Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Stood His Ground

Two of the men called “David’s heroes,” Eleazar and Shammah, are remembered because they stood their ground. Eleazar was with David at Pas-Dammim in battle with the Philistines. “When the Israelites fell back, he stood his ground and rained blows on the Philistines until, from sheer weariness, his hand stuck fast to his sword” (2 Sam. 23:10).

Shammah, in a battle which took place in a lentil field, also “stood his ground, saved it, and defeated the Philistines.” The significant thing is that in each case the story says, “So the Lord brought about a great victory.” Another case of how God and man cooperate --- the man doing what he could do, and God therefore doing what the man could not do.

So it is when we pray. We have taken ground for God, and there we stand --- sometimes so tired of praying for something that it becomes almost automatic --- the hand sticks to the sword --- and yet we stand. We will see the Lord arise in response to our prayer. He will give victory because we have done the only thing we could do --- held the ground for Him in prayer.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Having Done All, Stand

There are times when we want desperately to tear into a situation and do something. We wish God would do something, and when He seems to be paying no attention to the mess that we are worried about, we are tempted to take things into our own hands. “Stand still” is what He says to us. This morning He reminded me of David’s word to Goliath, “The battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam. 17:47). We are to be ready to do anything the Lord our God directs, but if direction is not given, or if we have done all He has said and still the battle is unresolved, then we are simply to stand. Standing our ground in prayer means standing by faith against “cosmic powers, against the authorities and potentates of this dark world, against the superhuman forces of evil in the heavens” (Eph. 6:12). It means standing strong with Christ for His victory.

Mighty Captain, show us our part today in Your battle. Make us strong to stand.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gods Message or Satans

It is not always clear to us, living down here in the murk of a fallen world, whether thing comes from God or from Satan, whether “God did it” or “the devil did it.” Let us be very clear about one thing ---God never does evil, but any evil that touches us can be turned to His own good purpose. He is sovereign. He’s got the whole world in His hands. Nothing can ever happen to separate us from His love.

The “thorn” or “sharp pain” given to Paul was a messenger of Satan to bruise him ---but he goes right on to show why God permitted it: “to save me from being unduly elated” over a certain thrilling spiritual experience (see 2 Cor. 12:7).

Satan is given leeway in the lives of Christians. Make no mistake about that. But God is always setting limits, always in control, always drawing us toward holiness. Trust Him for that. Believe in the Love that will never let go.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, April 3, 2011

God's Hands or Men's

Most of us at some time have felt ourselves to be helpless and at the mercy of people who are “out to do us in.” We cry “Help!” and help doesn’t come. Has God forgotten us? Panic sets in, and we shiver and shake like captive animals. Our faith seems to be of no use anymore because these people have us where they want us and prayer seems a mockery.

Remember when Jesus was a captive, and at the mercy of the Judean procurator, Pilate? Pilate claimed that he had authority to release Jesus or to crucify Him, whichever he happened to choose. Was Jesus intimidated? He knew there was not a single second when He was not held secure in His Father’s hands. “You would have no authority at all over me…. If it had not been granted to you from above” (John 19:11).

We are always held by those same strong hands. Never mind, then, why power is granted to others to do you wrong ----that is God’s affair, not yours. Mind only the fact that they couldn’t possibly touch you if God didn’t permit it, and then trust Him. He will see you through.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot