Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Isaiah 40:28-30
Mounting up with wings as eagles
Greetings! Friends, How are you this day? Are you feeling tired and weary? I know the answer for many is a “No” because they have just witnessed God breaking through for them as they were passing through the storms of life. However, some feel tired and weary because the journey has been challenging for them. They don’t think they have any power in them to continue to fight and push through till the end.
Well, I am here this day to encourage you and tell you once again that you are not alone in this battle; God is with you and for you. As I was meditating last night, I felt weary and exhausted, and I kept asking God the same question, when will the end of these trials comes to an end. For a moment, I felt that I don’t have the power to go on and finish this race. As I was entertaining this thought, the Holy Spirit started ministering back to me and reminded me of Isaiah, chapter 40, from verses 28 to 31.
This chapter begins with proclaiming comfort for the people as quoted in the scripture below:
Our God says to you:
“Comfort, comfort my people with gentle, compassionate words.
Speak tenderly from the heart to revive those in Jerusalem, and proclaim that their warfare is over.
Yes, the warfare has ended, even though it seems hard, but God is proclaiming this day that the fight has ended. In this chapter, God reveals Himself as our Shephard, who has gone ahead of us and has made every crooked path straight, every mountain and hill low, and every valley leveled. He has cleared the way ahead of us, and not only that, He has promised to give power to the weak and increase strength to the weary.
However, there is a part we need to play for us to continue to finish this race. We have to wait patiently in the Lord, in His presence through prayer, praise and worship, tithing and giving offerings, serving in the house of God, and so on. There is a promise that God gives to those who are weary and, tired yet, continue to wait silently and patiently in His presence.
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired. Isaiah 40: 31 AMP
According to the above mentioned scripture, God will renew our strength and power as long as we continue to wait in His presence. We will receive new strength like never before, and we will mount up with wing as eagles and soar very high, we will run and not become weary, we will walk and not be faint.
I got very excited and felt energized after meditating on this verse, I felt revival entering my soul, and I was overflowing with joy to continue and finish this race. May I encourage you this day to meditate on this chapter and allow God to fill you up afresh with His strength and power so you can mount up with wings like an eagle and start soaring high once again and run your race like never Before!
There is the power that comes with meditating on the word of God as we learn in Hebrews chapter 4, verse 12
For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. AMP
May I also end this post with this quote from Nehemiah Chapter 8 verse 10.
Then Ezra said to them, “Go [your way], eat the rich festival food, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be worried, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and your stronghold.
NEHEMIAH 8:10 AMP
I hope you found encouragement and inspiration to continue to wait in the presence of God. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read—many blessings to you. God loves you, and He is with you and for you.
Marxism endeavors to get people to identify with subgroups:
These groups are then pitted against each other as victims and oppressors, “haves” and “have nots,” in order to create conflict and division.
This is followed by chaos and violence, making people feel insecure.In the ensuing panic, people surrender their freedoms to some mayor or governor who promises to restore order, but insists on emergency powers to do so.In the end, the usurping mayor or governor rules as a socialist dictator.
Best-selling author David Horowitz wrote about the radical socialist group Students for a Democratic Society:“An SDS radical once wrote, ‘The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.’
… In other words … civil rights or women’s rights – is never the real cause; women, blacks … are only instruments in the larger cause, which is power.Battles over rights and other issues, according to Alinsky, should never be seen as more than occasions to advance the real agenda, which is the accumulation of power.”
The opposite of Marxist divisions is “patriotism,” which unifies a country.Patriotism is where people, though different, choose to identify as citizens.They focus on what they have in common, such as language, morals, and religious faith.Psalm 133:1 states: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
President Eisenhower stated February 20, 1955:”The Founding Fathers … recognizing God as the author of individual rights, declared that the purpose of Government is to secure those rights …But in many lands the State claims to be the author of human rights … If the State gives rights, it can – and inevitably will – take away those rights.Without God, there could be no American form of Government, nor an American way of life.Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first – the most basic – expression of Americanism.”
Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines “PAT’RIOTISM” as derived from the Latin word pater, or being of one’s father):“Love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in vigor and purity.Patriotism is the characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.”
Andrew Jackson stated in his Farewell Address, March 4, 1837:”My own race is nearly run (ref. 2Timothy 4:7); advanced age and failing health warns me that before long I must pass beyond the reach of human events …I thank God that my life has been spent in a land of liberty and that He has given me a heart to love MY COUNTRY with the affection of a son.”
