(These are reflections from my mugging incident that I wrote back in March, 2016)
John 13:30 (NLT)
“So Judas left at once, going out into the night.”
February 11, 2016, around 8:30pm, I was walking to the nearby McDonald’s in order to meet with a group to go downtown and minister to people on the streets. It was near the McDonald’s that four guys jumped out of a car and mugged me at knife point. They took my wallet, with my visa inside, and my cell phone. I was safe but really shaken up. The remainder of the night was spent processing the mugging with authorities and then talking through some things with a previous friend.
If I had not gotten mugged I would have left the country.
The days leading up to that day were full of incredibly difficult Spiritual Warfare. There was a grocery list of reasons as to why I wanted to leave. I felt worried, insignificant, hopeless, useless, helpless, trapped, discouraged, guilty, lonely, lost; the list goes on. So I was going to leave Mexico. I was going to buy a plane ticket that evening, pack my bags during the night, and then disappear. Satan almost won.
But thanks to the people God has placed in my life, and Him using this mugging event, I am still here and I have climbed out of the pit of despair I had fallen into.
I was reflecting on this a while back because of what I had read in John 13:30. Judas left Jesus, He fled from Jesus to be alone in the night. He ran from Him and this would lead to further misery for Judas. While it was in God’s perfect plan that Judas would betray Jesus, I can’t help but compare myself to Judas as he left Jesus to go into the night. There have been times in the past where I would flee from the people who are trying to help me. I would flee into the night to be alone, and that is not a safe place to be. I flee from Jesus, I flee from His perfect love, I desire to be miserable. It all only makes things worst.
So on the night I was mugged, instead of remaining where I was and taking action to fight the enemy, I left Jesus and went out into the night…
Ephesians 6:17 (NLT)
“…take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Instead of going out into the night full of despair and a selfish desire to flee from the ministry God has placed me in, I should have remained at home, stopped, and meditated on His perfect Word. This is the strategy God has been revealing to me that I must use in order to fight off all strategies of the devil.
I am sick of being helpless to the attacks of the devil. I am sick of allowing my misery and suffering to continue. God has given us countless ways to fight off the devil, but it requires us to take radical action. We can not wait for rescue, we need to do something!
Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the full armor of God, each item is used to protect ourselves from the devils attack, but finally we are handed our weapon, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” We can fight back! I am fighting back! Instead of hiding away and focusing all of my attention on my struggles, I am instead going to turn to Jesus. Only by turning to Him and His Word will I finally be victorious over the devil.
James 4:7 says, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” I want the devil to flee from me, not for me to cower in fear under my defenses. In order to accomplish this I must submit to God, I do not have the power alone to defeat the devil. I must make the conscious decision to submit my will to God’s perfect will. I must surrender my pride and selfishness. I must focus on God instead of my situation and the troubles I face. I must run to His open arms.
I’ve been looking at Job a lot recently. He suffered much more than I have, so how did he remain faithful through it all? Job 23:10-12 gives us the answer. Job remained faithful through suffering because he, “treasured his word more than daily food.” Job treasured the Word of God. By remaining in the Word, through the good and the bad, and by putting to practice the Word, I too can endure suffering and remain faithful.
So, my new strategy is to turn to the Word of God when I am under attack from the enemy. Isn’t it amazing how God can use a tragedy like a mugging for His good?