Satan has no good plans, and he launches no gentle attacks! He is an invading force that desires to steal the blessings of God in your life.
It takes relentless faith to counteract his schemes and plunder his gates. We are not called to be passive participants in the kingdom. We are called to be aggressive pursuers of the promises of God. We must be unafraid not only to confront the enemy but also to break his power.
Bishop George Bloomer, founding pastor of Bethel Family Worship Center in Durham, North Carolina, writes in his book Spiritual Warfare: "Because we often do not realize the degree of Satan's cunning ingenuity, we are frequently unprepared for the battle we are called to fight against him and his dark forces. Consequently, we end up living defeated lives, thereby not fulfilling the ministry to which God has called us."
Each believer must come to the realization that he is called to be an effective citizen of the kingdom. Every Christian has a purpose. Each of us has a ministry. The problem is that many people do not understand that ministry is all around us. Being a godly father is a ministry. Being a successful mother is a ministry. Being an intercessor is a ministry. Building a thriving business that employs people in the community, funds the gospel, and is led by integrity is a ministry. Working in media to develop quality art and convey a sound message is a ministry.
It is easy to look at those standing on a large stage, sharing the Word of God, as ministers. I certainly honor and appreciate all those who give their lives to preaching and teaching the Word. I believe wholeheartedly in the five ministry gifts and callings (Eph. 4:11–12), but I also know that each believer is commissioned by God to do something of significance in the earth.
Significance cannot and must not be measured by the size of its reach or the accolades of men. Rewards are measured not by the size of your gift or volume of your impact but by the stewardship of your talents. Jesus' parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14–30) shows us that it was the servants' stewardship of what had been entrusted to them that was either commended or rebuked. Their rewards had nothing to do with how great their gifts were.
Spiritual attacks come to knock each believer out of his assigned place. The wicked one and his despicable minions work in concerted effort to bind, hinder and confuse our sense of purpose. If we do not wake up and properly recognize what is happening, then their plans will prosper and we will miss our reward. We cannot afford to allow that.
A Personal Attack Broken
Once I made a decision that seemed wise but would later turn out to be disastrous. Some new friends had come into my life, and I decided to share a business idea that I had with them. After a series of events we found ourselves in business together in what seemed like a great endeavor. This was such a great opportunity. I was looking for ways to create streams of income in order to be equipped for the ministry. Our fledgling enterprise began to take off, and in no time at all it was rapidly growing. I was so excited!
There was just one problem; I was working with people who began to manifest bad character traits. I had to make some tough decisions. I could either violate my own convictions and breach integrity, or I would deeply offend those with whom I was working. I could not imagine going against my gut in this situation and abandoning the road of character. I had given up so much to step out in faith into the ministry, leaving many comforts behind. Why would I put all that on the line to make somebody else happy? I took a bold stand and was met with fierce resistance.
The process of building a new business turned from joy to sorrow very quickly. There were extreme manifestations of anger and accusation. During several confrontations I was concerned that things were escalating far beyond the boundaries of a normal disagreement. Throughout this conflict it was as though a heavy cloud of grieving and disappointment was hanging over my life. The lingering dispute went beyond just a typical misunderstanding. I found myself questioning all of the decisions that I had made in realigning my life with the purposes of God.
I had relocated as a result of an encounter I had with the voice of the Lord. Had I missed it? Did I not clearly hear from God? Were there really righteous people living in the kingdom, or was everyone living a double standard like these people? Were my prayers effective, and was there a way out? Should I just give up and retreat? These were all weighty questions blazing across my mind. The worst part was that I seemed overwhelmed and foggy. I desperately needed direction, and I needed it fast. I could not go on in this confused and weary state. My joy seemed diminished and my hope depleted.
On Wednesday evening I attended service after work. I had been in a toxic atmosphere all day filled with conflict and uncertainty, not knowing what to do. I have always functioned at my best when I have a clear word and direction from the Lord, but in the midst of this attack those things seemed to be fleeting. As I arrived at the evening meeting, my heart was heavy and my mind overwhelmed. They announced that they were going to do Communion. I love to receive the Lord's Supper, but on this particular occasion I desperately needed a breakthrough. I needed someone to pray over me. I was so hungry to hear from God. It seemed to me that probably that would not happen during a Communion service.
The atmosphere is usually focused on receiving the Lord's Supper and not on personal ministry. When it came time, the leaders asked people to line up and come to a table in the front to receive the elements. Two ministers were serving the Communion in the midst of a strong spirit of worship. I walked through the line, and suddenly one of the ministers began to pray at the Communion table and release a prophetic word over me about the attack that I had been under! The power of God hit me, and I began to weep from deep within. In a moment the weight of the attack was being confronted by the power of God. That day the evil plan of the enemy was broken at the Communion table.
In the days after that prayer the Lord dramatically delivered me from the situation and reversed the attack. There was supernatural restoration on every front, and I was propelled forth in the assignment that God had for me. I learned so many valuable lessons during this time of trial that have continued to help me in the years since.
The preceding is excerpted from Overcoming Spiritual Attack by Ryan LeStrange, published by Charisma House, 2016. Copyright © 2016 by Ryan LeStrange.
Ryan LeStrange started in ministry after training and serving under his spiritual father, Dr. Norvel Hayes. Ryan and his wife, Joy, lead Impact International Ministries based in Bristol, Virginia, which consists of several local churches and revival ministries. Through Ryan LeStrange Ministries, he travels the globe preaching, igniting revival and moving in the power of God. Ryan can be seen weekly on his television program, Power 4 Today, airing around the world on GodTV. He is the founder and apostle of Impact International Apostolic Fellowship, networking and fathering ministers around the world. Ryan has written several books releasing an apostolic and prophetic perspective to the body of Christ.
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