Wouldn’t it feel good to burrow into those covers and let the world go on without us?
Have you ever noticed how powerful bed covers are?
When you’re four years old and shivering in your bed as ghosts fly around the ceiling in the darkness above you, all you have to do is pull the covers over your head and bring your knees up under your chin in a fetal position. Then you know you’re safe.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but adults often want to do the same thing. For instance, your mother-in-law made a critical remark in front of your husband and kids for the thirty-fourth quadrillion time. You know that if you gave her a left jab to the chin followed by a huge right haymaker, that would give you a tremendous amount of satisfaction–for about thirty seconds.
But then your world would really get complicated.
So, you dream instead of those covers over your head and a long sleep with knees under the chin, after which you would awaken and all the bad would have drained out of the world.
Deserts, trials, Space Mountains—we’ve looked at these hard times and some of the reasons for them. The BIG question remains, though: “What do you do about them?” Boy, it would be nice to burrow into that intoxicating bed and let the world go away.
The world waits on us, though. When we crawl out of the bed, it’s sitting there with a goofy grin on its face. Or frowning more likely.
So, how do we make it through trials? Here are some three weapons I’ve found useful:
Resist the devil. I read the other morning about one of Israel’s tribes on the day of a battle. They were armed to the teeth with bow and arrows. And they ran like rabbits instead of standing to fight (Psalm 78:8-10). Often we get whipped because we don’t fight, or we only put up half-hearted resistance before cutting out.
Now, I’m not talking about a punch in the nose for your boss, or husband, or mother-in-law, or whoever is persecuting you. But, God has given us His Word. He promises help. He promises to be there for us. He’s given us the weapons of the Spirit (2 Cor. 10:3-5; Ephesians 6).
If you’re going to do anything for God, you will fight spiritual battles. If you’re going to make it through your private wars, fight! If you crawl back in the sack at the slightest sign of resistance you’re not going to accomplish a lot. Fight!
There’s another important principle you need. Persevere! Keep on punching. Don’t quit. If you’re knocked down, get up. If you knock him down don’t quit. Keep on fighting until the bell rings and the Referee raises your hand in victory. (Don’t make the mistake of proclaiming victory too soon. When you raise your own hands in victory, thinking the battle is over, the enemy may punch you in the stomach).
Fight until the end.
How about another word? This one is going to surprise you: Submit.
These battles really do make us grow. Our muscles get lean and hard. We learn to pack a punch against the enemy. But, these are supernatural battles and we need supernatural strength, so we call out to the Lord.
We turn our lives 100% to Him. Submission. And if things don’t happen exactly as we expected, we keep our trust in Him. He’s the Boss, not us. It’s not, “Lord Jesus, I’m going to serve you as long as it seems my faith is making things happen the way I want. It’s simply, “Lord Jesus, I’m going to serve You no matter what. I trust that You really are working all things for my good. I’m winning in You.”
“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”” (James 4:6-8, NIV)
Deserts! Trials! Who wants them? Not me. But, they stand between me and where I want to be. So, when I must go through them to get to the goal, I’m not going back to bed. I’m going to fight, persevere and submit.
You may look like you’ve been in fight with a pack of bobcatss when you finally get through the desert, but you will get through.
Is it time for you to get out of bed?
The fruit of the desert is worth it.
In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armour so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organisations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground.” (Eph. 6:10-12, J.B. Phillips)
“The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” (2 Cor. 10:3-6, Message)
“So many Christians have been taught a faith that anesthetizes your dream.” T.D. Jakes