[Jesus said,]â€œWhen you hear about wars and threats of wars, donâ€™t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isnâ€™t the end. 8 Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. There will be earthquakes in many places, and people will starve to death. But this is just the beginning of troubles.â€ Â Â Â Â Â Mark 13:7-8 (CEV)
By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to youâ€”I, Paul, who am â€œtimidâ€ when face to face with you, but â€œboldâ€ toward you when away! 2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 Corinthians 10:1-5 (NIV)
There will be a lot of talk this week about war. While the leaders of various nations discuss and decide, many of us will be praying. I have faith in God to influence leaders. But wars between countries are not the only conflicts where we need to focus our prayers.
We do not wage war like the world. Our enemies are not identified with black hats, like in old westerns. The weapons we use are not guns and bombs.
Most of us are involved in a spiritual battle right now. There are no ‘neutral’ or non-participants. There is God and there is Satan. Everyone will be on one side or the other, whether they want to be or not. Satan’s strategy involves attacking us where we are the most vulnerable. For most of us that is either our spiritual health or our loved ones.
Satan wants us to stay isolated. He wants us to stay away from the support of other Believers and distract us from our personal time with God. Alone we will be listening only to our own weak flesh and the chatter of Satan’s slightly twisted philosophy. I say â€œslightlyâ€ because remember when he tempted Jesus in the desert (Matthew 4, Mark 1, Luke 4)? Satan quoted Scripture out of context to Him?!! We need fellow Believers for support and accountability.
If that scumbag can’t fool me, then He will go after someone I love. If I have a loved one making poor choices and struggling, may God give me His eyes and ears to see and know what is really going on. When a loved one rejects me, may I know it is not me they reject but the Spirit of God in me. And may I pray for them with the love, mercy and power of God! And, maybe most importantly, may I remember that our Father God loves them so much more than I can imagine and will do all He can to bring them safely home.
God’s battle strategy is different from the world’s. God’s strategy involves powerful weapons like: His name (Philippians 2:9), prayer (2 Chronicles 7:14), love (1 Corinthians 13 & 1 Peter 4:8), meeting together (Hebrews 10:25), and His full armor (Ephesians 6).
We already know how the war ends. God knew how bad it is going to get. He gave us not only His promise that He would take care of us and never leave us (Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 6:24-34) but He also told us how all this will end and where we, His children, will end up (Revelation 20-22). And that scumbag who has been attacking and tormenting us and those we love, he ends up in the lake of fire where he belongs!
So if you are going through a rough season, stop right now and talk to your Heavenly Father. Tell Him everything. Yes, He already knows what is going on but He has really broad shoulders and it just feels so much better to dump the burdens on Him! And then ask Him who to reach out to and share your needs and whowill join you in prayer. God will bring to your mind and heart who that is. And #3, list the promises of God. I’ve given you quite a few here. List them on your heart, on a piece of paper, and commit them to your mind. God’s promises are true and He never goes back on His Word.
Onward Christian Soldiers written by Sir Arthur Sullivan and sung by St. Philips Boys Choir