Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is it Time to Make a Stand?

Last week-end we spent a lot of time resting and recovering from the flu. That stuff just makes you tired. One of the things we don’t have much time for but really enjoy is movies. We’ve been watching our favorite shows via smart phone or wi-fi computer straight to our tv screen. One of the free movies available was The Last Stand. Being an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan we were anxious to see if his old charisma still remained. The movie is not for the faint of heart and I am not recommending it because there’s lots of graphic shooting and some pretty foul language from the bad guys. One thing I can say is the bad guy is the bad guy and the good guy is the good guy and I like it when the lines don’t get blurred.

The movie revolved around the escape of an infamous drug lord from a New York jail and a small American town on the Mexico border. The drug lord was headed to make his final escape via race car on the Rio Grande near the town. The sheriff, Schwarzenegger’s character, was promised help to stop this notorious gangster. But help did not come. And the town was in line for destruction by the drug lord’s team. So Arnold did what Arnold does. He formulated a plan and decided to make the last stand. It was rough, but Arnold’s character remained strong and in the end the drug lord was captured and the town was saved.

The pivotal moment of the movie for me was the final conversation between the sheriff and the drug lord. This drug lord was a billionaire. No middle man, this was the top of the line man. He kept offering the sheriff a bribe to let him get across the bridge into Mexico. The sheriff of course kept refusing the bribe. Finally the drug lord said $20 million! The sheriff looked at his badge and then into the face of the fugitive and replied, “My honor is not for sale.” Then the fugitive replied in a vulgar vernacular, “I don’t give a rip about your honor”.

That could be the end of the story, except God spoke to my heart through those two profound statements. There is always a battle. We are likely to find ourselves fighting the battle alone. Our honor is at stake. And the enemy of our soul doesn’t care about our honor one bit. He fights us on his level. If we fight him back on his level we are doomed. But we don’t. The Word tells us that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty THROUGH GOD, to the pulling down of strongholds. Listen again, even though our weapons are mighty we don’t use them on our own; they are only mighty THROUGH GOD! We can make stand after stand against the enemy knowing that God will make us invincible. We also have to understand one simple truth: the enemy doesn’t care about our honor. He just wants to win. He will throw all manner of distractions at us to get us to accept the bait but we aren’t going to accept any payment to stand down. Rather we accept God’s Word to make our stand against the wiles of the devil.

Oh beloved, nobody is immune to troubles or temptations. You are either going through something, have just gone through something or you are about to go into a situation that will require your allegiance to God and your honor to His Word. Standing on your own you can’t win, but standing beneath the cross and letting God go forth into battle on your behalf you will win! Let God show you through His Word that He is able. And let the enemy throw what He can at you. He is already defeated. The only victory he has is in the weaknesses of Christians who don’t know any better than to give in. But you can make a stand for God, you can wield His weapons and win. You don’t have to make your stand alone for you have the Army of the Lord with you when you fight on God’s terms. Don’t let your personal weakness give you panic, but remember always that God’s strength is perfected when you are at your weakest. You are in a win - win situation every single time because God is with you.

God loves you and He’s for you and that’s where your honor lies as you press forward to win every day of your life.

1 Chronicles 29:12 Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.

Hebrews 5:4 And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Psalm 24:8 Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle.

Exodus 17:5 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-nissi (which means "the LORD is my banner"). NLT

(The artwork today is by Ilse Kleyn, Cape Town, We - South Africa and may be purchased online)

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