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Stand and Fight!

“Fight the good fight of the faith [in the conflict with evil];” 
1 Timothy 6:12 AMP

As I was looking out my kitchen window, movement at the base of the fence caught my attention. As I rose to get a closer look, I knew exactly what was going on. A mama mockingbird had a pesky squirrel on the ground giving it what for! Running for its life with the angry bird dive bombing it across the yard, the squirrel eventually escaped through a hole in the fence. This was not the first time the birds had put the squirrels on the run in my back yard. When babies are in the nest, you can expect heightened protection mode from the parents! The enemy might be bigger, but it doesn’t stop my feathered friends from attacking with fierce courage.

God created and equipped the birds with sharp beaks, wings to fly, and instincts to attack and pursue when threatened. He also created and equipped us with what we need to engage in battles, but of a different nature. Paul refers to these enemies in Ephesians as “the rulers, the powers, the world forces of this darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12 NASB). Paul continues in verses 13-17 to describe the armor God has provided for us to put on in order to stand and fight against the evil schemes of the devil.

When I think about the aggressive action of that mockingbird, it inspires me to pursue the wiles of the devil with relentless determination. Our foe is strong and devious, but our God and His armor is mighty beyond description. I need not fear when the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But, I need to be dressed and ready; alert and attentive; sober and mindful. I want to fight, like the little bird, as if my life depends on it – because it does. I want to stand my ground and protect what God has given me – my faith, my family, and my friends.

Spiritual battles will look much different than the glorified movie scenes of flesh and blood. Instead, they will be fought with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, God’s Word, and prayer. Our fight may require times of consistent intercession and resistance; prayer and fasting; speaking truth and taking hits. Occasionally, our Commander may order us to be still; to rest; to be renewed and refreshed.

One thing for certain, you never go to war alone. God has your back. So be strong and courageous. Stand and fight. Victory is yours!

[Digging deeper – Deuteronomy 20:4; 2 Chronicles 32:8; Jeremiah 1:19; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 2 Timothy 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8; Jude 1:3]

Dressed and ready,

Beverly <><

When I am weak, then I am strong

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV

One of the ways that I know the Bible is God’s Word is through the patterns of God’s character woven throughout the Old and New Testaments. These patterns reveal that God’s plan is perfect and better than any human plan. One of these patterns is God’s continuous use of the weak in his design so that his glory shines through instead of the person’s pride.

In Judges chapter 7, Gideon led an army to fight Midian and the Lord told him that the Israelites would boast of their own strength when they won, so the men were narrowed down to only 300. This way, when the Midianites were defeated, it would be seen that the victory could only have been achieved by the power of God.

When Samuel was choosing one of Jesse’s sons to be anointed king, Samuel assumed that the eldest son would be chosen, but the Lord said “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV). After Samuel saw the other sons, Jesse told him that his youngest son David was in the fields tending the sheep. This is who the Lord told Samuel to anoint as king. Later, as we all know, the young David used a sling and stone to kill Goliath when the Israelite army was too afraid to approach the giant (I Samuel chapter 17). The smallest person was used to defeat the strongest enemy so that everyone present would witness the glory of God.

In the New Testament, when God chose to send his son to earth to redeem us, he did not send a golden warrior king, but a baby born to a virgin in a stable. Even though Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophesies and followed the pattern that God had been weaving through the Old Testament of using the weak, some still did not believe he was the Messiah. Paul had been one of these persecutors of the followers of Jesus before he was literally blinded on the way to Damascus and shown the true light. After his conversion he suffered the rest of his life in service to Christ. Paul had previously been a prideful Pharisee who was revered, but after being shackled, beaten, and shipwrecked, he boasted not of his old life and accomplishments, but in his present weakness because he knew the glory of God was showing through. This is why he said “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10 ESV).

Often we feel that we are not capable of carrying out what God has called us to do, but  the Bible reveals a pattern of God using the weak. Who are we to argue with the perfect plan of truth that was recounted onto paper then and still lives today?

Your sister in Christ,

Erin Tabor

 

 

 

Photo Credit: My own photo

The King and I

“Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” 
Esther 4:14, NIV

Queen Esther and her elder cousin Mordecai could have despaired when Xerxes, King of Persia, issued the decree to annihilate the Jews. Instead they recognized that God had placed them in their positions for a purpose and sought his direction.

Esther considered the lives of her kinsmen more important than her own and appeared before the king without a summons. Because she stepped out boldly in the face of uncertainty, God gave her favor in the eyes of the king. Xerxes extended his golden scepter for her to approach his throne and granted her request—one that resulted in the salvation of God’s people.

What has God asked you to do? Do you hesitate because of an uncertain outcome? God’s favor was yours at his call. The outcome is his. Seek his direction and step out boldly. Know your King has called you for such a time as this and experience his favor. It’s always worth the risk. Trust him.

Blessings,

Starr