Tonight, I am up in prayer, thinking of the mothers and fathers with their children, huddled on a mountain in Syria, awaiting the worst possible fate. I think of the nations of the world, sterilized by the lie that somehow this unchecked brutal slaughter of innocents is better than war. If there was ever a reason to go to war, I cannot think of a better one.
I know there are those who disagree, but this blog is not to change your mind. God established his way with the nations. He deals with them differently than with individuals in scripture. Without good, unchecked evil will flourish.
What do we do in the face of such evil? Do we close our eyes? Send an ambassador? How will history judge our inaction?
Brothers and sisters, here we are at a fateful, inescapable place in the history of the world. We little people can do little, it seems. We supposedly have power. After all, the power is in the hands of the people, according to the constitution. But, as our liberties have been slowly taken away and in many cases, handed away, we find ourselves at a crossroads.
THE POWER OF GOD TO DELIVER
As I prayed today, God reminded me that for a believer in Jesus, this place is not that different than the place David found himself in as a young boy. He was sent to take some bread to his brothers at the battle front. But, there they were, at a stalemate. No one was fighting. Two armies stood head to head in the Valley of Elah.
The Army of the Philistines, (who wanted Israel’s land) vs. the Army of The Lord, led by King Saul, the tallest person in Israel and God’s powerfully anointed King. Where was he? He was in his tent hiding. The armor-clad, powerful fighting men of Israel were shaking. No one wanted to face Goliath of Gath. He towered over them with incredible height.
Challenging. Mocking. Hating.
The small teen boy looked around in disbelief. The eyes of a child were wide open. All the men could see was fear. They were clad from head to toe in the King’s best armor. But, the armor did not stop them from being afraid.
David remembered God. David remembered the miracles in the wilderness with the sheep. He fought a lion and a bear with his slingshot and his bare hands and the help of the Lord. Stripped down to nothing. Nothing but the power of God.
He asked who would fight. He was mocked by his brothers and those around him. Why would he be so arrogant to even speak words against Goliath? This was dangerous stuff. (Sound familiar?) He was taken to the King who gladly fed David to the wolves. Here is the King, anointed by The Lord, the tallest, strongest man in Israel, Israel’s leader and he was unwilling to step up and trust God for a victory over Goliath. He would rather send a small boy to do his dirty work.
“Here David, Take my armor and my sword.” But, they didn’t fit and he had no use for them. He was used to God working through him, stripped down. Nothing but The Lord and his sling shot.
I think you know the rest of the story, David approached Goliath with confidence, trust, power and 5 smooth stones.
“I come not against you with a sword or a spear, but in the Name of The Lord God of Israel!” The story is short after that. One clean shot takes out the Giant, and in this story, David takes Goliath’s head and his armor back to King Saul.
STRIPPED BARE BEFORE THE LORD
So here we are, in the same place. We are stripped down before our enemies, stripped bare before The Lord. We have been stripped of everything we have relied upon in this country. We have lost control of society. I talk to person after person who is distressed by what is happening in our nation. We watch across the sea as ISIS does unspeakable acts, worse than the holocaust (and they’re just getting started.) Our hands are tied as politicians mince words and debate about whether ISIS is islamic or not. As Christians, this is the perfect place to be in. It is time that we realize that when we are stripped bare, we have nothing physical to rely on anymore. No politician, no government will plead the case of the innocent. We cannot count our freedoms anymore as violence and gagged speech bring the fear to silence the masses. We are left with the only alternative, the one we should have looked to first. We look to God.
We are bare before God. For decades we have stopped seeking God’s face. We had no “visible need” for prayer meetings. Americans have everything our little hearts desire. Even people on food stamps have cell phones and big, flat screen t.v.s. Christians are busy even debating whether prayer is a work of the flesh that is just trying to get to God, instead of relying on grace. Our little twisted lies have brought us to naught. Evil fills a vacuum and the people of faith have abandoned their posts.
It is time to stand against the evil one. Many sincere Christians do not know how to do this.
They aren’t sending soldiers. What do we do? How do we fight a giant that is mocking us and is hell bent on bringing the most demonic forms of war against innocent people who believe in Jesus?
5 SMOOTH STONES
1. Pray. Learn to pray. Most believers I meet, even the most sincere, have spent little time in lengthy personal or corporate prayer. Have we forgotten what happened when the people of God met for an all night prayer meeting on behalf of Peter? He walked out of prison without the guards notice. Have we forgotten how Paul and Silas prayed and worshiped The Lord in a dank, dark Roman jail? The chains fell as an earthquake came and the jailer and his entire household accepted Christ!
James 5:7 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
2. Fast. Jesus said when he left his disciples would fast. Fasting is not a work, it is a powerful weapon to bring down chains.
Isaiah 58: 6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
3. Repent. It is something we are very out of practice of doing in America. Repentance is allowing The Lord to search our hearts and to enable us to turn from evil. Ask The Lord to search your heart and ask forgiveness for your sins. God is ready to bring people into the victory of Jesus’s resurrection. But, if we don’t want to die to our sin, we cannot be raised to life. Sin is a tourniquet that cuts off the flow of God’s power in our lives.
4. Love the name of Jesus. Speak the name of Jesus. Know the name of Jesus. The name of Jesus is a strong tower and the righteous run in and are saved. I have seen the name of Jesus heal stroke victims, cancer victims, marriages, and more. The name of Jesus is powerful, so when we pray and speak, we should pray in the power of his name.
5. Be full of the Holy Spirit. Ask The Lord to fill you with the fire of his Spirit. (see below)
This is a short list. But it is a starting point. Here is a verse to live by:
2 Timothy 2:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.
Truly, I am up in the middle of the night, writing this plea to anyone who will hear my voice. Let’s approach this very spiritual battle spiritually. And let’s not forget that where we can act, as in calling our congressman, donating money to ministries that rescue these believers and more, please let us act. Acting is spiritual too.
James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
If you feel stripped down and bare and helpless, find courage to take up your cross and follow Jesus today. He is returning as a judge soon, he hopes to find you ready!
Share this post with someone you want to encourage! I will be starting to blog more about living for God in these difficult days. Feel free to follow for more!