"Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.”
There’s a lot of warfare talk in the Old Testament. It turns some people off because it doesn’t align with their image of a loving God. Or they use it to dismiss God or justify unbelief because they don’t want anything to do with the so-called Old Testament tyrant God. Such conclusions seem justified especially if we think we have no enemies.
It’s true that we don’t have a foreign army massing at our borders preparing to invade us. But switch your perspective to the spiritual realm and things look very different. If you’re a Christian, you face a well-organized and determined enemy. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12).
Most of us would identify such an enemy if we could see it. But these enemies are spiritual and invisible. They often use the mind for their attacks. We talked yesterday about the battle in our minds. We learned we need to challenge thoughts of despair by reminded ourselves of God and His promises.
Yet it also helps to recognize that the source of our thoughts is not always us. Our enemy can plant or introduce thoughts to us and inflict suffering upon us – like “discouragement, doubt, suffering, temptation, uncontrollable emotions, pride, guilt, shame, loneliness, persecution, false doctrine, spiritual dryness, and darkness.” (Tim Keller, Songs of Jesus, May 9).
But we don’t have to just give in to these thoughts/assaults. “Paul says we must ‘put on the armor of salvation, of the Gospel, of faith. Like David, we are to remind ourselves in prayer of who we are in Christ – accepted, pardoned and adopted into the family – given the Spirit, access in prayer, and assurance of resurrection. With this ‘aid against the enemy’ we will gain the victory.” (Keller)
Friends, if you are a Christian you are ACCEPTED, PARDONED and ADOPTED into God’s family. You have been GIVEN THE SPIRIT, GIVEN ACCESS IN PRAYER and GIVEN ASSURANCE of RESURRECTION. This is who we are in Christ. With this aid, take on and expose the thoughts planted by the enemy. Then replace them with the truth of your identity in Christ and His ever present help.
“Lord Jesus, the battle in our mind is hard. Our external life circumstances take much energy so that I feel I have little left to fight my mental battles. Yet winning the battle for my mind can immeasurably help my perspective on my external life. Thank you for providing me with more than enough resources to engage in this fight. Please help me to engage in this battle and thank you for joining me in it.”