Distress — Strife and Victory — ‘Be Still and Know’
This is the season for it, right? Shopping for gifts and preparing for gatherings keep us busy little elves, while tyrants in D.C. and those behind them are fast at work, turning us into slaves.
And in our very communities, unelected local and regional “planning commissions” are snowing our neighbors, under guises such as “sustainable development” and “smart growth,” the green movement with red designs.
Nearly every personal story I know, of my compatriot friends presently includes trial, strife, and affliction, of one kind or another. Let me list a few examples.
- working 60++ hours per week, just to get along
- surgery here
- very busy travel schedule
- surgery there
- repeated medical treatments, just to get along
- stepping on a bad thing to step on and getting plantar faciitis
- slipping on a bad thing to slip on and severely spraining a knee
- real estate problems – remember 2008
- falling down the side of a mountain – yeah – now that is a real estate problem
- family challenges
- dissension – including that of the continually annoying GOP primary season kind
- new work
- not enough work
- and always volunteer work and some of us fighting…
Just possibly involved in some of this, to paraphrase Dana Carvey’s church lady, “Could it be spiritual warfare?” Let me tell ya.
If we are working to restore America to its authentic state and renew its intended role, we had better be praying.
If we are praying for our nation, we had better be acting accordingly, giving of ourselves to honor those supplications before God as sincere.
This warrior did both:
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?”
So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.
The beginning of one of those fascinating little stories that somehow, all fit together and show life, this one in The Book of Acts, chapter 10 (New King James Version)
People who pray and know God, to pray to Him, people who act according to their obedient prayer in His name, are protected, even if affliction may pay them visit. (There are many Scriptures about that, perhaps one or two come to mind.)
Politically, more and more people are coming to understand that while the outrages felt by the Tea Party over budgets and spending have been important steps, the struggle to save America is not about money. That, as always, is just one means of influence. The battle is about sovereignty, the basis for our liberty.
Sovereignty starts with the One who created us in His image and who gave us free moral agency. He also gives assurance of his provision and care, to those under his sovereign banner. With the indulgence of Thomas Nelson Publishers and BibleGateway.com, here are some Bible passages featuring these words: battle, is, and Lord. One may survey what they have in common and hear what they together, say.
- Numbers 31:21
Then Eleazar the priest said to the men of war who had gone to the battle, “This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD commanded Moses:
Numbers 31:20-22 (in Context) Numbers 31 (Whole Chapter)
- Numbers 32:29
And Moses said to them: “If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben cross over the Jordan with you, every man armed for battle before the LORD, and the land is subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead as a possession.
Numbers 32:28-30 (in Context) Numbers 32 (Whole Chapter)
- Deuteronomy 20:1
[ Principles Governing Warfare ] “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 20:1-3 (in Context) Deuteronomy 20 (Whole Chapter)
- 1 Samuel 17:47
Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:46-48 (in Context) 1 Samuel 17 (Whole Chapter)
- 1 Samuel 25:28
Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For the LORD will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord fights the battles of the LORD, and evil is not found in you throughout your days.
1 Samuel 25:27-29 (in Context) 1 Samuel 25 (Whole Chapter)
- 2 Chronicles 20:15
And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
2 Chronicles 20:14-16 (in Context) 2 Chronicles 20 (Whole Chapter)
- 2 Chronicles 20:17
You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.”
2 Chronicles 20:16-18 (in Context) 2 Chronicles 20 (Whole Chapter)
- 2 Chronicles 32:8
With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
2 Chronicles 32:7-9 (in Context) 2 Chronicles 32 (Whole Chapter)
- Psalm 24:8
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.
Psalm 24:7-9 (in Context) Psalm 24 (Whole Chapter)
- Proverbs 21:31
The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD.
Proverbs 21:30-31 (in Context) Proverbs 21 (Whole Chapter)
- Zechariah 10:3
“ My anger is kindled against the shepherds, And I will punish the goatherds. For the LORD of hosts will visit His flock, The house of Judah, And will make them as His royal horse in the battle.
Zechariah 10:2-4 (in Context) Zechariah 10 (Whole Chapter)
- Zechariah 10:5
They shall be like mighty men, Who tread down their enemies In the mire of the streets in the battle. They shall fight because the LORD is with them, And the riders on horses shall be put to shame.
Zechariah 10:4-6 (in Context) Zechariah 10 (Whole Chapter)
I hope that was good to read and that it will be better still, to meditate. Have a very good next few days.
And have a very productive year, in 2012.
When we think of the word “peace” in the following, let us be sure to understand this means peace with God – hence, peace within ourselves and then, when faith is plied out, with each other – all, by the specific way our God of love and integrity has granted.
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21, NKJV
video: “Be Still, My Soul by The Imperials featuring Russ Taff“
video: “Amy Grant – Be Still My Soul w/ Fields Of Plenty“