Christianity 201

July 11, 2014

When You Feel Outnumbered

Deut. 20:1-4 When you go to war against your enemy and see horses and chariots and soldiers far outnumbering you, do not recoil in fear of them; God, your God, who brought you up out of Egypt is with you. When the battle is about to begin, let the priest come forward and speak to the troops. He’ll say, “Attention, Israel. In a few minutes you’re going to do battle with your enemies. Don’t waver in resolve. Don’t fear. Don’t hesitate. Don’t panic. God, your God, is right there with you, fighting with you against your enemies, fighting to win.” The Message

Out-numberedFrom the Website, The Bible Reading Club:

The land that God had promised to Abraham’s descendents was a land of milk and honey, a land of immense natural resources and wealth.  But it wasn’t a place the children of Israel would merely walk into without opposition.  It was already occupied by powerful peoples, defended by fierce warriors, and filled with walled and fortified cities.  To the eye, Canaan didn’t seem much like a ‘Promised Land’, did it?

But then, the Promised Land was never intended to be a gift.  It was an opportunity.

By partnering with God, by trusting Him completely to fight their battles, occupying Canaan was an opportunity for Israel to fulfill the greatness God had made them for.  Israel was meant to be a beacon to the world.  The nation’s wealth and security was meant to be a reflection of God’s strength and faithfulness.  The compassion they were to show to the poor and to strangers passing through the land was meant to be a demonstration of God’s grace and mercy.  And ultimately, through the lineage of Israel, the saviour of the world would come.

The mission, challenge and blessings of Israel and the Promised Land also present an example for us today.  What may at times appear to us to be an impossible challenge is often God giving us the chance to join with Him in accomplishing the impossible.  What mission has God called you to?  What obstacles stand in your way?  And what step of faith do you need to take to bring God’s promises for your life to pass?

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

From the blog, Faith and The Law:

God has issued to each of us a bugle call to intelligent combat. It is a call to us to be men and women of God, to fight the good fight, to stand fast in the faith, to be strong in the Lord in the midst of the battle, in the midst of this dark and evil world.Those who ignore this call and the battle that rages around them are doomed to be casualties. We cannot remain neutral. We must choose sides. We must align ourselves with the forces of God, the forces of good. We must answer the bugle call, we must put on our armor and stand our ground or the battle will roll over us and in our defenseless, bewildered state, the forces of evil will trample us into the dust of the battlefield.

It comes as a shock to the new believer that the Christian life is a battleground and not a playground. We are at war.

The truth is that very few Christians grasp the value and necessity of spiritual combat.

“The Lord is a warrior” (Exodus 15:3):

The Lord will go forth like a warrior,
He will arouse His zeal like a man of war.
He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry.
He will prevail against His enemies. (Isaiah 42:13)

Warrior, hear the Lord’s marching orders for your life:

“Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up! Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, ‘I am a mighty man’ “(Joel 3:9-10).

We must approach our service as sons and daughters of spiritual liberty and our position on the front lines of battle with great zeal, passion, fervor and excitement. How exciting to be called into the service of our God!

Romans 12:11 (NIV): Never be lacking in zeal. Keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Romans 12:11 (Amplified): Never lag in zeal and earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord…

…The Deuteronomy passage is clear. Before we can be warriors for God, we must be established as lovers of God. “So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God” (Joshua 23:11). Purpose in your soul right now to draw your heart to God before you draw your sword for Him.

We can sleep when we get to heaven. We should move, push and go forward with great devotion like an athlete to point of agony. That is the commitment required to live as a Christian. When are you going to pull out all the stops and burn for God and the Lord Jesus Christ? When is God going to be your love, your passion, when is he going to be the excitement of your being. When is He going to be your living experience?

Don’t just play it safe your whole life. Look at Matthew 25 and the parable of the talents. Do you think Jesus was trying to tell us something?

Bolt out of every oppressive circumstance and draw strength from your God by desperate prayer and fierce devotion. Don’t be weighed down by yesterday’s failures or tomorrow’s burdens.

So often our heart cries out: I AM NOT THE ONE, THIS IS NOT THE PLACE, NOW IS NOT THE TIME. Yet this is not true, as you are the one, this is the place, now is the time. God needs you desperately on the battlefield. We should take to the heart the words of God uttered by the King David:

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. . . .
For by Thee I can run upon a troop;
And by my God I can leap over a wall…. He trains my hands for battle,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze…. I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
And I did not turn back until they were consumed.
I shattered them, so that they were not able to rise; They fell under my feet.
For thou hast girded me with strength for battle;
Thou hast subdued under me those who rose up against me.
(Psalm 18:2, 29, 34, 37-39)