Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:9)
Gideon was suffering like other Israelites under the oppression of Mediates. The Mediates overpowered the Israelites, and took sheep, ox, donkey, and devour the produce of the land. They came like locusts in number, and they lay waste the land as they came in. Israel was brought very low. Why? The Israelites sinned against God by worshipping idols. God truly hates worshipping idols because God is our true Father. If we worship and serve something other than our true Father with our heart, that is our idol. We often don’t notice we really worship or serve our own idols until we lose them.
If the loss makes us mad, especially at God, then it is a clear sign that we worship and serve an idol rather than our one and only one living God – our ever-lasting Father. Even while reading now, some of us might be angry and mad at God because we have lost what you love or don’t possess what we really desire to have. Of course, it is painful when we lose what we really love or we cannot not possess what we really want to have. However, our anger to God clearly tells what we really worship.
Nobody says it is easy to resist an anger. It is really hard. In fact, it might be practically impossible for us to overcome our anger by our own might and strength. The temptation to own or not to lose what we like is our nature, and it is extremely strong. Literally, all human beings ever lived have knelt down before such temptations. For example, Jonah complained and was angry at God even after he experienced God’s mercy and His loving hand. He even asked to kill him because he saw God’s mercy on the people in the city of Nineveh. The hetaerism toward the people in the city of Nieveh was so strong that he wanted rather to die than to see God’s mercy on them. Jonah knelt down before this temptation. King David surrendered before the temptation, and he sinned. Then he could not stop sinning to cover up his sin. He plotted and killed Bathsheba’s husband to own her, who was the greatest temptation to King David. Nobody is stronger than temptations presented by our enemy. We all fail like Jonah, King David, and the people of Israel, who fell and served idols – the hetaerism in Jonah’s heart, the strong desire to own Bathsheba, and the desperate search for getting a comfort from another god. However, through the power of Holy Spirit, we can overcome this fundamental limitation of ourselves being tempted by our own justice in our heart, what we really like to own, and an effort to search for peace and comfort from something other than our God, the ever-loving Father. Here is God’s Word:
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)
In reality, when we really stuck with something that blocks us, and it remains stubbornly with us after prayers and prayers, our prayers tend to be already dries out. After payers after prayer, there has been no answer from God. All our time devoted to our prayers seem nothing. In the meantime, we tried all options, but nothing has been changed. We certainly fee that nothing we can do. We are simply stuck. One corner of our heart tells that t is the time that we need to pour out our fervent prayers, but no more strength left to pray to God.
It is not uncommon for us to experience this low point in our life. Then what can we do? The answer is God’s word. We are completely exhausted. Even prayers of ours have been dried out because all of the prayers didn’t change anything at all although we are in a desperate situation. God’s word tells that even this situation, our helper is in our heart, who is the Holy Spirit. He is not just sitting in our heart, but He intercedes for us. Not just a simple prayer, but the prayers with groaning, which are so deep that no humanly language can even describe. This is the promise that God has given to each of us in His love. When we get to an extremely low point, please read and recite the above God’s word. Yes, all things brought down to really low in spite of our so many prayers. Now there is no strength to spare to pray. But continue reciting the word in our heart again and again, we will experience the power of God’s word that restores our soul and heart in Him through the power of the Holy Spirit who intercedes us with inexpressible grownings. Certainly, our enemy is strong, but our God is stronger. Before God’s word, our enemy becomes powerless despite of his effort to cling to us as long as possible. This is the power of God’s word.
“Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)
Those who have an experience of using this most powerful weapon knows how powerful the word of God is. Don’t try to fight by our own might, strength or even our own faith. If so, the outcome is so sure, which is our total defeat. Thus, don’t even expect to win the spiritual battle. Can a solider fight against his/her enemy without a weapon? It is suicidal. Even so, many people have felt that they have strength to fight against our enemy. Then again and again they were miserably defeated, while being publically disgraced and a shame to our entire Christians. (Some of us still remembers big names in our Christianity. They failed miserably by knelling down by giving themselves to temptation. They became a huge obstacle to those who tried to come to Jesus, and failing many believers also. Please don’t try to fight without God’s word, which is the weapon that allows for us to fight and win against our enemy.)
“And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13)
Our enemy, the devil, tempted Jesus Christ for forty days with all kinds of temptations, but the devil failed. However, it was not the end. The devil left Jesus, not forever, who left Jesus till the next opportunity came. This is the true picture about our life on earth -- a constant battle between us and our enemy, the devil. Again, what is the weapon to fight against our enemy? There is only one -- God’s word. Jesus Christ fought against the enemy with the exactly same weapon – God’s word. Even for Jesus, it was the most favorable weapon and, as matter of fact, was only one weapon that Jesus used to fight against the devil when he was really weak and exhausted after His forty days of fasting. Therefore, the paramount importance of God’s word cannot be emphasized enough. God’s word. That we need when we are spiritually weak and completely exhausted. What is the best way to use God’s word. The best approach is to have God’s word always. This means putting God’s word in our brain, i.e., memorizing God’s word. We highly and highly recommend to memorize God’s word so that we can use anytime and anyplace, and immediately against all temptations whether we are being enticed to worship our own idol covertly, or becoming angry to God because we have lost what we love most or we cannot have what dearly want to possess, or we are tempted by earthly pleasures.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
The first thing is to pray to God, not by our own might, but by the power of Holy Spirit in our heart. As we talked about above, when we are in a real heavy attack of our enemy, more often than not, many of us have already experienced before: it is really difficult (or almost impossible) for us to pray to God. We are already worn out, and spiritually extremely weakened by the attacks from our enemy. Then what we should do is rather than relying on our own spiritual strength, but using God’s word. We need to continuously read, recite or believe in God’s word, and also make an intensive effort to carefully listening to the Holy Spirit who resides in our heart. Sometimes, it is so subtle, but it is overwhelm powerful when we correctly tuned to the voice. Those who believe in Jesus Christ as savior have already received Holy Spirit. This is the promise given to us by Jesus:
If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. (John 14:15-17)
Therefore, we can stand firm with our faith against all flaming attacks from our enemy, and fight back with God’s word. Let’s also encourage each other, and remind that for we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12) The battle is not against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers of the unseen world, often manifested as our own self and self-desires, of which we are essentially blind.
Here is what we ought to support each other and watch out together as brothers and sisters of one family in one faith, one God, and one Lord: put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Ephesians 6:13-18)