O Lord! The smell of smoke, unending pressure, ferocious jaws of confusion and fear, ear-splitting cries of others wounded . . . adrenaline rushes like some careening jet. A quick glance around reveals that this battle is extensive and the combatants as diverse as one could imagine:
Ø A mother’s nerves severely tested by the incessant wail of a stubborn child while two older siblings clamor for her attention . . . she yearns for quiet, depressed . . .
Ø A mechanic is asked to forge documents by his boss, his job feeds five mouths . . .
Ø A teenage class president hears her peers suggest she is weird—a loser if she won’t get beer for their party.
Ø A pastor wrestles enflamed emotion for a woman he loves and cannot have.
Ø A family worships in secret the threat of imprisonment hangs like a heavy fog . . . neighbors have already lost their home to rampaging thugs . . .
Spiritual battle is as certain for God’s children as the orange ball that ascends and descends. We cannot live in a world clutched by Satan and not feel the squeeze. We are naïve and in grave danger if we think we can follow the narrow path Jesus paid for and not see our faith tested.
Philippians 1:14--Most of the brothers in the Lord have gained confidence from my imprisonment and dare even more to speak the message fearlessly.
A feckless believer cannot withstand the attacks of the enemy because he is not prepared. I read recently of a soldier whose spine was severely damaged when the overhead cover of his foxhole fell and crushed him. The defensive position he and his squad mates constructed was unsafe causing an unnecessary accident. Spiritual casualties are often determined as much by poor preparation as by the enemy’s action.
Do you want to succeed in battle? Then you must prepare! Have you ever seen a child of God fail in spiritual combat who faithfully loves God first and foremost, stays immersed in the Bible; seeks and values godly fellowship; prays with devotion, avoids evil with uncompromising integrity and with humility and sincerity serves others for the sake of the gospel? Those who fake, compromise, neglect, or ignore any of the above invariably suffer deep damage and often have little stomach for what God would see them through. Before the chains there must be good mettle!
The battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will before God, never first in the external world. The Spirit of God apprehends me and I am obliged to get alone with God and fight the battle out before Him. Until this is done, I lose every time.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©2000 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)