In A Nutshell | October 9, 2020

The Frightening Reality of Spiritual Warfare

Is it possible for a church to be haunted? I pose this question because last
Saturday, as I was preparing for Sunday’s service in the Sanctuary, I heard a series of
loud bangs that startled me.

The unexpected and unsettling noises seemed to be coming from Fellowship Hall
or possibly as far away as our Educational Wing. I quickly assured myself that someone
with a key had entered the church, but just to be sure, I went to the Narthex and peered
out the window, fully expecting to see another car in the parking lot. To my surprise (and
dismay) there was only one vehicle — and it was mine.

So I started to check around to see what the source of this unwelcome sound
might be, but I found nothing, so I went back to the Sanctuary. A few minutes later,
there was another series of loud bangs. This really concerned me, so I made another
sweep of the building and again found nothing. Whatever courage I may have had was
now depleted, so I made my way to my office, gathered my things, and made a hasty
exit, trying to keep my wits about me and making sure that I locked the glass doors
behind me.

On my way out of the lot, I decided to call the Shallenbergers. Blair and Cathy
know everything there is to know about our church, I reasoned, and they were just a
mile or so down the road. They very kindly agreed to meet me at the church and take a
look around. I was grateful for their offer, and I followed the two of them up and down
the hallways, but once again, we found nothing.

The next day, Miriam Zech allayed my fears by assuring me that it was the boiler
that was making those ghastly noises. Still, it was a reminder to me about the presence
of spiritual warfare in our lives, and even in our church.

Fortunately, we are not unprotected. In Ephesians 6 we are advised to “be strong
in the Lord and in his mighty power [to] put on the full armor of God, so that [we] can
take [our] stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and
blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark
world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on
the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, [we] may be able to stand
[our] ground.”

The enemy is real, formidable, and stealth. It lurks around every corner, setting
traps and looking to catch us in its snare. We need to be careful, vigilant, and prayerful
at all times.

October is a month when we like to scare ourselves with images of ghosts and
goblins, but even though we can see them, we know that they’re not real. It’s the evil
spirts we cannot see that are the most dangerous. So be watchful, be alert, and ask
God to protect you so you are never caught off guard.

Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John

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