Spiritual Warfare and the Fall of Afghanistan
November 2001 by Asher Intrater
Today we heard of the release of the Christian workers who were captured in Afghanistan and of the liberation of the city of Kabul. Of course it is oversimplified to see the American coalition as the "good guys" and the Taliban as the "bad guys". Much of what has happened over the past couple months is a call for repentance and holiness in the Western world. However, there are reasons for rejoicing tonight, and if we take the fall of Afghanistan as a certain parable, we can learn some spiritual lessons from it.
I Peter 5:6-9
Humble yourselves under the might hand of God, that He might exalt you in due time.
Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour.
Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Here are a few points for consideration.
1. When we are unaware of the devil's schemes against us he can do a lot of damage. This we saw in the attack on the World Trade Center. That damage is a lot greater when we are in sin. If after repeated warning, we do not repent of a sin, we leave the door wide open for a demonic attack, which is sanctioned and ordained by God as a punishment to wake us up.
2. The situation is going to get much worse. It is terrifying to note that Revelation 9:15-16 speaks of an army of 200 million men who will kill a third of the human race. Such numbers were unthinkable in previous generations. Today, however, the thought of an international Islamic jihad of 200 million men killing a third of the population is not at all inconceivable.
3. The devil speaks with a roaring voice, which in many ways is a bluff. Even tonight as the Taliban were being routed, their spiritual leaders made bold and ugly threats. It is a trick of psychological warfare through intimidation. You could hear the devil's voice through them.
4. We said above that when we are unaware, the devil can do much damage. On the other hand, when we boldly attack the forces of evil, they will flee away. The victory will be easier than expected. The devil roams around like a roaring lion, but he will flee when we resist him. After all the roaring threats of the Taliban, both the American coalition and the Northern Alliance forces were surprised at how fast the Taliban retreated.
5. The Lord will turn the world upside down if He has to for even one of His special children. From before the WTC attack, we have been praying for the group of Christian workers who were captured in Afghanistan. We have felt all along that their release was an important factor in this spiritual warfare. At least one of those missionaries was a very special child of God. God caused a world census to bring Jesus (Yeshua) to be born in Bethlehem. He caused a world famine to bring the world to their knees before Joseph in Egypt. Who knows how much of this present conflict was about God the father coming to rescue one of His beloved daughters?
6. It also was a miracle that none of them were injured. The Bible says in II Peter 2:9 that, "the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations." No matter how bad a situation we are, in God knows how to find us, rescue us and protect us.
7. I imagine those girls and their church were praying very intensively. Perhaps their prayers in this situation changed the course of modern history. We should not underestimate how much power there is in true faith-filled prayer. The Bible says in James 5:16 that, "the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
8. While we are enjoying the celebrations of the liberated people in Kabul, there is concern as to who will run the new government. It is one thing to free a city. It is another to bring righteousness, integrity and good government. There is a certain parallel to this to our evangelism. It is one thing to set a person free by the gospel. It is another thing to bring righteousness, integrity and good government in his life and in the life of the congregation.
9. We were somewhat surprised to see how many people quickly rejoiced when Kabul was freed and the Taliban left. We may have thought that a higher percentage of them were loyal to the Taliban. Spiritually speaking, many of those who are seeming enemies and lost in sin, are people who have been trapped by the devil and are waiting to be free. They will immediately rejoice when they are free. We must be strong to attack sin and
Satan to give those people a chance to be set free.
10. We were also surprised to see some of the restrictions that the Taliban had set on the city, such as no soccer games, no beard shaving and no radio broadcasts. This is the nature of religious legalism, which adds restrictions beyond what God ordained. By faith we much walk in holiness, financial integrity, sexual purity and sobriety. But we must also watch out for religious legalism that brings bondage and condemnation.
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