Clara Barton stated of the wounded Civil War soldiers:”What could I do but go with them, or work for them and MY COUNTRY?The patriot blood of my father was warm in my veins.”
“Citizen” is from the Greek and means co-ruler.In America, citizens are the final authority, ruling through representatives.
America’s founding was unique in that instead of people having allegiance to a king, the people are the king!In contemplating war with the King of Great Britain, John Adams declared:”If it be the pleasure of Heaven that MY COUNTRY shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice …But while I do live, let me have a COUNTRY, and that a free COUNTRY!”
The theme of “MY COUNTRY” has run through America’s history, such as the statement by 21-year-old Yale graduate Nathan Hale who declared before being hanged by the British, September 22, 1776:”I only regret that I have but one life to lose for MY COUNTRY.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a patriotic address to the White House Correspondents’ Association, February 12, 1943:”In every battalion, and in every ship’s crew, you will find every kind of American citizen representing every occupation, every section, every origin, every religion, and every political viewpoint.Ask them what they are fighting for, and every one of them will say, ‘I am fighting for MY COUNTRY.'”
In 1775, when British General Gage attempted to intimidate Samuel Adams, he replied:”I trust I have long since made my peace with the King of Kings.No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of MY COUNTRY.Tell Governor Gage it is the advise of Samuel Adams to him no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people.”
During the Revolution, General Nathaniel Greene wrote to Samuel Ward of Rhode Island, January 4, 1776:”Permit me, then, to recommend from the sincerity of my heart, ready at all times to bleed in MY COUNTRY’s cause, a declaration of independence;and call upon the world, and the great God who governs it, to witness the necessity, propriety and rectitude thereof …Let us, therefore, act like men inspired with a resolution that nothing but the frowns of Heaven shall conquer us.”
President Dwight Eisenhower approved the Code of Conduct for Military, August 17, 1955:”I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made MY COUNTRY free.I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.”
Signer of the Constitution Gouverneur Morris wrote April 17, 1778:”While MY COUNTRY calls for the exertion of that little share of abilities, which it has pleased God to bestow on me, I hold it my indispensable duty to give myself to her.”
In January of 1790, President George Washington wrote to the Hebrew Congregations of Philadelphia, Newport, Charlestown and Richmond:The power and goodness of the Almighty were strongly manifested in the events of our late glorious revolution …My agency … has been guided by … a sense of the duty which I owe MY COUNTRY.”
John Quincy Adams wrote in his diary:”I implore the Spirit from whom ‘every good and perfect gift’ descends (James 1:17) to enable me to render essential service to MY COUNTRY, and that I may never be governed in my public conduct by any consideration other than that of duty.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt stated in his Radio Campaign Address from Hyde Park, New York, November 4, 1940:”When you and I step into the voting booth, we can proudly say:‘I am an American, and this vote I am casting is the exercise of my highest privilege and my most solemn duty to MY COUNTRY.’Dictators have forgotten – or perhaps they never knew – the basis upon which democratic Government is founded: that the opinion of all the people, freely formed and freely expressed, without fear or coercion, is wiser than the opinion of any one man or any small group of men …Democracy is the birthright of every citizen, the white and the colored;the Protestant, the Catholic, the Jew; the sons and daughters of every country in the world, who make up the people of this land.”
Upon the death of James Madison, his wife, Dolley Madison, sent his papers to Congress, stating August 20, 1836, stating:”The best return I can make for the sympathy of MY COUNTRY is to fulfill the sacred trust his confidence reposed in me,that of placing before it and the world what his pen prepared for their use — a legacy of the importance of which is deeply impressed on my mind.”
Kit Carson stated:”No, this is a service for MY COUNTRY, and it doesn’t matter whether I do it as an officer or as a plainsman. The big thing is to do it.”
John Quincy Adams composed the poem:“MY COUNTRY’s weal (well-being) — that be my polar star –Justice, thou Rock of Ages, is thy law –And when thy summons calls me to thy bar (ref. 2 Corinthians 5:10),Be this my plea, thy gracious smile to draw –That all my ways to justice were inclin’d –And all my aims — the blessings of mankind.”
Attributed to Thomas Paine, “The American Patriot’s Prayer,” written in 1776, reflected the sentiment of the colonies:”But chief to hear MY COUNTRY’s voice,may all my thoughts incline,’Tis reason’s law, ’tis virtue’s choice,’Tis nature’s call and thine.”
Benjamin Franklin wrote from Philadelphia to David Hartley, December 4, 1789:“God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: This is MY COUNTRY.”
