Our Enemy

On Friday, November 11, 2011 (11.11.11), LTi is hosting an event at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary entitled “Re-Ignited: Kindling Your Inner Fire for God” with special guest speaker Chris Webb (and yours truly). In anticipation of that event I will be taking the next 8 weeks of blogs to cover the topic, “What are the winds that blow toward your soul and seek to extinguish your inner flame for God?”

Part one: Our enemy, the devil, who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8) and “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).

Yes, the devil hates God and all who are God lovers. He is the author of lies, the purveyor of hatred, and the greatest contributor to strife in our world today. He is keenly aware of our areas of weakness and vulnerability, and is seeking daily to trip us up wherever, whenever possible. He lurks like a snake, sneaks around in the dark like a vicious bat, and sticks his proverbial leg out often in his vile attempts to bring us down with tremendous doubt, self-hatred and shame.

I’m generally not one to look for the devil under every rock, but over the years have come to discern with growing clarity his trickery, sorcery, slippery ways, and cunning lies. The last thing on earth the enemy of your soul wants is for you to grow close to God. Anything that looks like righteousness is his first line of attack. Believers in Jesus Christ are some of his favorite targets.

To combat spiritual warfare, we need to lean fully on the spiritual weapons provided to us for battling against the principalities of darkness. Those weapons are the full armor of God Almighty…the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6: 10-20).

Don’t underestimate the power of the devil and don’t assume you can fight this battle alone. Trust in God and co-labor with him in the Spirit and with spiritual friends and mentors in community who want to join you in living fully for Jesus.

The enemy wants to extinguish your inner flame of intimate love for God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore, in prayerful perseverance and joyful thanksgiving, press on, lean in, stay alert, hold fast, and trust deep. And, never forget, “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.