Recently, the Lord reminded me of the promise, “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” A lot of the church is experiencing the refining.
In reality, however, I’m not sure that this one is for the whole church. It seems that this fight is for the
Calebs among us: “Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it. If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.’ ” (Numbers 13:30, 14:8-9, also quoted by ). Chuck Pierce
A bunch of us are in that battle now: we’re being hit and the people around us are sometimes being hit even harder. The enemy is not stupid: he knows that sometimes the easiest way to take down a warrior is to hit the people that the warrior cares about. He also knows that hitting our families is terrifically discouraging, and if he can discourage warriors, then he doesn’t have to face us in battle.
It’s like 1 Samuel 30: where the Amalekites hit
David’s home base of Ziklag while the warriors were out killing bad guys; they took their provision, their families, their future and their promise. “Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.” That’s pretty serious grief, and there are a number of people in the church that are suffering like that.
The result was that “
David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.”
There is no battle, whether spiritual or physical, that is without spoil, without booty that can be taken, must be taken, by the victor. The enemy fights for our attention, our hope, our vision. If he takes those, he is victorious: that’s how he can tell he has won: he has plundered our treasures.
That’s the spoil that we bring to the battle. But the enemy is at risk as well. He has brought captivity, disease, poverty to the battle. If he loses, then captivity and disease and poverty fall to the forces of those who have taken part in the battle. It is our privilege, it is our duty, to take the plunder, and to use it for righteousness.
You know people around you that are wrestling with disease and discouragement, who are under the heaviest attack in this battle. If you leave them there alone, they will be casualties, and the enemy will turn next on you. If you join with our brothers and sisters, and help them keep their hope, their vision, their eyes fixed on
Some of us are in the midst of the battle, in the furnace of affliction right now. If we fight alone, we’ll likely fail; then we will have fought in vain, and the enemy will be unhindered as he trains his sights on those we’ve sought to protect.
We certainly must keep our eyes on
Jesus in the fight, but we will do that better if we stay in relationship with the other members of our squad, our battalion. If we can receive their support, their encouragement, their reinforcement, then we will overcome, and they will overcome.
And we’ll share the plunder together.
(With thanks to Chuck Pierce, Trevor Macpherson, and Bill Johnson)