I Am Strong For War!
Perhaps, at this moment, you are experiencing one of the fiercest battles of your life. The heavens have been brass, and God has been seemingly quiet or indifferent to your pain. The only spiritual visitations that you have been experiencing are the ones from the devil and his hordes, dropping in around the clock to ask you one simple question - "Where is your God?"
Your Scriptural expertise seems to mock you. The more you know, the harder Doubt and Fear seem to attack, trying to strip you of all Biblical knowledge. What is the answer? What do you do? Who do you turn to? Who understands where you are at? Who really cares?
Jesus Cares! Begin to praise Him like never before because He surely does care!
You may not feel His Presence as in the past, but, in all actuality, it is being manifested in a most unique way. It is His Presence that is pressing you through the troops of the enemy at this time - "For by Thee I have run through a troop..." (Psalm 18:29).
All the Powers of Darkness are observing you as you walk through the fire. Satan is watching you praise God in the midst of great loss. All of the demons and evil spirits are gazing at you as you rejoice in spite of everything going wrong!
They wonder - How could you do this? How could you possibly praise God when your world is coming to an end, so to speak? It seems so insane to do so!
Yet something inside of you is pressing you onward, encouraging you with words like these - "Don't Quit! Keep on keeping on! Your breakthrough is just in sight! Your Miracle is right around the corner!"
This something keeps bringing Praise Songs to your lips and keeps bubbling up joy in your heart. It seems so crazy! What is this?
It's called Strength! God's Wonderful Strength!
God is exchanging His Strength for your weakness! And, oh, how glorious it is!
It is no wonder that David, with such exuberance, wrote this song unto the Lord, after receiving deliverance from all of his enemies, including Saul - "I will love Thee, O LORD, my Strength" (Psalm 18:1).
If you have ever been in a battle - a fierce battle - a long, drawn-out battle with the enemy of your soul - not knowing when it would come to an end, or if it ever would, and deliverance finally came, then you know exactly how David felt when, with hot tears of gratitude streaming down his face and a new determination in his soul, he declared - "I will love Thee, O LORD, my Strength. For now I know more than ever that You, and You alone, are my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer, my God, my Strength, my Buckler, the Horn of my Salvation, and my High Tower" (Psalm 18:1-2 ). Like Asaph, in Psalm 74:12, you attest - "For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth."
How is He "working salvation in the midst of the earth"?
As He did for the Children of Israel, when "with a Strong hand" He brought them out of Egyptian bondage under Pharaoh's oppressive rule, so is the Lord Jesus redeeming souls from Satan's dominion by His Great Power and "Strong Hand" (Exodus 13:9; Nehemiah 1:10; Psalm 136:11-12; Jeremiah 32:21) !
In speaking of the Children of Israel and Judah alike, Jeremiah recorded - "Their Redeemer is Strong; the LORD of hosts is His name: He shall thoroughly plead their cause..." (Jeremiah 50:34).
The New Testament says it a little differently. Luke 11:21 tells us of an armed strong man who diligently keeps his palace with all his goods in tact. This is a picture of Satan who viciously captures and enslaves humanity. But, thank God, for verse 22 which tells us of a "Stronger than he shall come," "overcome him," "taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted," and "divideth his spoils."
Glory to God!
The "armed strong man" has been spoiled. He's been overcome by the "Stronger One." This "Stronger One" is our Redeemer. His name is Jesus (Colossians 2:15)!
In Isaiah 27:1, the Prophet depicted the event perfectly - "In that day the Lord with His sore and great and Strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."
God, through His "sore and great and Strong sword" - Jesus, the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) - slayed "the piercing serpent," "that crooked serpent;" "the dragon" on Calvary's Cross 2,000 years ago. Through His shed Blood, Jesus paid the price for our Redemption. Hallelujah!
Therefore, we, as "the redeemed of the Lord," consider Jesus - Who has given commandment to save us - as our "Strong habitation," whereunto we continually resort (Psalm 107:2; Psalm 71:3).
