Monday, February 10, 2014

Enlisted: Angel Caller.

We seem to fight a lot, don't we?
Fight traffic.
Fight the urge to ____.
Fight for the hearts of our children?
Fight for our marriages. (Please do.)
Fight in our marriages. (Sometimes.)
Fight injustice.
Fight the culture of unbelief.
Fight our flesh.
Fight the cantankerous person at work. (Don't.)

If you've been in church for any length of time,
you may have heard a bit of Paul's letter to the Ephesians:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your 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. Ephesians 6:10-12

As believers, we are in a perpetual war. The moment Jesus wrecks our plans and we join his, we are  enlisted in an army of warriors and we seem to fight from all sides.

It can be overwhelming.
It's difficult to know what our "Military Occupation Specialty" should be in this war. It's difficult to grapple with an ordinary roll. Especially in our social media society of watching other people do grandiose feats in the name of Jesus and then write books about it and travel all over and whatnot.
What am I supposed to do? What's my role in all of this?

Then, I was reminded.
I listened to a speaker a couple of weeks ago give "a warning against prayerlessness". I immediately knew I was about to take a punch in the gut.
I'm a doer. I like to ask other people to pray for me while I go do.
She said, "In America, we value 'do'. God can 'do' immeasurably more."
Snap. This lady hates me and she's never even met me.

Speaking in the context of fighting human trafficking, she said,
"This is a spiritual battle. We fight spiritual battles in spiritual ways." We pray.
Praying is doing.

Citing Peter's escape from prison as told in Acts 12, I was knocked over afresh by the power of the praying Church.

So Peter was kept in prison, but 
the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.” 
Acts 12:5-11 (Emphasis mine.)

The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament quotes Puritan preacher Thomas Watson as stating that prayer is the turning point in this account. He further stated, 
"The angel fetched Peter out of prison, 
but the prayers fetched the angel."

What's my role? I'm an Angel Caller.

No matter your season, you can position yourself in the Army as an Angel Caller. 
We can raise up sons and daughters to be Angel Callers. No. We must.

"You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, 
but you cannot do more than pray 
until after you have prayed." John Bunyan

Let's do it. Let's call the angels.