A Spiritual Warfare Lullaby

Greater is He
Greater is he who is in me,
Than the one who’s in the world

There is no power in Heav’n or hell or earth
That can ever separate me
From the love of God our Father
From the love of God above

Like a Good Shepherd he leads me
Besides waters still and calm
In the presence of all of my enemies
Still the presence of God above

I will not fear the terror
Of the day or the night
For I know my Father is with me
In the dark he is my Light.

All the hosts of Heaven are shouting
At the victory he’s won
All of Hell continues to tremble
At the love of God above

Before You Cry “Demon!” {A Life Overseas}

Jonathan is over at A Life Overseas today, taking on the tricky topic of spiritual warfare. 

dem

I believe the enemy is real. I believe he still seeks to kill and destroy. He still deceives. He still lies. He still wars against the King.

I also believe we blame him for way too much.

We talk about how we’re “under attack” or how our ministry team is receiving a whole lot of “opposition.” And sometimes, we really believe there’s spiritual warfare going on, but often those words and phrases are simply code for “my life’s falling apart right now and I need help” or “our team members are all really angry with each other.” It’s easier to say “we’re under attack” than it is to say “we’re really drowning.”

A conversation on Facebook illustrates the problem. After a missionary described a bunch of really hard stuff that was happening in their life and ministry, a friend left the following comment: “That kind of opposition makes me think that you’re doing something powerful.”

Do we really believe that? Play that logic out a bit: “Oh, bad things are happening to you, you must be doing something right.” Or reverse it, “Oh, things are going well for you, you must be doing something wrong.” That’s crazy talk, really, but we do it all the time.

Do we really believe that the only reason difficult stuff happens to Christians is because we’re doing something right and the hounds of hell are now opposing us? It’s possible, of course, but we make the assumption automatically and apply it liberally. Is it possible that Satan and his demons are wreaking havoc on a specific missionary or ministry? Absolutely. But just because it’s a possibility doesn’t mean it’s the only possibility.

Continue reading the article here.

Prayer Requests on Repeat

I’m asking for prayers for the Trotter family once again. It has been a difficult month. After Jonathan recovered from meningitis, we gradually eased back into our normal work and study schedules. Then we (excitedly!) welcomed my parents for a visit to Cambodia (and thoroughly enjoyed them).

But as strange as this may sound, Jonathan is fighting a massive ear infection. What started in the outer ear has progressed to something else. He’s got unrelenting ear pain and pressure, plus a fever, aches and chills, and occasionally that pain-induced nausea that he’s all-too-familiar with by now. He’s not sleeping much because of the pain. He’s on oral antibiotics, antibiotic ear drops, and over-the-counter and Rx pain meds, but he’s still not getting better. Is it good news that he’s not worsening?? (Oh, and our doctor friends tell us he will need to go to a clinic tomorrow if he hasn’t improved.)

This is discouraging for him, as he wants to work but is stuck in bed with intense pain. Much of the time I find him covering his ear with his hand. It is discouraging for me, as I watch my husband battle the most debilitating pain he’s ever experienced twice in the same month. When I signed up for this missionary gig, I always assumed that if anyone would get sick, it would be me. After all, I’m the one prone to migraine headaches and intermittent stomach pain, plus I’d heard so many stories of missionary wives having chronic illness/fatigue. I did not expect him to get sick.

Both our girls have fevers now and have not slept much the past 2 nights (which means that mommy hasn’t been sleeping much either). The kids are all complaining of ear pain to a certain degree, and everyone is sad that we had to say goodbye to the grandparents last night. This morning I told Jonathan that I never want to swim in the ocean again! (He would tell you it was the best break he’d had in a LONG time, though.)

We have been repeatedly told by long-term missionaries that we are in the middle of the hardest time of year, starting in October with Pchum Ben (Hungry Ghost Festival) and continuing all the way through the end of November with the Water Festival. These are big pagan celebrations, and as much as I prefer not to focus on this reality, dark spiritual forces do exist in this world.

We were told that there is more illness and more discouragement during these months. I have been vigilant in guarding my mind and warring for a good attitude since learning about this difficult season. (It’s a bummer that it corresponds to my favorite season in the U.S.) I have the hope that this difficult season will end this year, as it does every year.  I struggle against the sins that are crouching at my door; however, I have very little control over physical sickness, despite our best attempts at frequent hand sanitizing (ahem, ER nurse and germophobe wife). So please pray for us, both for our family’s health and for our spirits.

We are generally happy and healthy people, and I feel very needy to be requesting your prayers so soon after our last crisis. Yet we know we need them. I am confident in the prayers of the believers. On the last night of Pchum Ben, Hannah woke up 3 times, crying over her bad dreams. By the 3rd time, I finally got the hint, and prayed with her that her bad dreams would go away. After that she slept soundly till morning.

So here we are, once again, being quite honest with you, our friends and our family, about our need for prayer. We trust that you will answer our requests for prayer. But more importantly, we trust that God will answer the prayers themselves.