There are two dangers in regard to spiritual warfare: to disregard it totally or to obsess over it. I tend to be in the first camp and disregard it. So I looked for a book on the topic recommended by pastors I respect and found Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective. I picked a good week to start it because I believe we’re experiencing some spiritual warfare.  garden-party-animal-dog

If you’ve been reading here or on my Facebook page, you know how hard it was for us to find a place to live. Because our house in PA is still on the market, we’re renting in Pearland. And since Pearland is the fastest growing city in Texas, there aren’t many houses to rent!

We prayed and prayed about a house. It’s where Journey Church will start! The location determines which school James will attend. Our neighbors are the first people we will meet and invite to our Bible study. And while we love the house, Satan is using some details to try to discourage us from missional living.

The first neighbor we met came over when Lee was taking the trash out and accused us of pulling around him when he was driving and endangering the lives of his kids. He didn’t tell us what car he was driving or when or where it happened, but he insisted the car looked like ours and he was very aggressive in his accusation. It shook us up.

Our next door neighbor has a large, loud dog. It barks aggressively when we go in our back yard. They also let it out every morning at 3:30 and it barks for at least fifteen minutes. Thankfully the boys sleep through it, but Lee and I don’t. It makes is hard to love the dog owners even though we haven’t met them yet.

Here’s what we know:

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us … Acts 17:26-27

God sets our boundaries. He placed us in this home, in this neighborhood, in this city. And because we see every person we meet as a potential Christ-follower and hope each encounter we have with them draws them closer to God, of course Satan isn’t going to be happy about that. I believe he’s working hard to make us scared of our neighbors. Scared of reaching out. Scared of even getting out.

But we are not a people of fear.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12

We will find strength in the Lord and we will stand against the schemes of the devil. We will love, serve, give, invite, accept, and share. We will not let an angry incident or a barking dog keep us from our purpose.

I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24

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