“A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.” Acts 8:1
“But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.” Acts 8:4
This reading struck me like a lightening bolt. As a leader (reluctant or otherwise) it is usual to experience spiritual attack - a wise person once told me “if you are not experiencing attack then you are not doing enough for Jesus!” Nowhere else in life have I experienced such a relentless plethora of “helpful” hurtful comments, gossip and judgement by people. It’s bizarre and hurtful in one. Worse still - some of them have truth in them!!!!
In Acts a huge persecution began (far worse than me or you will ever receive!!!!!) described hauntingly as “a great wave of persecution”. This persecution provoked a natural human response - it caused the people to run, to scatter! How awful we think when we read it and rightly so. But what I LOVE is what God did with that. BECAUSE of the persecution the Gospel spread further than it ever would have without it. The good news was preached in places it may never had been.
It says further on “crowds listened” and there was “great joy”. Evil spirits were cast out and the Holy Spirit came for the first time on people and believers sprung up all over the place. Wow, hurrah and boom. So the very opposite of what the enemy wanted - happened. Praise God.
So for me I say bring it on. I will choose to learn from these painful judgements and criticisms and fight back by doing the very thing the enemy doesn’t want me to do. I am going to ask God to help me try and change what I can in ME and leave the rest at the foot of the cross. Remember there is always a seed of truth in the enemy’s attacks otherwise it wouldn’t hurt you. Look for the seed of truth and DO something about it and throw away the rest and move forward. That way we learn and grow. We grow in behaviour, compassion and understanding. I CHOOSE to keep going even if I have to crawl there and do my small part in spreading the Gospel that is so desperately needed in our world today.
So today what spiritual attack is happening to you? Are you going to lie down and give up? Or are you going to rise up and let God use the experience to mould you, refine you and strengthen you AND the Kingdom of God?
Hold on to this verse in Genesis: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.”
Learn from it, fight it with His Word and truth and get back up and fight on in the love and power of Jesus our loving Saviour who never gave up because He thought we were all worth fighting for. God WILL win.