As she emerged from the fluorescent-lit office building into the dusk-colored streets, her eyes slowly adjusted to the surroundings. Carly rarely left work this late, but tonight, she had become absorbed in a pending project. Still deep in thought about the details of her assignment, she pulled her coat closer around her and quickened her pace to reach her destination – the municipal parking lot.
Nighttime announced its arrival with street lights brightening and the evening chill settling upon the city. Suddenly these familiar streets took on a new appearance and sensation. Carly tried to refocus her attention away from the office and on to her path. Abruptly she stopped, looked up at the street sign and realized she had strayed from her usual route.
She knew these streets well - she had, to some extent, gained ownership of them through the prayer walking she had frequently done throughout the darkest sections of town. Like many municipalities, the affluent business section backed itself up to the borders of the inner city where poverty and crime were the gatekeepers.
If the brisk air hadn’t snapped her out of her preoccupation, then seeing the sign, “Division Street” certainly did. She now was aware she had crossed over the boundary between safety and danger.
In the past, she had fearlessly traversed these streets, praying in the power of the Holy Spirit. She immediately realized however, that now she was not at all walking in the Spirit but in the flesh of her own thoughts and concerns. Quite simply, Carly was not wearing her full armor of God.
Within an instant of seeing the distinguishing street sign, Carly called upon Jesus, her shield and strong tower. Before she could reverse directions, she caught sight of two gangs straight ahead engaging in street warfare. Carly stopped dead in her tracks. Though the struggle seemed to involve mainly cursing and fist-fighting with no apparent evidence of weapons, Carly thought surely she could hear clashing swords and see shiny silver flashes. Thank you Lord, they have not noticed me and are too absorbed in their own actions.
Prayers then flooded from her heart and spirit towards heaven. She stood facing the two groups, observing their profile as if watching a silent movie.
“Lord, it is You alone I fear, so therefore I call upon you now in the name of Jesus for your angels to encamp around me and the scene before me.”
Before she knew it, this simple prayer gave birth to intense spiritual warfare. Drawing the sword of the Spirit from the innermost parts of her soul, Carly proceeded to declare Scripture she was sure she never had memorized and possibly never had even read before this moment.
As she continued to pray, her eyes began to see with amazing discernment. She not only heard the clashing of swords now, but saw them positioned high above the heads of the lawbreakers.
Her natural eyes looked around to see if there were any patrol cars out on their usual beat. The old cliché popped into her mind, “Where’s a cop when you need one?”
At that instant, the noise of the swords ceased and miraculously the hands raised against each other in violence met each other in mid-air for a conciliatory handshake.
The Lord had sent His full squad of heavenly police agents to the scene to protect, fight the necessary battles and restore order to the chaos. Surely, there also were a multitude of ministering angels encamping around Carly to extinguish any fear and empower her to intercede. What teamwork; no city’s finest could come close to fighting crime so effectively.
The men in blue finally did arrive to find a peaceful city street. “Easy night,” they thought.
Carly headed towards her car, glanced back at the quiet street and momentarily wondered if she had imagined the whole incident. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw tiny seeds dancing along the cement sidewalks. Deep in her spirit, she pondered, “Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.” Ecc 11:6 NASB
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