General George Washington wrote October 18, 1777, upon hearing of the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga:”I most devoutly congratulate MY COUNTRY, and every well-wisher to the cause, on this signal stroke of Providence.”
General Washington wrote from Mount Vernon to Benjamin Lincoln, August 28, 1788:”I trust in that Providence, which has saved us in six troubles yea seven, to rescue us again from any imminent, though unseen, dangers …Heaven is my witness, that an inextinguishable desire (for) the felicity of MY COUNTRY may be promoted is my only motive in making these observations.”
The song, “MY COUNTRY ’tis of thee,” was written by Samuel Francis Smith, who died November 16, 1895.Samuel Francis Smith was a classmate at Harvard with poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, who wrote the famous poem “Old Ironsides.”Smith went to Andover Theological Seminary and became a Baptist minister.
While a student in 1832, Samuel Francis Smith admired a tune while translating a German Hymnal.The same tune was used for the national anthems of Britain, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.
Smith stated:”I instantly felt the impulse to write a patriotic hymn of my own, adapted to the tune.Picking up a scrap of waste paper which lay near me, I wrote at once.”
Baptist minister Rev.Martin Luther King, Jr., stated at the Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963:”I have a dream … where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers …This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning,‘MY COUNTRY ’tis of thee,Sweet land of liberty,Of thee I sing.Land where my fathers died,Land of the Pilgrims’ pride,From every mountainside,Let freedom ring.'”
Proclaiming “Let Freedom Ring Day,” July 3, 1986, President Ronald Reagan recalled the 4th stanza of “MY COUNTRY ’tis of thee”:“As the golden glow of the Statue of Liberty’s rekindled torch calls forth … throughout our land, let every American take it as a summons to re-dedication, recalling those words we sang as children:‘Our father’s God, to Thee,Author of Liberty,To Thee we sing,Long may our land be brightWith Freedom’s Holy Light.Protect us by Thy might,Great God, Our King.'”
In his Eighth Annual Address, December 7, 1796, George Washington stated:”The situation in which I now stand, for the last time …I cannot omit the occasion, to congratulate you and MY COUNTRY, on the success of the experiment; nor to repeat my fervent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and Sovereign Arbiter of Nations, that his Providential care may still be extended to the United States.”
On May 20, 1792, from Mount Vernon, Washington wrote to James Madison:”I take my leave of them as a public man; and in bidding them adieu (retaining no other concern than such as will arise from fervent wishes for the prosperity of MY COUNTRY)I take the liberty at my departure from civil, as I formerly did at my military exit, to invoke a continuation of the Blessings of Providence upon it.”
President Andrew Jackson stated in a Protest message to the Senate, April 15, 1834:”The only ambition I can feel is to acquit myself to Him to whom I must soon render an account of my stewardship …If the Almighty Being who has hitherto sustained and protected me will but vouchsafe to make my feeble powers instrumental to such a result,I shall anticipate with pleasure the place to be assigned me in the history of MY COUNTRY,and die contented with the belief that I have contributed in some small degree to increase the value and prolong the duration of American liberty.”
President Franklin Pierce stated March 4, 1853:”With all the cherished memories of the past gathering around me like so many eloquent voices of exhortation from Heaven, I can express no better hope for MY COUNTRY than that the kind Providence which smiled upon our fathers may enable their children to preserve the blessings they have inherited.”
President Herbert Clark Hoover stated in his Inaugural Address, March 4, 1929:”If we hold the faith of the men in our mighty past who created these ideals, we shall leave them heightened and strengthened for our children …I ask the help of Almighty God in this service to MY COUNTRY to which you have called me.”
Daniel Webster stated at the Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1843:”I mean to stand upon the Constitution. I need no other platform. I shall know but one country.The ends I aim at shall be MY COUNTRY’s, my God’s, and Truth’s.I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American.”
Following the ringing of church bells, explosion of artillery and deafening applause, President George Washington proceeded to Federal Hall, at Wall and Nassau Streets.There, he delivered his Inaugural Address to both Houses of Congress:”The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world.I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for MY COUNTRY can inspire, since there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness …The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”
Chief Justice John Jay wrote in his Last Will and Testament:”His protection has accompanied me through many eventful years, faithfully employed in the service of MY COUNTRY;and His Providence has not only conducted me to this tranquil situation, but also given me abundant reason to be contented and thankful. Blessed be His Holy Name.While my children lament my departure, let them recollect that in doing them good, I was only the agent of their Heavenly Father,and that He never withdraws His care and consolations from those who diligently seek Him.”
