Writing On Spiritual Warfare Is Dangerous
“Be careful of false prophets. They come to you looking gentle like sheep, but they are really dangerous like wolves.” Matthew 7:15 NCV
As my first book, “My Search for the Real Heaven,” began to fill my speaking schedule I called my editor one day and said, “I think I know what I want to write about in my next book: ‘Spiritual Warfare.’” She encouraged me in this endeavor, and I didn’t think much more about it.
That was on a Friday. Our youngest son, Jay, had just left for college, leaving us in the category of “empty nesters.” Now I know that I lot of parents are excited by the exit from home of the youngest child, but we weren’t really happy about that. We really enjoyed our children as well as their friends. We had a game room built over the garage when the boys were small, because we wanted our house to be the fun place; we wanted our children’s friends to want to come over and encouraged them to invite them all the time. (That way, you always know who they’re with and what they’re doing, right?)
Anyway, Jay’s departure left us feeling a little lonely and dejected, so Mary Lynn and I decided that Friday to go to a funny movie together to get our mind off the fact that Spencer, Blake, and Jay were all gone from home now. We needed a little cheering up.
At this point in my life as an author, I still owned my technology company and was quite busy with work, family, and business, not the least of which was helping Jay get everything he needed ready to depart for college. Suffice it to say that although I had done several exciting book signings in the previous two weeks, I hadn’t had the time to run the cash deposit by the bank as I had intended that day. In fact, I forgot about it completely. There was about $5,000.00 in a bright blue bank bag in the back seat of my Jeep. …
While we were in the movie—trying to laugh in order to keep from crying about our empty nest—there was a police car patrolling the small parking lot. We also took comfort in the fact that we had parked just two cars down from the sidewalk leading a short distance to the entrance and that we had parked right under a security light. But it wasn’t enough.
Everything looked fine as we got back in the Jeep and buckled up, but horror took over when I turned my head to back safely out—the back window on the passenger side was gone. I froze. Then I looked down at the items still in the back seat: books, a Bible, some folders, and an expensive camera—all still there. That led me to the incorrect conclusion that the police car must have come along at just the right moment to scare away the offender before anything went missing. But it was not to be. As I quickly took inventory—in a mild state of shock—it dawned on me that the blue bank bag was nowhere to be found. Panic rose in my throat as I remembered how much was actually in the pouch, and the fact that I hadn’t made it to the bank that day.
Then it hit me—it wasn’t an accident that it occurred on the very day I had informed my editor what I wanted to write about now: spiritual warfare. Satan and his forces were not happy, and they were sending me a message. …
After the $5,000.00 loss, I initially contacted Billy’s agent who handled the details of our policy, asking about the possibility of reimbursement. I was quickly informed that cash wasn’t normally covered, since the amount was often difficult to prove, and that companies who dealt in cash had to purchase a special rider dealing with this sort of unusual and special circumstance.
Obviously, I was disappointed, but tried to tell myself that God was good, and that He would take care of me through this crisis, just as He had through so many others. But in the back of my mind I was hearing, “Wow. This is a terrible time to lose $5,000.00, with three boys in Christian college that year,” (Spencer was getting a Masters in Accounting at Abilene Christian University, while Blake and Jay were sophomore and freshman at Harding University, both as pre-dental students). “Just trust God,” I kept telling myself—over and over and over.
In desperation, I sent Billy a email detailing my dilemma and asking him to check on it for me if possible. I got a chuckle when he did so by sending an email to one of his employees to double-check the policy for me, and added, “Now be nice to Steve, because he send out those Prayer Thoughts each day that I enjoy so much about many Bible verses, so lightning might strike you if you don’t do the right thing for him.”
Basically I had given up hope on getting reimbursed when I got a phone call from one of the ladies at HHC. “Hi, Steve,” she began, “we pulled your policy and you did have the rider that covered cash, so how much do we owe you?”
I said, “5,000.00,” and it made my day. God is still on the throne, isn’t He!
This whole event led me to an important deduction: if I am going to write about spiritual warfare, I’m going to need some prayer warriors to pray for me on a regular basis.
“My dear children, you belong to God and have defeated them; because God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NCV
Lord, thank you for seeing that I was reimbursed for my stupidity during this transitional time in my life of service to You. Thank You for Your patience with me as I continue to learn and grow closer to You each day. When I am delivered from each new crisis, remind me that it’s You doing it. In Jesus Name, Amen.
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates,” pages 19-25
Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)