Going on a short-term mission trip is a unique opportunity to step out in faith. In order to serve God well it is important that you prepare your heart, body, spirit, and mind. God desires for you to increase your intimacy with Him as you prepare, spend time in Asia and when you return. Whether you intend to serve God with Serve Asia or another organisation this reflective bible study can help you spiritually prepare for short-term mission.
“It is a serious mistake to underestimate the power of Satan; it is a tragedy to overestimate it.” ~Anonymous
Our worldview impacts how we interact with the spiritual reality of life. Sometimes we are more aware of spiritual warfare, or the battle between God’s work and the enemy’s presence, when we go to another culture because it seems so physically apparent due to their worldview (i.e. spirit houses, temples with demonic paintings, prayer flags or bracelets, shamans or witchdoctors who communicate with the spirits, etc.).
The truth is that God’s enemy is attempting to keep people from knowing Him everywhere! It happens even where you currently live, although you may not see it in the overtly physical ways like you might see in your host culture.
As followers of Christ, we have been brought from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. We have a Biblical Worldview. We have a personal relationship with the one true God, who is over all powers and authorities in the heavenly realms. That should give us great joy and confidence in being co-labourers with Him! We are now part of Christ’s rescue team as He draws people out of darkness into relationship with Himself.
So, what does God teach us about this issue of spiritual warfare?
We need to understand who God is. We need a correct view of God as we look at the reality of spiritual warfare.
- God is willing to hear (Psalm 145:18-19)
- God is able and powerful (Ephesians 3:20)
- Christ has all authority (Ephesians 1:20-22)
We need to understand the spiritual battle.
- We claim His power and strength (verse 10)
- Be aware of the enemy’s schemes (verse 11-12)
The enemy’s schemes include:
- World’s temptation (1 John 2:15-1()
- Our own flesh (Galatians 5:19-21)
- Lies and deceptions (1 Peter 5:8) For example,there is a huge misconception today that Satan is all powerful. It can also be used as an excuse for us to sin and blame it on the enemy. But remember – Satan is not all powerful, only God is!
We have the following tools:
Armour against the enemy’s schemes (verse 13-17):
- Belt of truth
- Breastplate of righteousness
- Shield of faith
- Helmet of salvation
- Sword of the Spirit
Intercession (verse 18-19):
- For self
- For ministers of the gospel
We need to understand who we are in Christ.
It is extremely important to know your identity in Christ and the authority He has given you before engaging in spiritual battle.
- Christ lives in you (Galatians 2:20)
- You are forgiven and alive with Christ (Colossians 2:13-15)
- You are victorious (Revelation 12:10-11)
In your own words, what do these verses say about who you are?
We need to know truth and be able to recall scripture.
- Taking thoughts captive and aligning them with the truth of God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
- Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16)
If you find yourself in a spiritually charged situation that requires serious warfare, don’t go at it alone. Take at least one other person with you if not several. There is no formula when dealing with these situations. Our response needs to be one of crying out to the Lord and allowing Him to lead us.
Practical Application: Prayer Points
- Start by acknowledging and praising the Lord that He promises “a people for His name” will be established from among every people. (Revelation 7:9-10)
- Ask God to enlighten the minds of the people to see the futility of worshiping other gods. (Psalm 115:4-8)
- Plead for the opening of eyes to the revelation of the creator God and His Son, Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:17-18)
- Ask that spiritual strongholds and human philosophies or arguments against God, which produce barriers of resistance to the gospel, will be demolished. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
- Pray for willing and skillful workers to be sent to reach this people group. (Matthew 9:38)
- Ask God to give understanding and discernment to those who communicate truth, that it may be clearly understood. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
- Intercede for people to come to Christ, repenting from their sin and from attempting to earn eternal life through their own good works. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- Ask that new believers will grow in their faith and share the gospel as bold witnesses. (Acts 4:29-31)
- Pray that new communities of believers will give evidence of the grace of God through their lives. (Acts 11:23)