The book by CS Lewis titled The Screwtape Letters is an interesting analogy about an apprentice demon, being instructed in the art of temptation and other useful spiritual warfare tools. An excellent book, but written for the Western audience. I would love to read the same thing written for Japan. It would take great understanding of both culture and the bible to write a book like it for Japan.
The art of our enemy's warfare seems to take on two forms, by open and aggressive attack or by sneaky and quiet seduction. The attack in Japan is often mounted on the emotional front. Discouragement, blueness or depression, or other mental maladies. I am still trying to get my head around the spiritual battle plans, the shape of the assault in Japan. I am still trying to get a handle on things, wondering what to expect, how to endure attack, how best to pray, how best to stand firm, and to respond to the workings of Satan.
In our prayer letter from a little over a year ago I wrote about needing the support of many Christians while we are undertaking this assignment here in Japan. I used an analogy of a wedge and how the tip of the wedge is nothing without the support in the bigger part of the wedge. You will know if you have ever tried to drive a wedge into something, that you need the whole of the wedge and not just the tip.
After reading the letter I wrote about discouragement, my sister sent an e-mail to encourage me. She wrote:
Hey, this is interesting. I am in a study group on Sunday mornings and we are studying the book of Acts. We are at chapter 19 at this point and the topic of spiritual warfare is mentioned. A "blurb" from the study guide says this; "What should the Christian's response to spiritual warfare be? For starters, it should include prayer for the Spirit's guidance, wisdom and protection, including direction in avoiding an excessive interest in forces of evil. We should be in prayer not only for ourselves, but also for others who may be caught in the midst of spiritual battles, especially missionaries. It has often been observed that the devil works furiously where the Spirit is breaking new ground, whether at home or in other lands and cultures." This to me was a very, shall we say, uplifting paragraph. In terms of your latest newsletter, it means that Satan is worried if he is flooding you with discouragement. Sock it to 'im.