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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Facing the Fight.

"And the LORD said to Isaiah, 'Go out to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-jashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field. And say to him, 'Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah"'" (Isaiah 7:3-4, ESV).

The King of Judah, from the House of David, had just been told that the King of Israel had joined forces with others with the intention of overthrowing and overtaking Judah. God had spoke through Isaiah to give these words to the King of Judah. When it seems like life has surrounded you with the full intent of overtaking you, you can trust that God is still with you, has a plan for you, and will never leave you.

USE CAUTION. Isaiah told the king to "be careful." Even when you are trusting in the Lord, there is still a measure of caution you are to live within. Don't mistake His protection for a liscense to suspend wisdom in your life. Whatever you are facing in your life, ask God to give you the wisdom you need. As you are placing your situation into His hands, be careful. Slow down. Keep your eyes on Him. Don't run ahead and risk of taking the bull by the horns with your OWN hands. Stay alert. There is an enemy in your life that is patiently awaiting you to slip up, mess up, and fall down. As Peter wrote in 1 Peter 5, "Stay alert. Your enemy, the devil, is roaming like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour." Don't lose sight of what is right and wrong. Don't loosen your grip on the disciplines and commitments you have made before God.

STAY CALM. King Ahaz would certainly face moments of potential anxiety with the knowledge that he was being confronted by an emeny coalition. In your life, you will face like moments of anxiety, discouragement, and threates. There is an enemy that seeks your destruction. But never lose sight that there is a God, in Christ Jesus, that guards your heart and mind, guaranteeing you the assurance of a peace that transcends ALL undertanding. Stay calm. Don't allow the situation you are facing to intimidate you or to infect your mind or your mouth. When you choose to stay calm, you have greater control over your attitude, over your temper, and over your words. When you are calm, the presence of Jesus is more evident in your life.

BE CONFIDENT. "Don't be afraid," continued the prophetic voice of Isiah. With the absence of fear comes the presence of confidence. When you are afraid, there can be no trust and no confidence in God. When you let your faith answer the door when fears come knocking, you will soon find that there's no one there. Be confident in the strength and the size of your God. Don't look at yourself through your eyes nor through the eyes of your situation. Stay focused on the eyes of God so that you are able to see what your facing through the eyes of the One who ALREADY sees it as a VICTORY. Be confident in the One who gives you strength, who sustains you, and who brings you to great success.

HAVE COURAGE. "Do not lose heart..." Don't allow discouragement to overtake you. When your focus is on what your facing rather than on WHO faces it with you, you WILL give into discouragement. Remember, however, that you serve a God who is with you, who goes before you, and who is greater and more powerful than any situation or enemy that you will ever face. Stay close to the truth of Psalm 3. "You, O Lord, are a shield around me. You're the glory and the One who holds my head up high." Face your fight with courage that comes from a confidence in the One who has already declared that "IT IS FINISHED." When you know that He is with you, you can walk and run in a courage that proclaims, "I AM MORE THAN AN OVERCOMER!"

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