The Turkish invasion, 2008. The voice on the loudspeaker announced, “Run, don’t walk, you’re lives are in danger. The Turks are overtaking the nation as we speak.” My brother and I were crouched together behind some military compound buildling, watching as chaos unfolded before our eyes. Bullets zinging by, debris flying all around, and people attempting to run for cover, but most of whom falling to their untimely deaths.
My brother and I were armed with pistols, and we were trying to protect those around us and ourselves from the approaching Turkish soldiers. I vividly recall shooting a couple of enemies, watching them topple to the ground. But just as one would fall, two more would come from behind the shadows.
The man who appeared to be a general began walking straight toward my brother and me, machine gun at the ready. I took aim and shot him in the shoulder, knocking him down. My brother and I were the only two Americans in our area who were left standing. We stood to try to escape, but the general gathered himself, arose, and continued to move toward Steve and me.
The last thing I remember is feeling a sense of sad defeat as my eyes closed for the last time.
I don’t normally dream such bizarre, macabre dreams, but when I do, I ponder warfare, battle, and the possibility of victory and defeat. When that general got back to his feet after I had shot him, I had a sense that my weapons were useless. Although my pistol vanquished other members of the encroaching army, the general was too powerful for me.
In looking at the things that have hit me this weekend, the bullets Satan has launched at me, I need to remember who it is I’m fighting against, which weapons I’m supposed to use.
Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Also, the weapons that I often try to use to combat the enemy are useless – whether relying on my own strength, hiding from the enemy, or pretending he’s not in our camp. I’m encouraged by 2Corinthians 10:4 “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”
There is a real battle going on, and we are engaged. I’ve seen brothers fall because of not using the armor of God, the spiritual weapons God gives. I’ve seen myself nearly become a casualty of war because of not using heavenly tools of battle. I’m wounded, but I still have the ability to fight these battles with God’s resources and His strength.
While I don’t believe Turkey will be the next country to try to invade the U.S., I definitely believe Satan has launched a full-scale invasion on Christians today. He’s trying to carve us each away from the body of Christ, out of fellowship with Jesus and with our brothers and sisters in the battle. He’s trying to render our weapons useless. But he’s not invincible. My dream ended poorly, but I’m eternally grateful that the real war’s outcome is already decided. I can’t wait to stand with my Savior under the banner of victory God plans on waving for the universe to behold!