For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground . . .Ephesians 6:12-14
Little did I know what I wrote in the last Gem would come back to bite me. “Realise that we are not battling against flesh and blood . . . put on every piece of armour . . . stand your ground”. I sure feel like I have been under attack this last week. After sending Gem 701 the battle was on once more. We have to be ready so that when the enemy comes in like a flood we are ready to fight or defend and don’t have to get ready. We need to put on all the armour, every piece and having done that to stand our ground and resist the enemy.
After sending the Gem I experienced all sorts of strange things going on. In Gems 699 I wrote: “Coincidence or not that today when I came to add the quotes for this, my computer reports an unknown error when trying to open my quotes file?” Interesting. Well it got more interesting still. A folder I had been using to store Gems in just suddenly disappeared. I hadn’t deleted it, I had simply finished working in it and then closed it down. When I came back a few hours later it was nowhere to be found. I figured I might have inadvertently dragged it to another folder as happens sometimes. NO. it was nowhere to be seen. So I worked on it again. Then the next day when I went to go into the system to check the future Gems I had written on pieces of the Armour of God not only was that folder missing but so too were all of the folders related to Bible Gems. All of them had disappeared. The following day my Outlook System just stopped working. I could not send email at all. When I went into the Outlook that next day Outlook was blank. It has been reset to factory settings. There was nothing there. No recent back ups were available and I had to rely on the backup from six months before to restore the system.
When I was Director of Wycliffe we had a publicity blurb we produced on the Six Reasons Why We Love Bible Translation
- We love the way Bible translation work produces a people of the book. That’s really important. Without the written word people tend to quote the human messenger, the missionary. But where scripture is available, people to tend to quote the book. Without a firm understanding of God’s word, the church is likely to remain weak and always an easy prey to false teaching.
- We love the way a church is usually established as a result of Bible translation work. It happens as a result of the Word of God rather than the theological bent of cultural bias of the missionary. It safeguards the Good News from a western flavour and allows the church to be established in truly culturally appropriate ways. And people say that Wycliffe is not into church planting and evangelism. It happens, but it is an indirect result of the presence “the naked scriptures” in their midst. That is God’s word with the least possible foreign interpretation and application. Thus, the Holy Spirit does the primary interpreting and applying.
- We love Bible translation work because it is a well-defined and objective task – one which strongly motivates the missionary to stick with the work until it is done. Less-defined goals can lead to discouragement from the inability to see progress. But a Bible translator always knows exactly how much has been completed and how much remains to be done.
- We love Bible translation work for what it does for the missionary. The translator is turned into a man or woman of the Word, Driven to seek the fullest understanding of every word and phrase in Scripture, the translator gains a profound knowledge of God’s Word. What a dividend of that the deliverer of the Word should also become a primary receiver!
- We love Bible translation work because it attracts intense opposition. I know that sounds strange. Let me explain. Few ministries have come under such concerted, organised, high level opposition as Bible translation. What does this intense opposition tell us about the value of Bible translation? In spiritual warfare, the degree of opposition attracted by a ministry often accurately measures the effectiveness of that ministry. The opposition convinces us that Bible translation is supremely strategic, both to God and to his arch enemy.
- We love the way Bible Translation because it is the best means of discipling the indigenous people. The minds and souls of these co-workers become bathed in God’s word and typically they become the pillars in the emerging church. As they carefully weigh each word and phrase of Scripture, they receive a better-than-Bible-college grasp of Bible content. Could any other discipline give better preparation for church leaders?
Take another look at Reason #5. I love Bible Translation work and Bible Gems because it attracts intense opposition! I must be doing something right and stirring up the enemy camp for them to target me in such a way. I will not quit but will keep on doing it; and all the more as I see the response of the enemy to what I am doing. I find this all so fascinating that this concerted, multiple-layered attack should occur just when I am starting to look at the Armour of God. It must be important so take note of what is to follow. Watch this space. God must have something to say that satan doesn’t want you to hear. I will keep walking through treacle and swimming upstream in order for you to hear it.
The song Victor’s Crown has been in my mind all morning and I have been singing it lots. (See Bible Gem 656).
- You have won the Victor’s Crown, You have triumphed over sin and death
- Your name is lifted high and rings through all the earth.
- Every demon spirit in hell always trembles when Your name is heard.
- And we your church enforce that victory in the world
- Oh the glory of Your name the splendour of your Name
- None can compare with the power of That Name
- You are Jesus, You are Lord, You are God.
Satan only attacks that which is of value and he fears.
I love Bible Gems because it attracts such intense opposition. What does this tells us about the value of the Word of God?Ian Vail
Practice wielding your sword of Spirit, the Word of God. Learn to use it at a deep level.Ian Vail
Smith Wigglesworth when awakened from sleep in the middle of the night to an apparition of satan at the foot of his bed said “Oh it’s only you”, and rolled over and went back to sleep.Smith Wigglesworth