Psalms 144:1 – “Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;” NASB
I have contended for a long time that Christians in America are not ‘battle-tested’ and prepared for persecution or the impending troubled waters we are and will be faced with in these Last Days. It is tragic that we seemingly have become dependent on medicine, science, government, employers, ability, etc. to help us get through life. We have lived a life of relative ease compared to some others in this world and have not endured the religious persecution known in the Bible. That is good and it is bad.
It is good in the sense that in our time of peace and safety we have had the opportunity to provide for ourselves and our families as well as enjoy an unimpeded ability to spread the Gospel. It is bad in the sense that we have lost some of our ‘war faith’ and have not been ‘battle-tested.’ One of the things the Bible says about how God led Israel through the wilderness was that he took certain paths to prevent them from seeing war lest they become disheartened. They were not ‘battle-tested’ and he had to prepare their hearts to face the upcoming wars they would fight.
Our God is the same God as the God of Abraham, Joseph, Isaac, Jeremiah, Daniel, David, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Peter, Paul, and John. He has not changed as is confirmed in Hebrews 13:8. He is the same eternally, yesterday, today, and forever. In that confidence we have hope. But that knowledge does not remove the reality that we are not ‘battle-tested.’
I have a friend, a minister, who says, “I don’t want anyone with me in a battle that does not have a limp.” He was referring to Jacob’s wrestling with God all night and God touching his hip. I have been in natural war and spiritual war and know the value of those who have been ‘tested’ in the heat of battle. It is comforting and encouraging to know that those with you in the fight will not desert you. It is comforting to know that thorough their ‘battle testing’ and ‘battle hardening’ they are not overwhelmed by the moment but know how to fight through to the victorious objective.
I encounter people who believe they are ‘okay’ because they are ‘good people.’ One said, “I don’t hurt anybody, so I am okay.” It takes more than just being considered a ‘good person’ to be in the Family of God, it takes ‘forgiveness’ through repentance. It requires the ‘new birth’ which can only come through the Finished Work of Jesus and the application of His atoning blood to our sins. It takes believing that He is and surrendering our entire beings to Him.
I have whined when a problem came and lingered. Each time after a time of whining, the Holy Spirit convicts me. It usually comes through an encounter with someone who is facing a more severe trial or a reminder of the plight of Christians in incredible evil areas of this world. In America, too often, we have lived a life of “soft, unchallenging, and uninspired Christianity.” We do not have to sneak around to share the Gospel of Jesus. We don’t have to have church in the shadows and hide from the prying eyes of the authorities. We have learned to live without being forced to ‘trust God’ for our existence. We are not ‘battle-tested.’
When Israel was delivered from Egyptian bondage and came to the Red Sea, they saw the pursuing armies of Egypt. They were terrified. They had witnessed the miracles of God in their deliverance. To their credit, when they saw the looming death and destruction coming. they cried to the LORD in their terror. Thankfully, they had a man leading them that had spent 40 years learning to trust God and empty himself of the ways of man. Moses said, “Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will show you today…” That would be enough, but he then prophesied, “The Egyptians you see today, you will see them no more.”
If Jesus’ victory on the Cross was complete and He totally defeated the devil opening the door to salvation and restoration, then we need to trust Him. If Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth and He has given that authority to us, then we need to live as though He is telling the truth. We need to trust Him. If Jesus is the same eternally, yesterday, today, and forever, we have no reason to fear.
In the exploits of the heroes of the Bible, the result was the people developed a fear of God, that inspired faith, confidence, obedience, and courage. It is my prayer that the LORD will ‘train our hands for war’ and help us to be those who ‘having done all to stand, keep standing.’ Our weapons are not natural and cannot be utilized using natural talents and abilities. They are spiritual and the power and ability to employ them is by the Holy Spirit.
Christians, there is coming a time of darkness but we do not have to fear. We are not yet ‘battle-tested’ but we can be filled with God’s Love and Spirit and live in complete confidence that He is, He does, and He will.
God bless you and have a Great Day!