No chinks here

Ever heard anyone say that guy has nerves of steel? They are actually paying the individual a compliment, but I also have heard some say the contrary statement, "They have absolutely no backbone." What is the difference between the two guys? One is putting it all out there without any signs they are intimidated by the circumstances, while the other is labeled as 'no backbone' because they have a little more concern over the issues ahead of them. There are times when we all need to hear the words that will actually bolster our courage, serving to increase our faith, and helping 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 for the battle than we our with 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. For many today, it is this extreme loss they have already experienced because of this pandemic. For others, it is the uncertainty of what will occur as we see this thing through to the end.

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 MSG)

The situation set before us in this passage: King Sennacherib, the pretty strong and viscous king of Assyria, is coming against the fortified cities of Judah. His strategy was set and he was going to take the city of Jerusalem as his own. He put the fortified cities within his line of sight under cruel and viscous 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 and he needs to break into that stronghold! It has walls of defense that totally makes attacking it a little more challenging than a fight of an enemy standing out in the open unprotected by any 'wall of protection'! 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 that supply our need. As the things we need are cut-off from our use, we become weaker - the result is that attack is now possible. When a walled city was encountered, the very image of fighting against the "walls of defense" was a tactic to distract - the walls were meant to give the attacker a sense of concern they could not 'break in'! The king knew if he could keep the inhabitants so busy fighting his attacking forces, there would be a chance to distract the inhabitants of the city long enough so 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 (our wall of defense). The small areas left undefended in the moment of his distraction are what he will focus on the most. These moments of being distracted 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 definitely within our mind! Why? It is not a secret to him that our mind 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 mount, 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! So, 'steel up' my friends!

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