When you think of the word “defense” what comes to mind? Perhaps you’re a sports fan and you think of your favorite football team … or perhaps you’re working at a government agency that deals with defending the rights of others. Maybe you’re in an abusive relationship that you’ve been trying to get out of for quite some time and, to you, defending yourself has become a way of life. Whatever the case, there will always – somehow – be a need for defense. With both good and evil in the world, someone, somewhere will always need to be defended against the “bad guys.” Fortunately, for someone who is a Christian, we don’t have to go it alone. We can fully rely on Jesus to be our Defense. Psalm 118:14 (NIV) says, “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” Also, Romans 8:31-34 (NIV) tells us, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” So, here we can see that we only need to look to Jesus to help us and defend us in our time of need – in whatever it is we may be going through. Practically speaking, maybe you were talking to someone in your household and you were (innocently) making a request for them to help you with housework. All of a sudden – seemingly out of nowhere – they get all bent out of shape and get irritated at you. Wanting to “defend” yourself against their anger, you start to explain why you need the help. However, you quickly realize they aren’t open to listening to your explanation. Instead of continuing to try to defend yourself, you leave the area and go to a private place to pray. You lift up the situation to the Lord. You ask Him to defend you against the other person taking your request the wrong way. You know in your heart, your attitude was not one of trying to control them, but, rather, was simply a humble request for help. You also remember that (according to Ephesians 6:12 (NIV), “… our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”) Because of that, you are aware that it is actually a spiritual battle and it must be fought with spiritual weapons. These “weapons” are listed in Ephesians 6:13-18 (NIV) as we read, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Therefore, when you are in the midst of the battle, you can be praying and asking the Lord to help you and defend you, but you also must be “in agreement” with Him (meaning that you also need to be exercising faith that He will defend you… you also need to be holding up the “shield” of faith so that the other person’s implied accusation doesn’t penetrate your heart, but, rather, is deflected off (since you know that it’s not really the other person you have an issue with, instead, it’s really the “spiritual forces of evil” that are trying to pit you and the other person against each other.) When you let your own “defensiveness” go and give it to the Lord and allow Him to defend you and you remember His faithfulness in the past as well as a way to exercise your faith now, you can expect Him to work it all out for you – on your behalf – as you do your part in trusting and believing in Him and His power to come to your defense. So, the timeless truth for today is to allow the Lord to come to your defense – no matter what you may be facing. All you need to do is take your situation, your issue with someone else, or whatever it may be to Him and trust and believe He will come to your defense!
“There’s no way I can do that!” “You’ve gotta be crazy if you think I can do that!” “I’m never going to be able to do that!” Have you or someone you know said these words when faced with a seemingly insurmountable task? Have you felt like, no matter how hard you tried, it just wasn’t good enough? Have you felt incompetent? Well, if you have, there’s good news. Our competence doesn’t have to come from ourselves. In fact, it shouldn’t. 2 Corinthians 3:5 (NIV) reads, “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” So, this timeless truth lets us know that our competence does, indeed, come from God. What a relief! God doesn’t expect us to do everything all on our own. He expects us to turn to Him in our weakness and receive strength. After all, God is our source of strength. We are not meant to do anything of lasting value apart from His enabling power at work within us. We are meant to depend upon Him. In a world of increasing independence, that may sound counter-intuitive, but, in reality, it is a safeguard for us. When we draw our power and our strength (and our competence) from God, there’s no way we can lose. As we continuously learn to live our lives this way, it won’t matter what the next seemingly insurmountable obstacle is in our path … we will be able to trust that, whatever it is, with God on our side giving us the enablement to persevere and do whatever it is He’s called or led us to do, we will be able to get through it. Since Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, when we remember His faithfulness in helping us in the past, we can confidently trust that He will help us in the present with whatever we are facing today as well. It’s all the same concept. If we can trust Him for one thing, we can trust Him for everything. The situation and circumstances may be different, but God is the same – forever dependable, trustworthy, and true. He is who He says He is and He does what He says He will do. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” With a promise like that, how can you lose?
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