In the time of trouble, we continually call on Him, knowing that "the name of the LORD is a Strong Tower: the righteous runneth into it , and is safe" (Proverbs 18:10).
What a comfort to know that our Redeemer is unlike any other in that He has "everlasting Strength" (Isaiah 26:4). It will never run out. There is a vast supply for all of us in every situation throughout our lifetime.
With such Strength, He "fainteth not, neither is weary" (Isaiah 40:28).
He neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4).
Therefore, He is able and willing to preserve our souls from all evil (Psalm 121:7).
Because He is our "Strength" and "Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14), He is able to help us to live right - managing the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts so that they are acceptable in His sight.
Nonetheless, in 1 John 4:17, the Apostle John makes a startling statement - "...because as He is, so are we in this world."
We have seen that God is a Strong God with a Strong Hand and a Strong Sword. In fact, He is the "Stronger One" in comparison to Satan. In all actuality, He stands alone with no one to compare.
Satan is a mere creation while God stands alone as the Eternal Creator of heaven and earth. There is No One who can get on the scales alongside of Him - "To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One" (Isaiah 40:25).
Yet, He says through John that just "as He is, so are we in this world." However God is, that is how we should be.
God is Holy, therefore we should be Holy. He is Merciful, therefore we should be Merciful. He is Strong, therefore we should be Strong.
We are His children.
"...His seed remaineth" in us (1 John 3:9).
We "are of God" (1 John 4:6)
We cannot help but overcome all enemies and obstacles which stand in our way "because greater is He that is in us" (1 John 4:4), than He that is in the world.
We are a people growing in grace, and "in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). Our constant prayer, as Paul's for the Colossians, is that we would "walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10). Like Paul, we count "all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:8) our Lord.
Daniel mentioned such a group of people when he said - "...but the people that do know their God shall be Strong, and do exploits" (Daniel 11:32).
Once again, we reiterate the Apostle John's inspired words - "...as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17)
God is Strong. He has no weaknesses. Therefore, all those who love, serve, obey, and fear Him also shall be Strong - not entertaining any weaknesses in their lives but attempting great feats for Him.
There is no doubt about it - God wants us - His people - to be Strong. Why? So that we may demonstrate His Power and bring Great Glory to His Name through our mighty exploits.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us and should be in operation in our lives - bringing Glory to Jesus as well as smashing down the kingdom of Satan and spoiling his camp.
In examining the Scriptures, we see that God repeatedly refers to the endowment of Strength to His people in the context of warfare.
In Psalm 144:1, David said - "Blessed be the LORD my Strength, Which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight."
In Psalm 18:32, he said - "It is God that girdeth me with Strength..."
And again, in Psalm 18:39, he adds - "For Thou hast girded me with Strength unto the battle..."
At the age of 85, Caleb, the Mighty Warrior mentioned in Joshua 14, was as Strong as ever. What were his plans for his final years on this earth? Joshua 14:11 records his declaration - "As yet I am as Strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my Strength was then, even so is my Strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in."
There was work to be done. There were giants to be killed, battles to be won, and territory to be taken. Caleb understood that God kept him Strong all those years not for his own pleasure, but for God's kingdom purposes - for war - for the advancement of the kingdom of King Jesus!
Are we getting the gist of what the Holy Spirit is saying to us today?
As we increase in the knowledge of the Lord through the study of His Word, by waiting upon Him in prayer, and yes, by experiencing fiery trials in His Strength, we grow Stronger and Stronger - not for our own self-aggrandizement or pleasure but for War.
God, our Strength, teaches our hands to war and our fingers to fight in order to battle the enemy and advance the cause of Christ.
So, while wearing the face of flint and emerging in the Power of His Might, go forth today, O Saint of God, in the unconquerable Name of Jesus, defeating all of your enemies and placing them under your feet.
Remember - There is work to be done. There are spiritual giants to be killed, battles to be won, and territory to be taken for God's Glory.
Don't ever forget - The Battle is not yours; it is the Lord's. It is in His Strength that you fight and win!
The next time the devil comes your way, telling you that you won't make it, be sure to tell him - "I can do all things through Christ Which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13)