If you ask anyone who's ever been on a mission trip what their life was like leading up to the trip, if they were honest with you, they'd tell you about everything Satan did to discourage them, make the trip seem like a bad idea, and to try and keep them from going.
There's a name for that: Spiritual Warfare
Don't let that phrase scare you.
Being a recipient of spiritual warfare means:
1. You're doing something right (going on the trip is definitely in God's plan and/or you are in a right relationship with Him)
2. God is planning to use you in a way that glorifies Him - most likely in a big way (even if you don't see the impact of your influence, God knows and is anticipating the effect you will have)
You know what? Satan doesn't like that!
Let that sink in - Satan doesn't like your relationship with God and how He is planning to use you. So what does he do? Satan throws a tantrum and does everything he can to keep you from bringing glory to God.
He might make things difficult for you at work, cause strife within your family, bring about sickness for you and/or a loved one, bring about unexpected expenses that make paying for the trip almost impossible, or even harden your bosses heart again letting you have the time off for the trip. Satan has so many tricks he tries to pull in an effort to discourage you and dampen your enthusiasm for the trip and the opportunity to serve God.
You know what? God is so much greater than anything Satan sends your way!
As we've been preparing for this trip to the Middle East, each and every one of has experienced some form of spiritual warfare. Not one of us was spared from Satan's tantrums. In light of the battles we found ourselves engaged in, our whole team proudly looked Satan in the face and proclaimed, "My God is so much bigger, greater, and more powerful than you. Bring it on!"
Confronting spiritual warfare is not an easy feat, and certainly not something you can even hope to accomplish on your own. It is really important to maintain a fellowship of believers who will continuously lift you up in prayer. One of the greatest weapons we have at our disposal to combat the tantrums of Satan is prayer.
Along with prayer, it is extremely important to remain in God's Word, seeking His wisdom, strength, love, and peace. As we remain in relationship with God through the reading of His Word, we are continuously reminded that with God on our side, there is nothing to fear for no enemy can come against us. God has already won! Satan can whine all he wants and pitch a fit, but, spoiler alert - Satan loses!
So if you're feeling called by God to go on a mission trip or begin to serve in some capacity, head that prompting! Listen up and listen good. If God is writing the story of your life, He will always be with you, protecting you, and watching over you. There is nothing and no one that can ever destroy the plans of God. Not even us! If we choose not to go, not to act, not to participate, God will use someone else. He will ensure His glory is realized.
So don't miss out on an opportunity serve God and be a part of the wonderful plans He has in store for you.
Choosing God does not give you a pass of the hard times of life. If anything, Satan will perk up and throw a bigger fit because he knows what God is about to do. Satan sees how you will be a part of bringing him down, and he wants none of that. So have courage and do not fear! Spiritual warfare is just a sign that God is doing great things in your life, rewarding your obedience. So keep it up!