Samuel Adams stated:”I thank God that I have lived to see MY COUNTRY independent and free.She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will. It depends upon her virtue.”
John Quincy Adams stated in his Inaugural Address, March 4, 1825:”I shall look for whatever success may attend my public service; and knowing that’Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain,’with fervent supplications for His favor, to His overruling providence I commit with humble but fearless confidence my own fate and the future destinies of MY COUNTRY.”
President Dwight Eisenhower stated in his Farewell Address, January 17, 1961:”This evening I come to you with a … farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, MY COUNTRY …We face a hostile ideology – global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method …As we peer into society’s future, we … must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow.We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage.”
Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham, warned:“For years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out.How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”
Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Notes of the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781:”Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis,a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?Indeed, I tremble for MY COUNTRY when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
President Ronald Reagan stated June 16, 1983:”We’re a nation under God, a living and loving God.But Thomas Jefferson warned us, ‘I tremble for MY COUNTRY when I reflect that God is just.’We cannot expect Him to protect us in crisis if we turn away from Him in our everyday living.But you know, He told us what to do in II Chronicles … He said,’If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.'”—Read as PDF … “My COUNTRY ’tis of Thee, Sweet LAND of LIBERTY”
America 101 – A Certification Class for TRUE PATRIOTS !!! You cannot be a CERTIFIED PATRIOT without this class! Why? Because – the most basic and yet least understood principles of our great nation will be taught to you at last. You will forever be changed in how you think of our forms of government. YOUR CHILDREN NEED this education because they will not get it in civics class…. I regret that I did not know these things earlier in life but TODAY you can !!!!!
The young man was enthusiastic, energetic, and highly motivated. He was determined to stand true to his leader regardless of the cost. Confident in his own ability, he boasted, “Even if all the others desert you, I will never!”
Yet, only a few hours later, this young man hung his head in shame when he heard a cock crow. He had not only deserted his leader, but he had denied three times that he even knew him. What Peter thought would never happen became reality.
We raised our two daughters to love the Lord and I was sure if they married young, active, Christian men, they would surely live happily ever after. My children would never experience divorce. However, as time went on, their marriages encountered major problems and both my daughters went through the heartbreaking devastation of a divorce. My emotions recoiled in protest. What I had believed would never happen, became reality.
How many of us have said a particular situation or event would never happen to us or to those we love: addiction to alcohol, pornography or drugs, sexual abuse, divorce, an incurable disease, criminal behavior, missing in action or an affair? The list is long of those things which we hope will not and somehow refuse to accept could happen to us personally or to members of our family, and yet, they happen.
I realize many factors contribute to the above scenarios, but I do want to draw our attention to one in particular. We are involved in a serious, spiritual war. This is not a fantasy or the imagination of fanatics. It is reality.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12 KJV)
Our enemy Satan with his angels, though created beings, are more cunning and powerful than we are and have one plan in mind — destruction. Satan is out to destroy testimonies, marriages, families, churches, and lives. To accomplish his plan, he cunningly lays traps, waits for the perfect opportunity and preys on our weaknesses and blind spots.
It is easy for us to become busy and preoccupied with life — to become confident in ourselves. However, when this happens, we let down our guard, and our enemy has an open door to attack. As a result, life can take an unexpected turn and we experience like Peter, “never” becoming reality. In our selves, we are no match for our enemy.
The good news is we don’t have to rely on ourselves. We have Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to help us (James 4:6-8). Our Lord provides the spiritual armor we need and gives us the weapon that can defeat anything our enemy throws our way. This weapon is the Word of God and we need to have it in our hearts and minds, sharp and ready for action (Ephesians 6:13-17).
Although our enemy is ruthless, we do not need to be afraid. It is needful for us to take the battle seriously, never to forget we have an enemy and learn to daily put on our spiritual armor. As the rapture draws closer, our enemy grows stronger. May we heed Peter’s warning to us:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith …” (1 Peter 5:8-9 KJV)
May we claim the victory that is ours.
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37 KJV)
How could a loving God let abuse happen in every destructive form imaginable? Couldn’t God stop this madness? This undeserving and unfortunate part of life digs deep within the lives of those who are victims. This special video with Dr. Josh McDowell provides a riveting answer that will alleviate your perception by memorably explaining why a loving God could let such awful events transpire.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
Please make sure you have read my previous post, “Take Ground in your Battleground.” Click HERE if you have not. This week’s post is a continuation to the previous article.
