Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Do Not Let Your Heart Be Troubled

“WHEN YOU go forth to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you.

And when you come near to the battle, the priest shall approach and speak to the men,

And shall say to them, Hear, O Israel, you draw near this day to battle against your enemies. Let not your [minds and] hearts faint; fear not, and do not tremble or be terrified [and in dread] because of them.

For the Lord your God is He Who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to save you.” Deuteronomy 20:1-4

Battles – lately it seems like that’s all I see - in my life and in the lives of those around me. I know that there are always spiritual battles raging in the heavenlies, but recently it seems that the opposition has been kicked up a notch. I feel war torn and haggard and quite frankly – I’m weary.

It seems that the more I pray the worse it gets. Standing and believing, coming against strongholds, casting down imaginations and principalities, crying out to the Lord to heal our land and bring a deeper conviction for holiness and righteousness, open doors, make a way in the wilderness, open the blind eyes and the deaf ears…….only to see an overwhelming amount of rebellion, deceit and disobedience, apathy and compromise and so, so much settling for less. But the Lord just keeps saying, “stand and fight.”

Can I just be REALLY real for a minute? Because I don’t believe that fluff and fake happy faces help anyone. We live in a real life with real issues and I believe that transparency leads to truth and healing for the one speaking it as-well-as those hearing (or reading in this case). So hear goes…….

I’ve really been questioning the Lord over the last week. Not in an accusing or even necessarily doubting way, but in a “please give us guidance and understanding because I know that I know Your Word is true.” So I’ve been asking these questions to the following truth:

Greater is He Who is in us than he who is in the world

1.) Then why does it seem like the world is winning God? It seems that we’re losing people every day to the deception of the enemy and the lures and desires of the world.

2.) If we’re greater, then why does it seem like we are so outnumbered?

3.) What are we missing?

I know it seems like I’m doing a lot of complaining and negative thinking, but hang on, I’m getting somewhere.

In the midst of all this blah, heaviness, weariness and lack of understanding, the Lord has, as always, been forever faithful, and daily has given me bits of inspiration to shed a little light and revelation, a little guidance and direction, and yes, sometimes a little conviction and correction.

1.) Time after time the Old Testament tells of the children of Israel going into battle outnumbered. Lots of times God actually instructed them to decrease their number before entering the battlefield, yet every time He delivered the victory. The numbers don’t matter, the heart does, our commitment to Him does, our willingness to deny ourselves for the betterment of the Kingdom is what matters. The victory never has and never will depend on our ability, but it very much lies in our willingness to believe God, follow His guidance and persevere.

The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."

"But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian."

The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"

"But Lord , " Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."

The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together……."

……The LORD said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. – Judges 6:11-16, 7:7

2.) Don’t focus on what you see with your eyes. The devil is a liar and uses our senses to convince us that a lie is the truth. Faith does not make sense, it goes against rational thinking, but faith is the element that activates supernatural empowerment in our lives. When Peter walked on the water he just stepped out of the boat and started walking toward Jesus because Jesus spoke. He knew His voice and he went. But then, the enemy started getting him to look at his circumstances (the size of the waves, the force of the winds), he allowed fear to creep in and he began to sink. Here’s something amazing that will enlighten you on the sneaky, craftiness of the devil’s lies…..even if there were no wind and no waves, Peter still couldn’t have walked on the water – it defies the laws of nature, so the wind and the waves had no bearing on his ability to or not to walk on water – his faith did. Think about this little gem the next time you find yourself in anxiety and unrest – check your emotions with the “walk on water” story, betcha every time the enemy is convincing you to believe a lie by getting you to focus on your circumstances.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8

3.) Finally, the Lord has reminded me again and again, daily, that He has overcome the world, and just yesterday He whispered in my spirit, “Don’t let your heart be troubled,” which immediately reminded me of a promise straight from the mouth of Jesus Himself, “take heart, I have overcome the world!”

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” – John 14:1

Regardless of the fickleness of my emotions, the lies and schemes the devil sends my way, and the weight of the burdens that sometimes seem too heavy to bear, I am reminded of the truths that hold and keep me.

God is for me, He hears me when I call out to Him, and I find Him when I sincerely seek Him!

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD,”… Jeremiah 29:11-14

My responsibility is to do my part, and trust God to faithfully do His.

“Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again”. – Exodus 14:13

No matter what the army looks like coming against me, no matter how dire the situation appears to be, greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world, and HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD, which means He has already fought this battle for me and I am guaranteed the victory as long as I stand and maintain my position.

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you. – 2 Chronicles 20:17

So, my friend, don’t give up! Don’t you dare give up!! Keep fighting the good fight of faith, remember the faithfulness of the One who calls you by name. You are fully equipped with the Holy Spirit to endure to breakthrough, and you WILL overcome by the blood of the Lamb. The enemy has been defeated!!

Do not let your hearts be troubled……just believe.



Kat Dufrene said...

I was just reading in Matthew the other day about when Peter walked on the water. I think what a lot of people miss about that passage is that Peter was within arm's reach of Jesus! He had walked from the boat to within a few feet of Jesus before he began to sink. He was RIGHT THERE, and he became distracted.
He began to sink but DIDN'T DROWN because Jesus reached out and pulled him back up to the surface. Even though his faith lapsed momentarily, Jesus wouldn't leave him to destruction when he knew Peter was in pursuit of Him.
Just wanted to drop that nugget in there :)

Deb said...

Sweet girl, sounds like you've got that old liar on the run.

When we start throwing God's Word at him, he can't take it.

Now, you've got me fired up!

Sweet dreams.