The Open War: Tactics 201
Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. And the Lord said to Satan, “I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.” Zachariah 3:1,2 NLT
The prophet Zechariah is pulling back the curtain so we can see the Spiritual Warfare going on. He shows us Jeshua, a priest who has lead a motley crew from exile in Babylon back to Jerusalem to rebuild God’s Kingdom. It’s a daunting, discouraging task. And there’s Satan accusing, making it clear that Jeshua is not up to it. I like God’s refusal to even entertain the notions Satan is pitching. Yes, Jeshua may be a little singed, but God has a purpose for him, has pulled him out of the fire, and will see him through it.
Your path through life may leave you a bit singed, too, but listen to the assurance that God chooses you! Your path has a purpose He is endorsing and bringing to fruition, despite the doubts and accusations Satan throws all around you.
What fires has The Accuser been stoking around you… or someone you know? Meditate on Zechariah’s vision and hear God whisper in your ear about rescue and purpose. Have a conversation with Him with confidence in His love for you despite any accusations that might be raised.
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25 (ESV)
I know a Job(bess). She is one of my dearest friends, a woman of faith, and Satan has attacked her often for the past 25 years! 25 years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After an ugly season of radical surgery and chemo-therapy she was declared cancer free; but lymphedema followed. Then her husband left her without explanation. She assumed he no longer wanted to be with a “sick woman”. Through all of this, her faith remained strong. 20 some years passed and her life was full. Two years ago, Satan’s attack seemed even more deadly; she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In planning for aggressive chemo, doctors suspected heart difficulty and more tests were ordered. Finally, she was prepped for treatment. This step resulted in a serious strep infection in her abdomen where a shunt had been placed. For the next three months, my friend underwent excruciating open-wound treatment. Finally, intense chemo began with all its ugly side effects. Again, her faith remained unyielding. She could have cried out like Job: “If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas---” Job 6:1-3
She could have despaired, but never did! Today, she is cancer free! A few days ago we met mutual friends she hadn’t seen for a year. One asked her how she accounted for her recovery. Her answer: “I know that God healed me”. Her response was stunningly beautiful, witnessing the power of God over Satan who had been defeated! With the Spirit’s help, her faith has remained unshaken. I pray daily for that kind of faith! Please join me!
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romains 8:37-39 NIV
We are at war and the devil is on the battlefield. Sometimes he is subtle and covert, but other times he is out in the open for the world to see. His goal is to separate us from God. He is on a mission and he will use whatever tool he can, including physical attacks, to drive a wedge between us and God. Look at poor Job. The devil pulled out all the stops to break Job. He killed Job’s animals and servants. He killed Job’s sons and daughters. He afflicted sores all over Job’s body. Through physical attacks, the devil sought to defeat Job and create doubt in Job’s mind of God’s love. Friends, the devil in Job’s time is the same devil today. He wants you to doubt God’s love.
This battle would be scary if it weren’t for the fact that because of Christ we have already won. No matter what tactic the devil tries to use, we are conquerors through Christ.
So, take heart my friends; God has won the battle for you, through Christ. Stand strong knowing that God will never leave you and loves you like no other.
I look up the mountain; does my strength come from the mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, earth, and mountains. He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep God’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you- Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moon stroke. God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you now, he guards you always. Psalm 121 MSG
Just when you think you have it figured out, you get blindsided and knocked to your knees, shaking your head wondering, “What in the world is going on?!” You are besieged on all sides from your health, finances, relationships, work. Your shoulders sag and you begin to sob asking “How will I ever endure? How will I ever get through this?” You begin to bow down to the sadness and sense of defeat. And then, just when you feel all hope is lost, that Still Small Voice whispers, “Look up! Not at the horizon; not at the buildings that block your view of Me. Raise your head and look higher because I am looking down on you. I am here to protect you always. Ask for my eternal supernatural Strength and it is yours. All you have to do is ask and believe it is yours and it will be yours.” So you dry your eyes and give praise to God’s constant strength.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16
In every war, certain weapons of that war go on to be famous and heralded in history. In the War of 1812, the American frigate U.S.S. Constitution gained so much fame for its durability in battle that Old Ironsides still is an active service vessel of the United States Navy, 215 years later! During World War Two it was the P-51 Mustang fighter plane that was beloved by pilots then and collectors today. And during the First Gulf War in 1991, it was the Patriot Missile Launcher. This weapon was assigned the challenging role of defending Israel and Saudi Arabia from Scud missile attacks fired from Iraq. It was a challenging job for the Patriot, as the Scud was able to hit a target a mere 7 minutes after launch. They really were flaming arrows pointed at our allies.
We too have a defender that protects us from the flaming arrows of the evil one. And just like those weapons of war, we are able to glorify our defense; it’s Christ Jesus! Ephesians 6:16 tells us that our faith in Christ is the shield that defends us from the attacks, the accusations, of the devil. When Satan’s arrows come to condemn us for our mistakes and failures, it is Christ’s love, revealed to us in His death on the cross, that keeps those arrows from hitting their targets. So just like the U.S.S. Constitution, the Mustang and the Patriot we get to glorify the weapon that has won us the war!
More in Take It Home
May 8, 2018Take It Home Notice
May 4, 2018Foolish Things Christians Believe: My Life is Not Futile Day 5
May 3, 2018Foolish Things Christians Believe: My Life Is Not Futile Day 4