Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) 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.
This evening, a new friend brought my youngest home from a shopping expedition and spoke God's truth into my life. This new friend came into my life because my daughter chose her daughter for friendship, and in her perky friendly way, brought her daughter home to play and the mom visits began. This sweet mom had the advantage of having heard me speak on the importance of educating our children in the way they should go - according to God's command that we take this so seriously that we speak about His amazing faithfulness along the road, when we get up and when we go to bed. She knows a bit of my heart.
Each time we've seen each other, even for a minute, she's brought something into my life. The second time I saw her, she walked into my house with a fire alarm going off and immediately took to swinging a wash cloth at the alarm hoping to clear the smoke while I called off the fire department. (Truth: a candle met some moss tucked into an amaryllis bulb on the force and set the thing ablaze. Not a shining moment of brilliance, especially with someone else's child in my home. But she met it with calm and love and prayer.) She is unafraid to bring the bonds of love in a word or some wisdom. And yes, she is quite special.
As she left my house tonight I asked her to pray for a challenge I'm facing. A dear friend has decided to dissuade me from basing my faith on the Word by attacking the validity of the Bible. I shared a few details of our discussion - mostly my friend's heat and resounding passion against the atrocities coming from organized religion (basing Glenn Beck's tears on Jesus Words?). I mentioned how sad I am at the gap this placed in our friendship - and immediately Beth looked at me and spoke the words of Ephesians - this is not about my friend. This is about the enemy. About how much he hates me and my faith. And how very much he wants to pull my friend away from the Light and Beauty and Love of God's Grace. She encouraged me to take my friend out of the equation. To simply continue to bring Grace and Truth, Love and Peace. To be myself out of the strength and courage of my faith and commitment to follow.
Oh, God is good. I live every minute in His presence. I pray to hear His Voice, see Jesus in my life and to remain humble and obedient. And what happens? I hear His Voice and see Jesus in my new friend.