II CHRONICLES 32:1: “After these deeds of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them over to himself.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Did you know that the enemy is plotting his next attack against you. Are you ready for both the attack and God’s victory? If we are not ready we can easily be caught by surprise. And, worse yet, we can quickly become discouraged and feel like the Lord has abandoned us. Note these words,
- “After these deeds of faithfulness…”
I have found that when I have entered a renewed focus to seek the Lord, the enemy is right around the corner to try and dissuade me from my commitment of faith. There is only one way the enemy of our souls can win the battle. It is to get us to lose heart. This is why Paul exhorts us,
- “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9 NKJV
Hezekiah had led Judah to restore the true worship of Yahweh. He had cleansed and repaired the Temple. Judah and the remnant of Israel celebrated the Passover for the first time in possibly decades. The law was taught to the people. Sacrifice and worship were restored at the Temple. And, the false gods and high places were destroyed. Then, after all of these deeds of faithfulness – the enemy attacked.
When we are moved by the Holy Spirit to a new step of faith and commitment, this will always be challenged by the enemy. Why? It is because he knows that our life of faith and obedience will push back his rule of darkness and oppression. He will do everything he can to keep us stuck in neutral or cause us to backslide. It is the believer, who is intent on pushing toward the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, that needs to be prepared for battle.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul tells us what to do!
- “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV
First, to enter into God’s victory, we must know where our strength is. It is not in our faithfulness or obedience. These are just our response to the Spirit of God. Our strength is in the Lord and the power of His might. Whenever we think that we have the strength to resist the enemy, we are setting ourselves up for a fall. We do not withstand him in our own strength. We stand against the enemy in the strength and might of the Lord!
Second, God gives us His spiritual armor to go into battle. He gives us His truth, His righteousness, the power of the Gospel, the shield of faith, the assurance of salvation, the Word of God, and the gift of praying in the Spirit. Just as we would not go out to begin our day without the proper clothing and attire, we cannot enter the battle of life without the spiritual armor that God has provided. This is armor for the soul (mind) and the spirit. This is our weaponry, and it is mighty in the pulling down of the strongholds of the enemy.
The enemy has his wiles, his crafty deceitful plans. He tries to hit us where we are weak. He twists the truth, preys on our fears, and pokes us in the places of our past hurts and failures. Yet, when we are walking with the armor of God, we can stand strong in the strength of the Lord. We resist him, steadfast in our faith, covered by the blood of the Lamb, knowing we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us! This is what Hezekiah did.
Hezekiah and Isaiah cried out to the Lord. They humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God. They strengthened themselves in every way possible, but ultimately everything they could do was not enough to stand against the mighty army of Assyria. The only thing that could bring them victory was the strength of the Lord. And, God gave them a mighty victory. God, Himself, defeated the Assyrians and delivered Hezekiah and Judah.
We have the same assurance of victory. We need to always be ready, suited up in our spiritual armor, and trusting the Lord. The battles that we are facing are nothing strange. They are to be expected. Yet, there is something else that we can anticipate and know with surety –
It is that our victory in Jesus Christ is always right around the corner!
- “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:7-10 NKJV
Now, none of us likes the battle. Yet, like it or not, the battle will come. When it does, all we need to do is humble ourselves before God, submit fully to Him, and resist the devil. We do this as we stand in the strength of the Lord and put on the whole armor of God. We stand in our faith, we kneel in our humility, and God brings the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!
We need to always be ready, our victory in Jesus Christ, is right around the corner!
Lord, thank you for reminding me that the victory is assured as I stand in the strength of the Lord Jesus and the power of His might. Remind me moment by moment that my strength is in Christ alone. May I put on the whole armor of God so that I may resist the devil and all of his wiles. Grant me victory today – by grace through faith!
In Jesus Name!