Redeeming time: Equipped and ready - 17 July 2020
By Louise Gevers
- Isaiah 43:1-243
1Israel, the LORD who created you says,
“Do not be afraid — I will save you.
I have called you by name — you are mine.
2When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you;
your troubles will not overwhelm you.
When you pass through fire, you will not be burnt;
the hard trials that come will not hurt you.
Little did I know that the contemplative Service that I went to, the last Sunday before lockdown, was to be a beautiful, reassuring refreshing, and an intimate time with God; a fertile preparation for what was to come; and that, for more than the next four months, Sunday Worship would be taking place in our own home, and we would listen to our minister preaching on video. It was only after March 27th dawned, and lockdown was a reality, that I began to appreciate the profound work God had done that night.
Far more than just being a contemplation of comforting verses from Isaiah, the meditation was a beautiful reminder that we are called people who belong to God, and He would be with us through every trial as He had been for His people in the desert. Many times since then those Scriptures have come to my mind as comfort.
We are encouraged by Joshua’s words, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 ESV) How often do we read the preceding words? “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8 ESV) They speak volumes!
His Word is the way God shows His love, and equips and prepares His people with spiritual armour to cope in all the fight or flight situations in which we find ourselves, so that we recognise the attack and can be effective in doing His will. Although our own strength fails time and again, we are reminded to lean on Jesus who said, “Apart from me you can do nothing”, (John 15:5) and, “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20) His Spirit is with us every step of the way and will bring us through.
A soldier needs to be fully armed and alert to fulfill his purpose – whether in the base camp or in active service; he has to hear the command and be ready; and friendly fire must never happen. We have to recognise that the Enemy knows our weaknesses and attacks our minds to defeat us, but Jesus’ example shows us that we are able to stand against his sly ways, “because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
When Jesus was confronted by the devil in the wilderness, His defence was Scripture, can we win with anything less? Christ will give us the victory.
Prayer: Loving Father God, You give us everything we need for an abundant, victorious life in Jesus Christ our Saviour. Show us how to use our time fully to be well armed and equipped for all situations, and to stand strong, always, against every evil attack. Amen