Today's devotion from Rina Carbol:
It is a normal response to experience fear and terror at the thought of taking over enemy territory. Imagine...
“We are only 500 yards from the beach and are ordered to get down...Minutes later the boat stops and begins to toss in the waves. The ramp goes down and without hesitation my section leader, Cpl. John Gibson, jumps out well over his waist in water. He only makes a few yards and is killed. We have landed dead on into a pillbox with a machine gun blazing away at us. We didn't hesitate and jumped into the water one after the other. I was last of the first row. Where was everybody? My section are only half there. Some were just floating on their Mae West's. My bren gun team of Tommy & Kenny are just in front of me when something hit my left magazine pouch and stops me up short for a moment. The round had gone right through two magazines, entered my left side and came out my back. Kenny keeps yelling come on, come on. I'm coming, I'm coming I yell to him. We are now up to our knees in water and you can hear a kind of buzzing sound all around as well as the sound of the machine gun itself. All of a sudden something slapped the side of my right leg and then a round caught me dead center up high on my right leg causing a compound fracture. By this time I was flat on my face in the water…”
(Excerpt from Jim Wilkins, A Canadian in WW2: The Invasion at Normandy)
Although we are not in a physical war, the reality of what we may come up against spiritually may result in a response of fear. While we believe the Lord has already won the battle, we nevertheless understand that victory does not come easily. I don’t think standing up for the cross is the issue, rather I think we are reluctant soldiers for the kingdom when we reflect on the cost associated with taking that stand.
The enemy will use this to create fear so as to immobilize us. But God has warned us of this battle: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” (Eph 6:12). Lovingly, knowing His creation so well, He understands our need for encouragement when standing at the threshold of battle, “Be strong and courageous…be strong and very courageous…Do not be terrified…Do not be discouraged…” (Josh 1:6-9).
He is calling us to fight, “Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14) Are we willing? How can we? “But Lord…my clan is the weakest…and I am the least in my family. The Lord answered, ‘I will be with you,” (Judges 6:15, 16).
In fact, God promises to be with us wherever we go (Josh 1:9). We have a responsibility to pray, intercede, give thanks and make requests of the Living God for everyone- including our leaders and all those in authority over us. Being careful to meditate, listen, trust and obey, God promises we “will have success,” (Josh 1:8).
If we align our hearts with the Living God, then He will give us this land for He wants “all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4).
“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die” (G. K. Chesterton).
Take some time to pray and ask the Lord for courage:
- to welcome strangers into your circle
- to allow Him to touch all aspects of your life
- to remove any fear and replace it with a greater ability to trust in Him
- to face opposition when we pray for all of the lost of this city, including its leaders and all those in authority.
And finally, pray for the courage to accept that gaining
ground for God’s kingdom means dying to self. In all of this, remember that God loves you - He is for you, and not against you.