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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Will You Keep Going?

TWICE during the past week, I have gotten a terrible side ache as I was jogging in the morning. This RARELY happens to me. I had to stop running, and walk as fast as I could, taking deep, concentrated breaths. But I kept going, knowing that eventually I would be able to jog again. However, I have to admit that I was starting to get really frustrated about it. So I asked God, what are you trying to teach me through this? And before I could get the words out, He said, "Are you willing to keep going with me - even when the enemy throws something at your side that slows you down. Will you keep walking - even when it looks like you're not moving as fast as you used to, knowing you will run again. The enemy intends for you to stop - to throw in the towel, but you and I both know that if you keep going and take deep breaths of my Holy Spirit, you will run again."

God has spoken this message so many times recently in some many ways and through so many people. Look at Nehemiah rebuilding the wall - against all opposition, filling the gaps in the wall, having some of his own army starting to sound like enemy camp. Take a look at the the warriors of Ephraim in Psalm 78. In verse 9, the Bible says they were fully armed but turned their backs and retreated from the battle. Look at Joshua chapter 6 where he and the children of Israel marched around the city of Jericho, waiting for the walls to fall down. God had given the promise and said he had delivered Jericho into his hands but they had to keep walking for six days while it looked like nothing was happening. Lastly, a message from God from a servant who listens: the Lord is using the enemy to awaken us to fight. Just like a momma bear protecting her cubs.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going." An often quoted cliche, but I want God to be able to say that of me, that I kept going. How does an soldier fight and advance? By knowing what you're fighting for, knowing your enemy and knowing and using its weapons (prayer, praise, the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus). I know whose side I'm on and "Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4