Termites, Training, and The Enemy General
That was quite a greeting, spoken through our screen door, by Peggy. I'd been away at a weekend retreat, had ridden with a friend, so didn't have my keys with me. I had to ring the bell, and when she opened the front door, those were her first words.
My response: "Praise God!!" Dave Van Veld, the friend with whom I'd ridden, was standing there, and we both laughed uproariously. Not at my response, but at Peg's expression. She apparently thought we'd both gone over some edge or other.
What she didn't know was that Doug Snyder, founder of Shamgar Discipleship, had told us about the enemy general in the last session of that, our final, weekend of training.
Our enemy's general ... satan ... observes the actions of God's army. He sees what we do. He watches us. And when he does, he sees 3 main types of soldiers, in the army against which he is waging war:
- Soldiers asleep in the barracks. What do you suppose he'd do about such a soldier? Doug suggested, and I agree, that you'd leave him asleep. He is no danger now ... so why wake him up?
Those would, of course, be those who believe in Jesus, but simply do not take part in the ongoing battle, here, between evil (satan's side) and Jesus' side, His followers. And, to me, that seems that majority of God's army. Ones who pose no threat to satan.
- Soldiers ready for battle. Armed to the teeth, well trained, and itchin' for a fight. Them, you'd leave alone. Pick a fight with one of those guys, and you might well lose. Or, at best, you'd conduct an indirect attack, like going after their kids, relatives, etc.
I'm convinced as I can be, that this accounts for so many pastor's kids having real and substantial problems. And I have seen more than enough of that ... the preacher is able to wage war against the devil, but children generally aren't able.
- Soldiers who have awakened and are on their way to the training field. Now, them, you want to stop. If you don't, they'll be harder to stop tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.
So satan goes after them, now.
I cannot tell you the number of times I've seen this very thing play out in the lives of people around me who've taken steps to be more effective in the Kingdom work.
Shamgar Discipleship was a series of 4 weekend training sessions, and I attended the fifth session ever held. And the first held remotely ... not at the Shamgar home in Tyler, Texas. We went, those 4 weekends, to the Methodist Campground in Mitchell, Indiana, about 120 miles from Indianapolis. Those were, incidentally, February, March, April and May of 1970.
So it was Memorial Day Sunday I stood on the front porch and had Peg tell me the washer quit working and we had termites. 3 hours after Doug Snider told us we could expect an attack from satan.
And why we laughed.
P.S.: The washer, a few days later, decided to start working again, and did, clear through 1975, when we moved to Birmingham. And the termites? $16 down and $12 a month for a year, and they were history.