More Than Conquerors!
- Monday, August 04, 2003
For those who do not know me, I am an employee in the Lord's kitchen. Sometimes I stand inside, hot and sticky, and prepare a meal. Other times, I serve food around linen draped tables, ornate with God's finest crystal and silver.
For those who don't know me, I am the Lord's patient. I drink Him in like a tonic, warm and soothing, to heal my infections and wounds. Like a balm, He seeps into my skin, restoring my soul.
For those who do not know me, I am a soldier in the Lord's army. Sometimes I feel like a Private, other times an Officer. Sometimes I lie in a peaceful valley, and other times I'm charging ahead on the front lines, stretching my limbs as I climb a battle-torn hill.
But always, there is a Commander ahead of me.
Jesus works through me, in me, and always ahead of me. So who do I have to fear?
Paul's Five Questions
Beginning in Romans 8:31, Paul asks five significant questions for the Christian.
1. If God is for us, who can be against us?
2. How would [God] not graciously give us all things?
3. Who will bring charges against those whom God has chosen?
4. Who is he that condemns?
5. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
The questions come at the end of a chapter that begins with this well-known verse: There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Why not? Because (verse 2) ... the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.
And yet free, we become servants, patients, and soldiers; still we are stronger than those who are not in Him, those who He does not work through or for.
Paul begins his questions with a prefacing question: What then shall we say to these things?
One: If God is for us, who is against us?
Do you ever feel as though you are fighting a losing battle? Perhaps you work in a stressful environment and wonder if you'll be forced to live out the better part of your days working in such conditions. Or, as a parent you've done all you can do to raise your children in the Lord's truth only to watch them chose the world and its plan. You could be in a difficult marriage or a single parent who juggles the role of mother and father, and both breadwinner and bread maker.
Perhaps you are in a legal battle not of your own making. Innocent, you've been accused and now must fight within a system you'd just as soon not be a party to. Or, you fight within another war, a medical condition the "leading authorities on such conditions" say you'll never beat. "Get your affairs in order," they suggest.
There are days when we'd just as soon crawl back under the covers and never come back out. "Lord," we pray. "This is too hard. The whole world is against me-or so it seems. I can't get a break...and I could really use a break."
Years ago, my life looked as though it were pretty much at the point of no return. The fighting fields were smeared with blood and the blood was my own. Or, so it seemed. "I think God has forgotten about me," I cried to a wise man. "I can't go another step."
Laying his tired, old hand on my shoulder the wise man answered me, "God gave His Son to die for you. The most precious thing He could have sent. Do you really think that with all that invested, He's going to let you down now?"
An Old Testament Lesson
In 1 Samuel 15, the Lord sent the prophet Samuel to anoint a new king for Israel, specifically from the sons of Jesse, son of Obed, who was the son of Ruth and Boaz.
When Samuel arrived at the home of Jesse, he took one look at Jesse's oldest boy, Eliab, and thought, "Surely this is the future king!"
God said nah-ah.
One by one the boys were paraded before Samuel and with each, God said, "Not this one." Then he added, "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (How grateful am I for that?)
When the last of Jesse's sons had been presented, Samuel asked, "Are these all the sons you have?"
"There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep."
Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives."
So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.
Then the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one."
So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. (1 Samuel 16:11-13)
So David, from that time forward, knew he would be the next king of Israel. Yet, for years he served in Saul's army, marrying into Saul's family, and eventually running from Saul's maniacal, murderous schemes. David was a boy when he was anointed, but a full-grown man-husband and father-when he finally took the throne of Israel to become the greatest king until the reign of "his Son." Even then, he was often placed in positions of having to defend the position God had prepared for him.
During these days, many times holing up in caves and hot desert hideaways, he wrote a great number of our beloved Psalms, including The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27) Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62)
David remained Israel's great king until he died and was buried with "his fathers." God's plans for David could not be thwarted...neither can His plans for you...or me.
So How Do You Answer?
Take a moment to reflect on the story of David...and your own story. If God be for you, who can be against you?
What then shall you say to this?
Award-winning national speaker, Eva Marie Everson is the author of Shadow of Dreams, Summon the Shadows and the recently released and highly anticipated Shadows of Light. She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.EvaMarieEverson.com
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