battle lasted a few weeks and we saw breakthrough, but that wouldn’t be true. It happened gradually over a period of several years and involved the input of many other men and women of God. Some battles are not quick ones unfortunately. But God was faithful and by nineteen years of age Jarrod was actually in ministry, having had a tremendous breakthrough spiritually and it’s almost impossible now to believe he was ever inhibited!
Jason took a little longer but gradually, after we returned to Britain, he began to meet Christians, through his career, he respected and liked and with whom he could identify. He worked at that time in outdoor education and has since moved on to management training. After working for 2 years with Christian Aid agencies in both Afghanistan and Kosovo during the troubles and seeing God do tremendous things for him, he returned to the Lake District where he attends a live Anglican church and is a wonderful, natural evangelist.
Do you remember Shammah who stood in the field of lentils and decided,” So far enemy but no further” and by Gods’ help protected the crop.(2 Sam 23.11-12).? God give us this attitude when the enemy seeks to steal and destroy what God has given or entrusted to us.
When we feel overwhelmed, weak, outnumbered or defenceless, remember how Elisha prayed for his servant, ”Open his eyes Lord, that he may see how many angels fight on our behalf.” 2 Kings 6.17.
People who know me, know I dislike ornaments, but in spite of this, in my home is a small, cheap, brass plaque, we have had it almost as long as we have been married, about 40 years I would think. It has travelled back and fore across Europe with us, when far more precious and expensive items were left behind. It is because on this plaque is a declaration David and I made very early on in our relationship,” As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24.15.
David and I made that promise for ourselves, for our children and even for our grandchildren, as yet unborn, satan certainly isn’t robbing us of household salvation without resistance. Mothers, Fathers stand in your home and declare ”Satan no further, this is Gods’ territory.” And remember that although our enemy is undoubtedly strong and wily our God is even stronger and it is He and His angels who fight with us for our children.