Elephants, Grass, & Spiritual Warfare

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. (Job 1:6-12, N.K.J.V.)

My mother is a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Dr. C. Mark Corts was the pastor of that church for almost forty years. He died in 2006.

In his retirement years, just before his death, Dr. Corts wrote an excellent book entitled The Truth About Spiritual Warfare. In the first chapter of the book, he deals with the story of Job and explains that spiritual warfare isn’t about us. It is, instead, a battle between God and Satan. Corts writes:

Natives in Africa say, “When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled.” That’s what we see happening in the Book of Job – the clearest look behind the curtain in the Bible. Two titans, God and Satan, were engaged in warfare, and Job was the grass that got trampled.

This whole understanding of spiritual warfare has been very helpful to me whenever I find myself having to play the role of grass. When I sense that I’m in the throes of spiritual warfare, I ask myself two questions. Question 1: What is God trying to accomplish in this situation? Question 2: How is Satan working to keep it from happening?

Let me illustrate. A mother once approached me and asked, “Aren’t you Russell Mckinney?” When I answered, “Yes,” she proceeded to tell me how much she enjoyed my Sunday morning radio broadcast on one of our local stations. In particular, she was enjoying the series Life Lessons from Proverbs that I was broadcasting at the time. She was enjoying those sermons so much that she asked if I could get her some cds of them for her teenage son. I said, “Sure. Give me your phone number and I’ll call you when they’re ready.”

A couple of weeks later, I called the number but got no answer. So, I left a message saying that the cds were ready. All the mother had to do was call me back so that we could agree to a meeting place where I could give them to her. But several days later I still hadn’t received that callback. I thought that seemed kind of odd because she had seemed so genuinely interested in getting those sermons. My first instinct was to call her again, but then I got to thinking that I didn’t want to pester her. Perhaps she had changed her mind. I certainly didn’t want to make a nuisance of myself by forcing my own preaching onto her!

So what did I do? I took the matter to God in prayer and asked Him if I should make another run at contacting the woman. He answered by reminding me of what Dr. Corts had taught about spiritual warfare. I asked the two questions. What was God trying to accomplish in this situation? Answer: He wanted that teenage son to hear the spiritual truths of those life lessons from Proverbs. And how was Satan trying to keep that from happening? Answer: He was somehow keeping the lines of communication broken down between me and that mother.

Well, once I had that information, I called the mother again. I was disappointed to have to leave another message, but this time she called me back pretty quickly. We worked out a plan for how I could get the cds to her, and she got them. She also explained why she hadn’t called me back the first time. It hadn’t been anything personal. She had meant to call but, for whatever reason, just hadn’t gotten around to it. I didn’t tell her that I truly believed that Satan had assigned some of his troops to her case and was actively working to keep her son from getting those sermons. I didn’t want to scare her.

And now we come to the application portion of this post. Do you feel like you are currently under spiritual attack? Is the aura of spiritual warfare hanging heavy around you right now? If the answer is yes, please take some time right now to ask yourself the two basic questions about the warfare: “What is God trying to accomplish in the situation?” “And how is Satan working to keep it from happening?” You’ll probably be surprised at how straightforward and simple the answers are. Then, once you have those answers, you’ll be able to move forward wisely concerning the situation. Understand that you are the grass upon which two elephants are engaged in battle and keep doing your part to help God accomplish His will.

This entry was posted in Adversity, Angels, Demons, God's Will, Personal, Prayer, Satan, Spiritual Warfare, The Devil, Trials and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Elephants, Grass, & Spiritual Warfare

  1. Myron says:

    Thanks, I needed to hear this. When I get into some spiritual battles and start whining about it to my best friend (who is also a pastor) he looks at me and says “WHY should it be easy for YOU?” 🙂
    God bless you and yours. Keep preaching the word!

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