The Spiritual War at Work
How the battle might be won with day-by-day, small advances.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
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My supervisor was messing with me. That was the only conclusion I could draw after speaking to a board member who had been told a bold-faced lie about me.
This was new territory.
I'd never dealt with someone who intentionally manipulated the facts like this supervisor. I couldn't even understand what he hoped to gain from it. Did he hope to play the board members off the employees? Was he trying to sow trouble and get me fired?
When you know that someone is trying to sabotage your job, negative thoughts and anger are tough to stop. Slander came second nature. Passive-aggressive responses to my supervisor struck me as the pinnacle of restraint.
After living in the misery of negative thoughts and anger for a few weeks, I realized that I was in the midst of spiritual warfare—in an office building. I never thought of spiritual warfare as a natural part of my daily work schedule. Like planning for a meeting or going to lunch, I could now include spiritual warfare in my daily work plans.
I expected spiritual warfare to be a lot more exciting than this.
I imagined stumbling forward in church to receive prayer for healing and deliverance. I thought of God radically healing me from the rejection and turmoil of my past. I never thought that spiritual battles would take place in the setting of an office park on the outskirts of town.
When we speak of spiritual warfare, we also tend to focus on battles, not the long-term war itself. The difference is significant. I tended to think of spiritual warfare as this dramatic, one-time encounter. Instead, I discovered that spiritual "victory" is only won in my living room each morning and in quiet moments at the office throughout the day as I retreat to pray.
Fighting sin and spiritual forces who want to destroy us is not usually flashy or heroic. It's a daily grind of patrols, small advances, and training. You don't win a war by launching one quick strike after another. Soldiers need to train, prepare, and patrol before attacking.
In order to deal with my anger, negativity, and slander, I needed a more balanced, long-term perspective. Specifically and practically, this meant preparing for spiritual warfare by integrating the simple spiritual practices of prayer, silently waiting on God, reading Scripture, and confessing my sins to others—especially my anger at my supervisor.
I used to think that I could win my spiritual battles with a one-time prayer encounter in church. The reality was that I needed to expand my spiritual battle plans into the office, the kitchen, and the living room. I needed to make daily investments in the life of faith.
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