Think About This: “The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.”― William Blake
Posted on November 30, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
Can you imagine the courage it took to stand before an army of 200,000 with a trumpet, a pot, and a lamp? How often do we think we need power, size, and numbers when in Truth, all we need is to believe and obey the Word of God. Gideon didn’t just show up with his jars of clay and yell, “Let’s roll!” Long before the battle, he spent significant time in knowing God. The courage he wore in battle was forged in the furnace of Truth. God had held Gideon in the fires of adversity long enough for him to believe the Truth of God’s promises when He said, “Will I not go with you? Listen and obey my Word, and you will defeat the enemy as one man.”
The greatest battle I have fought in this past year is discouragement. There is a constant attack to give up because the obstacles are too big, the pain is too much, and I am too weak and tired to press on. In these times of discouragement, I am challenged to not walk by faith but to believe what I see and feel. It is for this reason that we must work out our salvation, knowing what we believe, before entering the cauldron of adversity. The heat of the battle is no time to decide if you are ready for the fight. No athlete or soldier enters the arena without first knowing himself and understanding his opponent.
Paul writes to those who believe to, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” He echoes Solomon here who challenged, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5-6) Paul goes on to urge us to “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
It is easy to dismiss our enemy as being fantasy out of some book or movie. But it’s this rationale that has caused so many to be destroyed: being victims of their own anxiety, fears, discouragement, desires, and willfulness, all weapons of Satan. They have believed his lie that they are God and able to dictate their own Truth. Because the enemy is fierce, desiring your death, we must “Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle, you will still be standing firm. You will stand your ground by putting on the belt of Truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Truth so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.” Finally, and most importantly, “Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers, for yourself and all believers everywhere.” (Eph. 6:10-18)
The onslaught has been great; wave after wave of opposition has pushed so close as even to tear away pieces of my heart. Discouragement whispers in my ear, “You are too weak, too tired, too frail and worn… give up! It’s not worth it; they aren’t worth the fight. Who cares anyway, you know they won’t ever truly believe!”
Indeed, some will not believe or obey God’s Word. But there is always the one… a child, a friend, maybe even someone you haven’t met yet that God has positioned you to reach in the battle and carry home to be with the Lord. If you give up because of a lie…who will save them? Who is left then to save you? God is! He delivered over His own Son for you to die a criminal’s death. He did this so you could make it home to be with Him. With that kind of love moving God to mount a rescue mission, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No! Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen” (Romans 8:35, 37-39)
Gideon just didn’t show up for battle and yell, “Let’s roll!” No, he came prepared, clothed in the righteousness of Christ and armed with the Truth of God. You don’t have to give up, the battle you face is yours as well. Open the Bible and let Him forge in your heart all the promises and truths of God. Pray persistently for yourself and those around you, ask for help in accordance with His Word and all that is Christ’s is yours. Then you too will stand fast no matter how close the battle rages, never giving in, always prepared to reach others with the hope found in Jesus Christ.
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” Hebrews 13:12-13