This summer I am serving in England, working with local youth through sports camps, churches, youth clubs and schools. I’ve had several years of experience working with kids, but there were a couple of days at one of our camps that was unlike anything I’d seen before. I had never really seen spiritual warfare involving children.
It was a smaller camp of about twenty kids in a rough area, and the kids behaved really well during the games. However, as soon as we started “team talks” where we share the gospel with the kids, a handful of them started acting out—which is honestly a big understatement. They caused so much disruption that it was almost impossible to continue talking with the kids about Jesus. It wasn’t that I hadn’t seen kids behaving badly before, it was that they were strategically being used by Satan to disrupt and distract from talking about Jesus.
I watched a four year old boy mocking a man praying over another child by sarcastically putting his arms around them while yelling and laughing. He seemed barely old enough to understand prayer, yet he was mocking it and laughing in God’s face. We all distinctly felt the spiritual warfare that day and saw how Satan desperately tried to get in the way of God’s light.
For awhile I felt really angry by what I was seeing. How could Satan have the right to use little children for his devices? I came home from camp that day fed up. It was frustrating to think about how close God was to each of the children, yet how far away they were from Him. They had no idea of His love for them and how He walked with them every step of every day. I felt discouraged thinking about how hard it is for some to open their hearts, accept God’s love and have faith in Him. It’s especially discouraging to hear little children saying things like “God hates me” or “God doesn’t exist”, all the while knowing how much God loves them and how His heart breaks for them. God reminded me that He wants everyone to be drawn to Him infinitely more than I ever could.
The next two days of camp were much calmer and several kids ended up accepting Christ! This really exciting miracle reminded me that God is in control and that He hears our every prayer. God is the One who saves but we get to be a part of this picture by representing His love. If we represent His love constantly, and don’t hesitate to communicate His love to those around us, people will be affected. Satan is always at work, but so is God, and He is the Sovereign One.