I figured I would start out with that statement. This past weekend has been the fantastic finish of a terrible week slash phenomenal beginning to this week.
Satan, the great deceiver, has designs on all of God's created, namely those who are born again. With his tactics he tries to steal, kill and destroy (1) our walk with the Most High, (2) he attempts to destroy our testimony to others by causing us to doubt, become fearful and generally make a bad showing of God sometimes, (3) we become distracted and may not spend as much time in prayer or reading our bibles. There are other things I could name but I am sure you get the idea.
Let me just say, he had me doing all three and then some this past week.
I have a journal that I keep and from time-to-time I chronicle certain weeks in them. Usually I go day-by-day but for some reason I choose to look back on the week and write. Everyone of us has experienced bad moments, days, weeks and months at some point in our lives. I CAN add the word years but that is another story. During this time of testing I leaned on one thing, the word of God. I looked through the scriptures to find peace and encouragement and to remind myself of the promises God has given to all whom He calls His own. The God of peace filled me and a quiet assurance followed thereafter.
Why was this such a bad week you say? The internal struggle.
I believe the bible is the very word of God. It is divinely inspired and infallible (without error).
The bible has an answer for everything. Yes, everything. Most importantly it tells me about God's love for me and how I can find forgiveness for my sins and inherit eternal life."
As we draw closer to the return of Jesus (rapture) Satan increases his attacks on the children of God.
"You really don't believe everything in that book do you?"
"God does not really love you."
"Once a sinner always a sinner."
"There is no hope for you."
On and on it goes. His words are subtle at times and direct and painful most others.
Have I listened to him? I would be a liar if I said no.
Yes, I have doubted God's word. Many times it made no sense whatsoever to me.
Yet other times I feel overwhelmed and unworthy of the revelations His Spirit gives me.
We call them 'nuggets'. Seems such an inadequate word when considering the source of it all.
I titled this post "banner or burden" and put it in the form of a question because God's word is either or.
A great example of this can be found in Exodus 17. Israel is at war with the Amalekites, Moses is on top of a mountain holding the rod of God in his hand. As Moses holds up his hands Israel is winning the battle, however as his arms weaken and fall down, the Amalekites start to prevail in battle. As we all know Israel wins the battle and the Amalekites are destroyed.
My point is when God is our banner and held high, victory is assured. NO MATTER HOW LONG THE BATTLE. When we lower our standard (another name for banner) the enemy capitalizes on our weakness breaks through our hedge of protection and victory seems to be in there grasp.
Last week was a reminder that I needed to keep my banner high and recognize God is fighting the battle for me. Discouragement comes when I look at the length of the fight and question the necessity of it. The bible says we win the battle, but during the war the end is not always in sight. That is where I was last week. Moses did not know how long the battle would go on, but he held fast and Aaron and Hur supported him and in the end Israel is victorious.
In Christ we have the ultimate victory. War is never pleasant. The loss of life is great, and pain and suffering are prevalent. However, in this battle for the souls of all mankind, the stakes are definitely higher.
Our hope is before us in Jesus Christ and the Cross of Calvary.
Just as God instructed Moses to build an altar, we too can build one, and know that Jehovah-Nissi has sworn..."victory will come and only by My hand."