Brothers in Arms

The Shield of Scripture
In my last post I hinted at the spiritual warfare that our friend Steve faced as he prepared to visit us last week. I was circumspect because I had not yet discussed with Steve his wishes regarding my blog posts about him.

This morning Steve and I spoke on the phone and he encouraged me to be transparent. [Thanks, Steve, for being so real!!] Now that I am free to share the story with enough detail to make sense, today’s post is about God’s protection in spiritual warfare–and how He uses us as His shield.

First, some context: Steve is Steven Young Caudill, a nationally-recognized portrayer of Daniel Boone. He is also a recovering alcoholic. He traveled from Kentucky to Orange County earlier this month to attend the Celebrate Recovery Summit at our church. My husband Rich and I participate in our church’s hosting ministry, whereby we open our home to people who are traveling to our area to attend an event at the church.

On July 9, the host coordinator for the summit invited us to host Steve and we accepted. The coordinator then provided us with contact information for our prospective guest; we sent Steve an email to introduce ourselves and ask what we could provide to ensure a comfortable stay in our home. A stream of correspondence followed. We learned a lot about Steve and his walk with Christ and we shared some of our story with him. We bonded.

The last week in July, Steve reported to us that he was craving alcohol in ways he had not since he became sober nearly nine months earlier. Thus began the skirmishes. He felt the enemy was trying to turn him away from his trip to California. Determined to support our new friend despite the distance between us, we developed a habit of sending him supportive emails and text messages throughout the day while he was struggling with this temptation.

Steve was booked to appear as Daniel Boone the first weekend in August. He was to drive to the event on Friday. He shared with Rich that he had a bad feeling about the looming weekend. On Thursday he received a map showing his booth location at the event. The organizers had positioned him directly adjacent to the wine tasting booth!

It seemed that the enemy was determined.

Steve posted the map on his Facebook page. Another of Steve’s friends pointed out to him in a reply post that just above Steve’s location was a booth assigned to “Linda Miracle.” The battle was on.

As Friday dawned Steve was preparing to drive to the event and we continued to send him text messages intended to support and encourage him. That afternoon, Rich, mindful of the temptation posed by the proximity of the wine tasting booth, decided to send him a text message reading, “1 John 4:4.” He had no way to know what Steve was facing at that moment. He felt moved to send that message, so he sent it.

1 John 4:4 reads like this:

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory
over those people,
because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the
spirit who lives in the world.
(NLT, my italics)

The next day, Steve phoned us with an amazing report. It seems the event organizers had arranged housing for Steve at a local bed and breakfast. When Steve arrived there Friday afternoon, the proprietor, an attractive middle-aged woman, was drunk! Further, she apparently had ideas as to how they might pass the evening alone together. She invited Steve (a loving husband) to take a walk with her so they could “get to know one another better.” Precisely at that moment, Rich’s text message arrived.

Steve left the bed and breakfast, choosing instead to pitch his tent and sleep in the rain at the event grounds that night. Late in the evening, the proprietors of the wine tasting booth sent over a case of wine for Daniel Boone to enjoy. Steve set it beside a dumpster. The “tasting” at the booth nearby continued until 4 A.M. The next day, a local couple invited Steve to be their guest in their historic home that night. They served him tea with dinner.

10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We
have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you
are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God
has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
2 Corinthians 1:10-11(NLT)