May the Lord answer you when you are in trouble! May the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from his Temple and give you aid from Mount Zion. Psalm 20:1-2
When ancient armies entered into battle, they sought to secure evidence that the gods favored them and would give them victory. Military leaders offered sacrifices, even consulted the flight of birds and the entrails of animals for clues that might point to a coming success. Armies brought soothsayers with them onto the battlefield so that they could interpret these signs. Imagine how the hope of victory would energize a soldier. When he was assured of success, he wasn’t afraid to be bold with his sword. He took the offensive.
God was gracious to reveal that the ultimate outcome for every believer is victory, not defeat. It is for salvation, not wrath. Does this not build confidence into my steps? The gates of hell shall not prevail against me when I carry out His orders, armed with the sword of the Word and with prayer. I may suffer, appear to lose a skirmish or two, but victory is written into the storyline of every child of God.
Some of us will bring the message of salvation today to someone who resists it. Their eyes are blind, their ears are slow to hear, and their hearts fail to understand. Yet, we should persist. God has a heart that is for them, not against them. He is not willing for any to perish. Knowing this, I can not give up on anyone.
The heart of God which longs to birth more children into His kingdom constrains me to carry the message of the Gospel. I perceive my Father’s tears over those who still shake their fist in the face of Love. With the shield of faith, I combat the lies of the enemy that try to convince me that my loved one is a lost cause. With His Word on my tongue, I proclaim His power to save.
My father in law, the evangelist Jack Wyrtzen, signed every letter “On the Victory Side.” He believed it and traveled to Eastern bloc countries to smuggle bibles behind their iron curtain. He was willing to lose his life if discovered. Death wouldn’t have been a defeat and because he knew that, he enjoyed spiritual adrenaline. He lived in the joy of the final chapter and would tell any of us today to arm up with confidence. This is the time for the boldest advances for the kingdom.
Lord, I often live crippled by fear, like I don’t know who wins the war. Forgive me. I know better. Amen.