For We Do Not Wrestle Against Flesh & Blood

By: Jacklyn Vanderpool, LiveBeyond Evangelism & Discipleship Training Director

By: Jacklyn Vanderpool, LiveBeyond Evangelism & Discipleship Training Director

Back in October, I shared a story about one of our Haitian staff, Harold Leriche and how he has been the first of those baptized at LiveBeyond to go and make disciples. Over the last five months, Harold has had many hardships but I am sharing this with you in the hopes that everyone will pray for Harold as well as rejoice at the provision of God. Within weeks of Harold making disciples, he came to work one day and right after church received news that his 9-month-old daughter died suddenly. So often when we are faced with trials, tribulation, and death we have two choices one: to turn to God, seek His provision and rely on His strength or; turn away. My concern was that Harold would walk the latter road. But through his pain and tears, Harold praised Jesus. The next day, due to grief, Harold’s mother fainted and was taken to a hospital in the Dominican where she stayed for four months and has only returned last week. In January, Harold’s father fell and broke his hip and leg and though he sought medical attention, it wasn’t enough. Harold’s dad passed away on March 7. And though Harold’s mother was able to return for the funeral of her husband, she is incredibly sick and only increasingly getting more and more sick. I had the honor of attending the funeral of Harold’s father and throughout the entire thing, Harold was the perfect picture of strength and compassion though deeply marred by grief. Each time I hear of a new sorrow plaguing Harold my flesh winces wondering if there is any way Harold will continue to sing the praises of Jesus. And by the grace of God, each time I have been wrong. He came back to work today after the funeral of his father with the biggest smile on his face. When I see Harold, I clearly see the hand of God. For Harold, I cannot help but think of Job, who had everything taken from him and yet he continually praised God. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21b).

But Job did not merely have bad luck, he was intentionally attacked by Satan. I can’t help but think the same thing has presented itself here. Harold, a faithful man of God, who was making disciples in the name of Jesus, who was expanding the Kingdom of Light, and is a fierce warrior for the Kingdom of God is not just experiencing an unfortunate series of events but instead is experiencing spiritual warfare. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). But despite it all, despite all the attempts of the enemy against Harold, he continually praises Jesus and gives all glory to God. 

So please join me in praying for Harold, his wife and brothers. Please pray that his mother will be healed in the name of Jesus. Pray that as brothers and sisters we can take up our weapons and stand with Harold against the enemy and fight in the armies of the Lord. Pray that Harold will continue to boldly share the gospel, make more disciples, and be a powerful man of God. 

Praise the Lord that though we are in the middle of a fight, we already know who has won! 

Plunder hell and populate Heaven,

Jacklyn