Encouraging Devotions Blog

A Call to Duty

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"War is a terrible thing. But if you're going to get into it, you've got to get into it all the way." —General Dwight Eisenhower

Children of God, we are currently facing an unseen enemy (COVID-19). This fight we face is not like a conventional war where we seek out the enemy and destroy, but it is more of a battle against an unknown principality. In Ephesians 6:12, God's Word tells us:

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

We are then instructed in Ephesians 6:13 to take up the full armor of God:

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

"Stand" is a crucial word in this section. He repeats it in verses 11, 13, and 14. Also, the term "resist" (6:13) comes from a Greek compound word from the root, "to stand," meaning literally to stand against. It's a military term for holding on to a position that is under attack. It implies the courage to hold your ground because of your allegiance to King Jesus, even when others may be fleeing from the battle because the enemy seems so strong.

With that said, Ephesians 6:14–17 says:

“Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Who in their right mind goes into a battle unprepared without armor and weapons? As believers, now is the time for us to respond to "our call to duty." It is time for us to prepare our hearts and minds, to gird up our loins, to bring hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we are going to get into this battle, we've got to get into it all the way.

The Safety of the Faithful

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Psalm 4:1-8
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer. How long, O you son of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood? But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put our trust in the Lord. There are many who say, "Who will show us any good?" Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us. You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased. I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

I love what Dr. Johnny Hunt said about this text:

"Have you ever felt as though you are entering a day you are not sure you will exit? In other words, you're not sure you can make it through this day. It is in these times in particular that we should rejoice in our Savior for His Word and His wisdom to encourage us and direct our thoughts and actions.

It can begin with the fact that the only reason we have a worthy standing (position) before the Lord is His imputed righteousness. Indeed, we are no different from any of the 7.5 billion inhabitants on this planet, other than we are recipients of His righteousness. Our sins have been redeemed (paid in full) by the Lord Jesus Christ in that He has taken our sins away, having nailed them to the cross. Therefore, our perseverance is pre-directed on His faithfulness. It is in the context of His mercy that we can rest assured He hears us when we call on Him.

He directs our thoughts to our ever-present need of Him. In these moments, He becomes as real as the sunrise, and we can catch glimpses of who He is. This awareness can serve as a "game changer" in setting us out on a day that becomes a new adventure. What a way to live and to experience a day of joy that leads to an evening of real rest."

-Dr. Johnny Hunt, First Baptist Church Woodstock, GA

As we continue in our personal lives day by day, we must remember first to put our full trust in the Lord knowing that He and He alone will get us through this storm. In His word, He tells us that He goes before us and that there is nothing impossible for Him to conquer. Remember that He is our strength and that we must call upon Him in our time of need. We must rely on Him and the promises of His Word.

Psalm 91:1-3 - "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust." Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence."

This storm (Covid-19) that we face is mighty, yet, did not Jesus calm the roaring seas, did He not heal the blind, and cause the lame to walk. There is no power greater than He, and we must not rely on ourselves for the resolve of this crisis but instead turn to Him in prayer with supplication, petition, and thanksgiving knowing and believing that He will take us through this storm to a place of peace and tranquility. He surrounds each of us with His protective hand of grace and mercy.

By trusting in Him, reading His Word, and being in prayer each day, we will gain wisdom and understanding as to why this storm must continue until the will of God is complete. So be faithful, put your faith, hope, and full trust in God... "O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

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