Fred Coker

Spiritual Warfare in a Different Dimension

Spiritual warfare is not a cunningly devised fable. Therefore, the Seventh-day Adventist Church should not underrate it by any means. Satan, our antagonist, “is like a roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8), seeking to destroy and discourage divine and human efforts in reaching the unreached with the Three Angels’ Messages. He is using every tool he can imagine to weaken the children of God, distracting them and influencing them to not obey the Great Commission. Even when they reach out to others, he does everything possible to ensure they falter. But, our Creator, in His infinite love and mercy, has called us to save not only us, but also our friends and family members as we toil and labor with Him.

Since we arrived in Kono in July 2021, we have been robbed three times. The first two robberies were minor. In the first, they broke into my mother-in-law’s car and took the battery. The second robbery was at the house we rent. Before the robbery, the courtyard gates were not very strong, allowing the thieves to easily break in. We hired a welder to reinforce the gate, and we bought three puppies. But because of the poor electrical supply at our house, it took the welder six months to fix our gates. The very day before he was to deliver the finished main gate, we were robbed again.

That third robbery occurred on a Sabbath morning at around 5:30 a.m. As usual, I awoke to read my Sabbath School lessons. I looked around our bedroom for my iPad and phone but could not find them. When I walked into the living room, I discovered our front door propped open by a large log, but they were not able to access the bedrooms. Instead, they climbed in through our bedroom window while we were sleeping. How could six people be sleeping in a house and get robbed without anyone noticing?

They also broke into the car again but could not take anything, not even the battery, because I had paid the welder to fasten an iron rod around it.

The evil one injected fear in me, one of the things he has perfected, and I began to think about horrible things the thieves could have done.

This time, the robbery was so terrifying that I decided to send my family to the capital, Freetown, for safety. Fear had clouded my faith. I began to take matters into my own hands by looking for a gun. Then discouragement crept in. I did not even go to church that Sabbath. I spent it at the police station trying to report the robbery. I called my supervisor. He sensed my stress as I explained the robbery and directed my mind to Christ and the task at hand.

After this conversation, I broke down and cried. I asked God for mercy, and a Bible text came to me as loud and clear as if someone was speaking into my ear.

“Be confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

This verse was reinforced by a quote from E. G. White.

“He desires to restore you to Himself, to see His own purity and holiness reflected in you. And if you will but yield yourself to Him, He that hath begun a good work in you will carry it forward to the day of Jesus Christ. Pray more fervently; believe more fully” (Steps to Christ, p. 64).

The next day, as I continued to ponder what to do, the welder appeared with the long-awaited gate.

We are confident that God will move wonderfully here in Kono. The devil is angry, and he is using others to disrupt and discourage God’s workers, trying to weaken their faith. But our Lord is faithful. He is all-powerful. And if we commit to following in His Great Commission, He promises to be with us always, even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:18-20). Amen! We claim all His promises for Kono.

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