By Beca Acuna, student missionary Go Now missions
In the last few years of college, I have heard a lot about spiritual warfare. We have had workshops about it at our BSM and Go Now training events, and I have talked about it with several friends who have served in various parts of the world. I still don’t completely understand what the Bible explains as our spiritual battle with things unseen, but I can definitely say that the Lord is teaching me a lot about the real war for people’s souls.
In December, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Georgia and serve at a Pregnancy Crisis Center for a week. This ministry (called The Living Vine) is a place where at-risk women can come and prepare for the birth of their babies while being ministered to by faithful ladies who diligently pray, serve and teach them skills for the next step in their life as moms.
It was in this week, as we transitioned to January 2018, that I had one of those moments where I knew God was helping me pay extra attention to a lesson He was teaching me. Every night before bed, a staff or student missionary would pray individually with each of the residents. On my fourth night staying there, I got to pray with a precious girl who we will call Julia*.
Julia is a sweet girl who has had a difficult childhood and who made poor choices in her teenage years involving addictions. All week we enjoyed getting to know each other and we got to share our testimonies. Julia is a believer and is working hard to be a mom who raises her child in Christ. That night we happened to be talking before we prayed together.
Julia shared with me about her anxiety in leaving The Living Vine house, since her time had come to transition to her own apartment. She told me that some of what she feared the most was falling back into her old addictions. As she was describing this to me, I had a very strong moment of empathy with her. I have temptations of my own to sin all the time, and it’s like in this moment talking with Julia, I could feel the pull her past sin held in her life.
It was a sweet moment to get to pray with her that night. But it was also a moment where I was more aware of spiritual warfare than I had ever been before. I was so aware of my sin and of the way I easily go back to it all the time. I was aware of the possibility that Julia may go back to her addictions after leaving the home. The battle for our souls became very real for me that night. In those moments praying with Julia, I felt like I had never been more ill prepared for reality in my life.
I was getting a glimpse of a very real war, and I didn’t know what to do. Thankfully, the Lord provides swiftly because in the last few weeks that I have been home, He keeps putting Romans 8 on my mind. Verses 31-39 are these beautiful words that remind me of the only hope we have in this fight; Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, the Gospel!
After that night of praying with Julia, I paid close attention to how diligently The Living Vine’s staff prays for their residents, and how they pray for all the women in their city that they have not reached. Spiritual warfare had a new significance for me. In Romans 8, I saw that though the battle is very real, the victory of Jesus is much more so.
Now, I will pray for my struggles with sin and those of others, I will share the Gospel on the campus I’m at for one more semester and I will read the Word to learn of the Lord’s battle plan and strategy so that I can be His witness wherever I go.