Monday, April 23, 2012

The best defense is a good offense

There are times when we all need to hear the words which will bolster our courage, increase our faith, and help to put "steel in our spines" again.  No matter how hard we try, we sometimes experience moments of doubt - the siege against us seeming to be far more prepared than our own defense.  The truth is, we are often caught unaware in the moment of attack in our lives.  Most of us have little to no clue of the next thing which will put us into a tailspin.  

6-8 Hezekiah rallied the people, saying, "Be strong! Take courage! Don't be intimidated by the king of Assyria and his troops—there are more on our side than on their side. He only has a bunch of mere men; we have our God to help us and fight for us!"  Morale surged. Hezekiah's words put steel in their spines.  (2 Chronicles 32:6-8  The Message)

The situation:  King Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, is coming against the fortified cities of Judah.  His strategy was to take the city of Jerusalem as his own.  He put the fortified cities under siege.  Do you know what this means?  When a king puts a fortified city under siege, he is doing so because it is a stronghold!  It has walls of defense which makes attacking it a little more challenging than a fight of an enemy standing out in the open!

You have probably heard it said, "The best defense is a good offense."  The only plan our enemy has when he sees our "walls of defense" is to attempt to isolate us from help - from those things which supply our need.  As the things we need are cut-off from our use, we become weaker - making attack possible.  In fact, when a walled city was encountered, the very "futility" of fighting against the "walls of defense" was a tactic to distract!  The king would keep the inhabitants so busy fighting the attacking forces so no attack of his armies would be possible from those within the city.  Distract the city long enough and he'd find the "chinks" in the cities defense.

This is how the enemy of our soul operates - first, he seeks to separate us from the very things which supply our need.  Time in the Word bolsters our faith - cut this off and we grow weak, allowing doubt to enter in.  Time in prayer unburdens our heart - attack here and the emotions are allowed to build to a breaking point.  Words of encouragement from those who walk alongside in the battle help us to remain focused - eliminate these and we walk alone, vulnerable to all kinds of attack.

If this were not enough, he looks for the chinks in our armor, as well.  The small areas left undefended in the moment of his distraction with the current skirmish at the wall.  These moments of dis tractability are all the opportunity he needs to scale the wall and begin his inroad into our stronghold - the mind!  His attack begins outside of the mind - his aim is our mind!  Why?  It is not a secret to him - it is our stronghold of defense, for all we do begins with thought.  If he can get into our thoughts - doubts begin to form, fear begins to muster, and we begin to respond in ways we find totally out of character for us.

To those who find themselves under the siege of the enemy in their lives, I speak the words of Hezekiah:  "Be strong!  Take courage!  Don't be intimidated by the enemy!  There are more on YOUR side than on his!  His power is limited!  Ours is limitless - in and through our God we have more than enough to resist his siege!"  He seeks to distract - God says, "Keep your focus on me, not him!"  He seeks to find the chinks - God says, "Let me shore them up with my defenses!"  He seeks to attack the stronghold of our minds - God says, "Let me consume your thoughts!"

Steel in your spine!  This is the result of having both a good defense and a great offense!

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