November 7, 2015

Deuteronomy 20:1 When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.

This is a pretty remarkable chapter. It’s the oldest reference I know of to draft exemptions, and it even talks about the environment, saying not to cut down fruit trees. (verse 19) However, it is the truth of this first verse that enabled Moses to say things like this. When God is on your side you don’t have to be frantic about manpower or anything else. That’s not to say that other things are unimportant, it’s that they are secondary at best. Christians and churches need to remember this truth, because we are very much in the middle of a spiritual war. Gains by the enemy have largely been because the Church has been asleep! Thankfully, evidence is pointing to the Church finally waking up, and that is something to be grateful for. The enemy has been doing some outrageous things recently, which I think the Lord may even have encouraged for the specific purpose of waking up his people. That’s not an issue in countries with ongoing persecution, but the Church has been lulled to sleep in numbers of historically Christian countries. Those of us who are now awake need to read this verse and take it to heart, knowing that He who is in us is far greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

I am very much a target of what I have just written. My awareness of spiritual warfare has been relatively limited to dealing with such things as demonic possession (which I have done occasionally) when actually the battle is ongoing. There are ebbs and flows, but at no time am I to let my spiritual guard down. However, I am also not to be afraid, just as this verse says. I am to check my spiritual armor, making full use of the weapons provided to me. (Ephesians 6:10-18) I am to remember the power of those weapons and not draw back from any challenge. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) As a leader, I am to rally the troops and teach them to use, and how to use, their weapons. I need to help them understand the conflict we are in, and at the same time help them believe the truth in this verse and not be afraid.

Father, the battle is at times intense. Help me keep that reality in focus, not being fooled into thinking that the conflict is less than spiritual. Help me be faithful as Your warrior, a captain in Your army, so that Your victory may be manifested on a daily level in the hearts and lives of many as well as in the wider society, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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