And there it was, the under-utilized secret weapon we often overlook.
Sometimes, I think, we forget that or spiritual journey is an all-out war. There is a battle raging, not just on Sunday mornings when we’re trying to get the kids in the car (the struggle is real!), but all the time. The war is never called-off, there’s no cease-fire, and battles don’t pause when we’re on vacation. Certainly, there are times of respite and times where the intensity increases, but for the most part, we’re always fighting.
But we forget. We intercede in emergencies, we plead and pray when our plans fall through and cry out when crisis hits, but most of the time we just bob along down the river, floating and forgetting that arrows are whizzing past our ears and territory is being won (or lost) often without us even knowing.
I have been reminded, afresh, of this battle. Surprised in fact. In a very real way, this past year, I realized that Jesus was not just using dramatic metaphoric language when he said the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
Jesus was being completely literal.
I realized this year that Satan wants to steal the promises of God, specifically by killing our future children, and destroying our family. And it’s not that we’re special — the enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy you too.
I’m sorry to start the week off with such bad news.
But. There is good news!
I’ve always known that faith is key to seeing the supernatural work of God. For the past four years I have camped out on the importance of faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God, see God, know God. Jesus often says, let it be according to your faith. To the extent that we believe, that’s the extent we will see God move. Our faith is more precious than gold. It’s all about faith.
At the beginning of the year, when I sensed God saying this was the Year of Promise, I wrote the following verse in the front of my prayer journal:
“And blessed is she who BELIEVED that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” —Luke 1:45
Below it a ways I wrote:
“Oh woman! Great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” —Matt. 15:28
Faith is key.
But it’s only half the story. Faith is half of the spiritual one-two punch that deals a death blow to the devil. Faith is important, but it wasn’t until last week, re-reading about Abraham, that I noticed the other half, the part that’s often over-looked and hardly ever touted for its importance.
Hebrews 6:15 tells us,
“Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.”
The promise of God didn’t just fall into Abraham’s lap. He obtained it. That tells me there was a struggle, and I’m quite sure the enemy did NOT want Isaac to happen, he did not want the holy seed to continue and eventually bring forth the Messiah.
But Abraham believed. And not only did he have faith, he employed the spiritual one-two punch, the combo of faith and patience.
Earlier in Hebrews we read the same thing:
“And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness and to have the full assurance of hope, until the end, so that you may be not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through FAITH & PATIENCE inherit the promises.” —Heb. 6:11-12
See it? How did all the great men and women of old, the heroes in the Hall of Faith, how did they obtain the promise, how did they gain victory in the spiritual realm and get to see God’s good word come to fruition their lives.
The spiritual one-two punch: faith & patience.
See, sometimes we see faith as a quantity–like a certain-sized stick of dynamite, and the bigger it is, the bigger the big boom will be, meaning the result will be sudden and spectacular.
But what if faith is a quantity, not like a stick of dynamite but like a tank of gas? What if the size of our faith isn’t meant to make a big boom, but to take us the distance.
The question, then, isn’t How big will your faith-bomb be? But rather, How far will your faith take you?
How long will it last? Will it take you the 25 years that Abraham’s took him, from the time God gave the promise to when it was fulfilled? Will it take you all the way?
I’m now less concerned with how much time has passed. I’m not stressed out about how long it takes, or how many winds or turns or bumps are in the road. I’m trusting God that He will supply the faith to go the whole way.
Let’s calmly and quiet deal a death-blow to the enemy by simply employing our spiritual one-two punch: faith & patience.
Amen? Thanks for reading.
- Related: message on the Journey of Faith (God’s Promise/Covenant with Abraham) by pastor Jeff Patterson