“So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and his angels.“
I attempted to clean out my car this morning, (scary) and I found something I will probably treasure forever. They may look like water-stained, aged, dirty bent-up note cards to you; but when I look at them I see something almost magical.
I see a double-edged sword. As the cover is slowly inched off, the radiance becomes unbearable and I find myself squinting and turning away in the gleam. Etched with perfect handwriting in the precious silver are words of power; words that can slam the very doors of hell. The sword is short, used not for haphazard swings, but for intense, one-on-one, personal combat. Though it can be hidden away in the thick folds of my clothes, its strength is not diminished by its small proportions.
Its blade is deathly sharp and accurate. Running a finger across it produces a thin fresh, wet line of red. With one quick, lightning-like flash, it can divide soul from spirit; joints from marrow. It is my only offensive weapon, and it is powerful.
On those beat-up cards, are words from Scripture. Words that became a lifeline. Words that gave me hope and strength. Words that pushed me forward. Words that lifted the burden. Words that I continuously preached to myself. Words that eased the pain. On the front I penned the verse – on the back what it meant to me. And in the midst of despair and fear, for a year, pulling them from my purse or the center console in my car, this is how I used my sword:
Psalm 143:5 “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” God created the world, parted the red sea, provided manna, shut lions’ mouths, turned rivers into blood and conquered death. If He did all this, He can get me through this time. He can heal me. He can restore and multiply what I’ve lost.
Psalm 126:5 “Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.” A prayer for absolute restoration in my life. God can turn my tears to shouts of joy.
Psalm 139:16 “In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” My situation doesn’t come as a shock or as a surprise to God. He knew these days and this pain was coming. He saw it long ago. He is in control even now. He sees my future.
Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.” One day memories from this time won’t be accompanied by such gut-wrenching pain. The Lord will cause the wounds to scab over and heal. He is the greatest doctor and has the ability to fix me.
Psalm 32:7 “You are a hiding place for me, you preserve me in trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” God is somewhere to escape to in the heat of suffering. I can find rest in Him. He will get me through this misery. There will be a time of deliverance.
Psalm 31:7 “I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul.” God sees my broken heart. God knows my sufferings and my feelings. If no one else sees or understands, He does.
Psalm 125:2 “As mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people, from this time forth and forevermore.” God is surrounding me. He is protecting me in the midst of this raging storm. He won’t leave me. To get to me, Satan will have to pass through Him.
Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.” Even after all this, my life is not over. With or without ___, God has a purpose for me, and I will fulfill it.
A year later – God has answered all of my prayers. There was never any reason to doubt Him.
Have you sharpened your sword lately?