The glorious news of Jesus’ victory on the cross is that He defeated sin and death forever! He has the ultimate victory which we share a part of as Christians. That is not to say that we are not in a battle, we are called to equip the armor of God and realize that we do not fight against flesh and blood.
Since we are in a battle, what lessons of war can we learn and apply to our spiritual fight?
Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” is one of the world’s most famous military texts. In researching it, I found that there are some basic principles we can apply to our battle with spiritual warfare. It’s not meant to be a 1 for 1 comparison but there are some interesting parallels I found if it is interpreted as an allegory for our battles as Christians.
Choose your battles
“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” Sun Tzu
We should not seek out a fight with the enemy unless we are specifically directed by God. A good example is going into a new age bookstore trying to cast out demons! Remember the Sons of Sceva in Acts 19? We should be ready for battle at all times and fight to keep God the focus of our jobs, families, and communities.
We have no power on our own apart from the power of God’s Spirit in us. The enemy is powerless when he recognizes the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead that dwells in us. We cannot be so bold as to think we have any authority on our own.
Timing is essential
“The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.” Sun Tzu
Ecclesiastes talks about how there is a time for everything, a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to rejoice and a time to mourn. Only by discernment from the Holy Spirit can we ensure that we are not taking action in a self-righteous or self-serving way. Are we pushing the gospel upon someone when we should just show them kindness? Do we ask for something that only serves our needs (like winning the lottery) without seeking the heart of God for His will?
We may have the best intentions but without God’s timing, they are irrelevant. Spirit-inspired decision making relies on knowing when to move and when to rest.
Know yourself, know the enemy
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Sun Tzu
As far as knowing ourselves, this doesn’t mean that we use a self-reliance and self-help type of approach. We need to KNOW who we are in Jesus. We need to know that we are a child of God, called to be holy before Him as we commit our ways to His. Our identity cannot be in something that can be taken away from us. Our identity is in Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2).
In knowing our enemy, the Bible says that we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Cor. 2:11). We need to understand that Satan is looking for Christians to devour, to take off the battlefield, and to leave ineffective for God and His kingdom. We do not need to study all the little details of the demonic and occult to be able to understand that we need the full armor of God in order to withstand these attacks (Eph. 6).
Count the cost
“He who wishes to fight must first count the cost.” Sun Tzu
This sounds surprisingly familiar to the lesson of Jesus in Luke 14:28-
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” Jesus finished this analogy by saying, “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (v.33).
Christians often do not know what they are signing up for when they accept Jesus. They may have been told incorrectly that following Jesus leads to wealth and prosperity. They may have been promised a healing or freedom from an earthly problem. To properly count the cost as a Christian you must be willing to give everything over to God, without knowing whether or not you will get it back. We should be eternally thankful for the redemption we have from death in our sins. True joy in God allows us to find peace with having a relationship with our Savior for all of eternity and not for what we can hope to achieve here on earth.
God may never ask us to give up everything; it may just depend on how much it has a grip on our life. Remember the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:21? Jesus asked him to give up everything he had and follow him. Why? Jesus did not ask anyone else to give up that much. It was not a requirement to follow Jesus even though the disciples did leave behind their old life. Jesus saw that the riches of the young ruler were a stumbling block for him. The ruler followed the commandments but kept asking what he needed to do to get eternal life. Jesus knew his heart and knew that the young ruler loved his riches more than the thought of following Jesus fully.
Two or three
“Great results can be achieved with small forces.” Sun Tzu
Remember Gideon and his relatively small army of 300 from Judges 7 that was able to defeat a much larger enemy because God was on his side? The size of the enemy does not matter, only the size of the God that lives inside you!
Jesus also clarified “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matt. 18:20). If you are in a battle, make sure that you have someone with you, a brother or sister in the Lord, a spouse, a pastor, an elder, a parent, etc. Whoever can lift you up in prayer in your situation is someone you need to lean on during the times of attack. Do not try and go it alone.
Even predators in the wild do not like to attack a herd, they wait for stragglers to wander off and then make off with the easy target. Remember our enemy the Devil roars around like a roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8). He will try and attack you when you feel alone and weak. Don’t be an easy target!
Discerning Reflection: How do I choose my battles and know if the timing is of the Lord or not? Have I truly counted the cost for what it means to fully follow Jesus? Do I have accountability and support from others in my life that I can be vulnerable with?
Prayer: Lord, help me understand the battle that I face. Help me know that I am fully equipped to fight it if I rely on you and your power. I pray that I would be a faithful solider for you in all I do. Amen.
Do you have comments you would like to share, feel free to leave them below.