Monday, August 13, 2012

God Prevails

My brother is currently a soldier in the U.S. Air Force.  He has been stationed in Japan since June of this year in Fussa, a sleeper city right outside of Tokyo.  As I read this morning, my heart hurt for him.  Not only does he face the potential threat of a literal battle at all times (he could get a half hours notice to ship out) but he is also in the midst of a spiritual battle everyday.  In an area where clubbing is the norm, prostitution is bordering legal, and churches are sparse, temptation is around every corner.  From the moment his feet touch the ground in the morning, his spiritual battle has begun...and it doesn't end until his head touches his pillow at the end of the day.  But there is always hope.

Deuteronomy 20:3-4 - 3 ...'Hear O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today.  Do not be fainthearted.  Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, 4 for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'

This verse is pretty straightforward.  Like my brother, we approach battles every day.  But there is no reason "to become timid" or be afraid for God is with us, fighting for us, in order to save us (Strong's H7401)!  But there are a couple of things I don't want you to miss:  

First of all, "save" in the Hebrew is yasha'.  The lexicon defines it as "to aid...As victory depends on the aid of God, it is...to give victory" (Strong's H3467).  Did you catch that?  Victory depends on the aid of God.  We cannot do this without Him.  We cannot fight these battles, physical or spiritual, alone.   But, the promise is evident, He is there to give victory - " Those have no reason to fear that have God with them" (Henry).  

And just in case that isn't enough to reassure you, I want to take a look at the word "Israel."  Today, we are God's Israel, because we are God's children.  The verse, very much so, pertains to us. The neat part is that the literal definition of "Israel" is "God Prevails" (Strong's H3478).  The name He has given His people says it all: God Prevails, He will be victorious.  And the best part is, He goes with me as I approach each battle and He is there fighting...for me!

I challenge you today to think about the battle(s) you are facing.  Are you fainthearted, are you afraid?  Make a list of all of these negative feelings and pessimistic thoughts.  Then take a bold marker and write "VICTORY" in huge letters across that list.  Remember today that God is fighting for you and He will be victorious!

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