For I am the Lord your God,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
the Lord Almighty is his name.
16 I have put my words in your mouth
and covered you with the shadow of my hand—
I who set the heavens in place,
who laid the foundations of the earth,
and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”
When we picture warcraft during the United States Revolution we typically envision lines of soldiers from each side marching toward each other. Here’s a description by the American Battlefield Trust:
“Under normal circumstances, 18th century combat entailed that two armies march toward one another, shoulder to shoulder, and usually in ranks of about three men deep. When the opposing sides were within range, orders were given to halt, present arms, to fire, and then to reload.
After several volleys, one side gained the upper hand, and they would begin to close the distance with the enemy, bayonets lowered. This typically culminated in a full out charge at close quarters; sabers, bayonets, and rifle butts were used to sweep the enemy from the field and claim victory.”
And how did one side get the “upper hand?” The lines would break down either by death, injury or desertion. The battle would be won or lost based on who could hold their line the longest.
We Christians have been in a similar battle since the time of Christ. We link arms in communion and espouse the greatness of God to unbelievers. We are tasked, by God, to go out into our communities and battle against evil through our works, our testimony, and our telling of the Good News of the gospel.
However, from my, albeit, limited experience so many of us have chosen to desert our place on the battlefield. I live in a very liberal state within the United States. Church and Christians are not valued members of many communities. In fact, we are frequently described as racist, hateful, bigots because of our adherence to the teachings in the Bible. And that, I believe causes us to shirk our duties as soldiers for God.
I know too many people who feel uncomfortable sharing the Word of God. Some are afraid to even mention their faith in the course of conversations at work. And yet, it is this responsibility that Jesus gives us. We are not called to be closet Christians, afraid of what to say, how to say it and when to say it. God himself promises to put the right words in our mouth at the right time. We just need to be willing to do the one thing that we are called to do – obey Him.
My BSGs did a study on The Armor of God (Ephesians 6). What stood out to me is the preparation we are admonished to complete before taking up the final Word of God.
Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:13-17
Once we have studied and learned the character and promises of God we need to pray to have Him send us out into the world and speak His words. Each morning when we rise, we should ask God to place someone in front of us that day to whom He needs to say something. And be watchful and ready for that moment. He will give you the words to speak.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
A few years ago, I held on to that promise of God’s words when my daughter and I were in a great battle. We were pushing and pulling constantly. She was off at college and her faith was growing by leaps and bounds thanks to the organization Athletes in Action. But each time we would talk it would end in a fight or tears. I finally prayed to God to give me His words to bring this battle to an end.
One day as we talked, the Holy Spirit gave me these words to say, “I’m so glad your faith is growing. I can see that you have learned how to give a lot of grace and forgiveness to your friends and teammates. I know that I fail you frequently in trying to not hold on too tight to you. What I’m asking for is some of that same grace and forgiveness.”
God’s words, spoken through me, began our path toward reconciliation. I just needed to stop trying to speak my thoughts and my desires and instead let God do the heavy lifting.
God needs us to fill our spot on the battlefield line. He can give us all the tools we need – including the right words to say. We just need to show up and hold the line.
Join me starting January 11 for my next series! Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help create a vision of you! The words we speak and think and pray have a great impact on our life. We will embark on a journey of praying changes into our lives. New Year’s resolutions have nothing on what God can accomplish when we ask for miracles to transform us!