Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Five Smooth Stones

It has been fascinating to watch the Lord work both in this blog and Facebook the past week. Although we have not intimately shared with each other the directions God has been leading us, it is apparent He had at least three of us heading down the same path and meditating slightly differently on a similar theme - standing up for the Lord.

As Dana so accurately concluded in her most recent post, our strength lies with and through Him, and as she illustrated with the account of David and Goliath, "I can do all things through Him Who gives me strength." Phil 4:13. Nothing is impossible if we build our faith upon the fact that the battles belong to God and it is His honor that is at stake. It does not mean standing idly by and watching Him fight alone. It means stepping in and becoming His soldier, donning His full armor, and relying on His strength to overcome the Goliath that threatens us. We have a Champion Who will go behind and before us into the fray of battle because the battle is solely His.

For 430 years, the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt. If the life expectancy of man was 70 years at that time, six generations passed before God liberated them. One would think after all that time the people would have lost hope and faith in God's promise of deliverance would have become an ancient tale told to children. But as He led His people out of bondage, His presence was always with them:

"By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people."
Exodus 13:21,22

God displayed His might and His power and the Jews were kept constantly aware of His presence and protection over them. He will do the same for us if we allow Him to lead.

When we are faced with burdens that spiral out of our control, or stand in battles that seem hopeless of winning, there is only one way to turn. Like David, we must choose five smooth stones, knowing in faith that it will only take one if we remember to Whom the battle belongs. God is not unaware of the Goliath standing before us. He could just as easily destroy him with one word. But He wants us to stand up beside Him, to take up His sword of truth and wield it by drawing on His strength. He wants us to share in His fight for righteousness and truth.

As we have been warned, the paths we walk will not always be smooth, level and without obstacles. The enemy delights in throwing up hurdles to turn us back and make us weak. It is up to us, as Christians, to learn to turn to the Lord Almighty when we approach a seemingly unmovable barrier, for the Lord Jehovah is our "war club", He is our "weapon for battle" (Jer 51:20) Without question or doubt, He will have the victory. But are you, dear Christian, willing to stand beside Him and carry His banner into the battle? Or will you step back in complacency and apathy and watch from your comfortable armchair as it is waged around you?

The question was eloquently posed in Dana's post. It is up to us to make a choice as to how we will serve the Lord, how far we are willing to step out of our comfort zones and defend His honor, His glory, and His Truths. Like Dana, I will not offend my God by staying silent. I will stand up along side her and choose five smooth stones as my weapon.

Who knows? By His strength, maybe it will only take one.