Like many other churches in our city, we are gearing up for a fun filled week of Vacation Bible School (sometimes called Vacation Bible Camp). Posters and signs blanket the community promising an action-filled, energetic, and faith-building week.
And the enemy prowls.
He would love to twist our desire to reach and teach the next generation into a contest between churches.
- Who will draw the largest crowd?
- Who will create the best backdrop?
- Who will “out VBS” the rest of us?
But it’s not church against church. It is church beside church.
It is one line of multi-denominational believers linking arms together. It is a sea of voices louder than my church and louder than your church joining in one battle cry to wage war against the forces of darkness.
To all those bible teaching, Jesus-loving, faith-building churches in my community, I exhort you with Paul’s command:
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood. During the week of your bible camp, your biggest struggle will not be the child with ADD. It will not be the child who is homesick or even the child with the fiercest temper. Your biggest struggle is against the cosmic powers over this present darkness. The enemy wants you to believe that VBS is nothing more than glorified babysitting. Resist that slip toward apathy. Your Vacation Bible School needs YOU. This is war.
Fighting for Souls
You are picking up the sword and fighting for the soul of every child in your care. Do not be misled. Expect trials. Expect difficulty. Prepare yourself, as Paul commands. And then, pledge to pray for your brothers and sisters on battle lines drawn all across your city.
To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Make supplication for me, that words may be given so that I can boldly proclaim the mysteries of the gospel. Make supplication for the church next door that faithfully proclaims the Word of our Lord.
May the Word be declared boldly and God be glorified all across our cities.