Thursday, November 30, 2017

Fighting the inanimate

“The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid! Don’t be paralyzed by this mighty army! For the battle is not yours, but God’s!" (2 Chronicles 20:15 TLB)

There are times when we know we are fighting a battle because the bombs are bursting, bullets are flying, and there is so much chaos we just know we are in the midst of the fray. At other times, it feels as though we are fighting some type of "inanimate" object - not seen, not heard, but somehow wreaking havoc in our lives. Let me ask - which battle is the hardest to fight - the one where you see the enemy and hear his attack, or the one where he is cleverly hidden and you have no idea where? Both could be equally similar, but one reveals himself while the other remains hidden. We can fear them both - right? The thing with the attack from the enemy who remains cleverly hidden is that we have no idea what our "counter-attack" should be until he reveals a little about himself! We might do best when we know the enemy we are fighting, but there is just as much resource at our disposal for the enemy we see as there is for the one we don't! 


Our response to the enemy can be that of fear - paralyzing us in our progress and keeping us bound by that which we see or sense. It could be that we want to turn tail and run, but find ourselves "stuck" as though some huge weight was keeping us from actually moving. Honestly, that is why the Philistines sent out Goliath everyday to taunt the Israelite army - his shear size, booming voice, and formidable armor made it look like there was no way past him. He invoked fear in those who took in his appearance, but never forget that even the most formidable opponent has at least one weak spot! David knew the weak spot was known by God and that God knew exactly how to deal with this "threat"!


Why does the enemy use threatening attacks at one point in time, then remain hidden at others? In battle, there are times it takes a good while for those under fire to locate their "threat". Why? That threat has "dug in" and is really well disguised. What advantage does the enemy have? His cover! His position is just perfect to hurl attack after attack without us knowing exactly where he is attacking from because he has a "perfect cover". Remember that scripture warns us Satan can come in many ways, even as an angel! So, we don't always recognize him or see him moving "into position" for the attack because we aren't aware of his tactics.


This might be why scripture also reminds us that God doesn't want us to be "unaware" of his wiles - we are to be wise and use that wisdom to our benefit. There is no greater wisdom than to realize we cannot take up weapons we are not familiar with. David was offered the sword, shield, and armor of a mighty warrior, but the only weapons he was familiar with were the stone and sling. He didn't attempt to use what he had never used before - he relied upon the weaponry he had come to appreciate as "reliable" when God was behind each stone launched. Just sayin!