"To Wage and Engage"
When tempted to be controlled by fear or insecurity, what do we do? The Psalmist answers in clear and unmistakable terms: "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" (Psalm 56:3). David affirmed such internal action of the heart and mind in the context of everyday threats from enemies who sought his destruction: "Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O Thou most High" (Psalm 56:1-2).
Outwardly, our challenges likely seem quite different from those that confronted David. Inwardly, however, the issue is not that different. Anything that tempts us to fear, be it minor concern or threats to life, limb, and security, calls us to the faith that sees God as He actually is - perfectly faithful - and His promises as they actually are - completely and utterly true. "What time I am afraid" thus offers us an open door into the conscious determination to "trust in Thee." Our Heavenly Father would have us to know Him in actuality and awareness, as opposed to simply principle or doctrine. He thus allows our spiritual enemies to foist temptations of fear upon us for the purpose of our acting upon who and what we are in Christ. Christians are believers not simply as a title, but as the hallmark of what we do in this presently earthly lifetime. We are like the athlete who wears a jersey and actually plays in the game, as opposed to the fan who dons the garb with no intention or opportunity to face an opponent on the field or the the court. Temptations to fear call us into the conflict, and even more, unto the One who promises His peace and enabling to all who choose to "fight the good fight of faith" (I Timothy 6:12).
We must do more than wear the robe of righteousness provided in Christ as an identifier. We must wear it to wage and engage. As believers, we must believe and overcome the challenges to fear that confront us. Our spiritual enemies would "daily swallow us up" with insecurity if we merely don the jersey, as it were. Challenges of every nature and degree call us onto the field to wage war rather than merely wear apparel. Through the Spirit of Christ and His provision of "the sword of the Spirit" and "the shield of faith," we make the internal choices to trust God and His Word (Ephesians 6:16-17). The conflict is not easy. Waging rather than wearing calls us to a far different reality and response. Again, by definition, believers must believe. David knew this long before the Scriptures and the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit were available to God's trusting children. Those weapons are now in our arsenal. May we use them, and may our spiritual apparel be worn not merely as an identifier of our allegiance, but as the indicator of our determination to wage and engage. This is our hope for the realized peace of Christ in our hearts, and our capacity to communicate such grace to our spheres of influence. There is no other.
"This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
(I John 5:4)
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Weekly Memory Verse
Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.