“Though surrounding an enemy and closing in on him from all directions theoretically leaves no avenue of escape, in most cases quit a few soldiers are able to get out of even the tightest ring. This does not invalidate the effectiveness of caldron battles, however, because in many cases the attacker is not actually seeking total destruction, but rather is merely trying to induce an enemy to withdraw and abandon his aggressions or intentions.”
If the enemy can’t entirely destroy you, he will do all in his power to make you flee.
Personally, I feel like the past few weeks have been one long battle for me. And I know I’m not alone in this sentiment. I know a lot of Christian brothers and sisters who feel as if they are in the twilight zone, a perpetual silent season. We pray and pray. We encourage one another over and over. But our circumstances don’t change. We still find ourselves caught up in the middle of a heated battle.
Surrounded on all sides. Enemies close at hand with weapons sharpened for death. Their eyes are cruel, their intentions murderous. Our heads are heavy, our hope faltering, our spirits wondering.
And then we hear the enemy say, “I’ll let you live but on one condition. You must leave. Now.”
The temptation arises. Do we answer in the positive or negative? Do we compromise on the field of battle? Do we give in to the enemy of our souls? The offer is tempting, the idea of peace and relief more glorious than the tedious raising of another sword or shield.
But I also know that this battle tactic is another means of defeat. We may emerge with our lives but we have left our faith and destiny in the wake. The enemy never does anything that doesn’t harm others and benefit himself. He doesn’t care about our comfort or happiness. No, all he cares about is his convenience and victory.
Even now I am reminding my spirit that fleeing the battle doesn’t equate to freedom. You may be further from the heat but you’re also further from the Father. God Almighty, the great I AM takes up His weapons with you. He fights for us and with us. He strengthens our hands for battle. He is our refuge and our strength, our very present help in times of trouble. He is the Shepherd whose rod and staff keep the enemy at bay. His power is limitless, His reach unmeasured.
In Psalm 51, David pleads with God for forgiveness of sin and restitution of their relationship. In verse 10 he writes, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Steadfast means firm, unyielding, unwavering, unshakable. Sin and selfishness are most appealing when we are living in the understanding of the flesh. We don’t see how a battle can be won. We don’t see how God can bring something impossible to pass, so we begin to perceive the world around us through a lens of finite comprehension. All the while, we remove God from the battle scene and allow the clinks of swords and smell of the flames to deter us from going forward in confidence and faith.
We need a steadfast spirit, a spirit whose trust is in the Lord and not in man or circumstance. A spirit who remembers and establishes memorials for future generations to track the timeless faithfulness of Jehovah Jireh, our Provider.