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Week of January 25, 2009

“For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.  Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”  ~ Matthew 13:15

        Frequently, I receive prayer requests from people whose hearts have been ‘worked over’ by false accusations and persecution, often through bosses or family members.  They feel they are at the end of their rope to help themselves, and they are right.

        Since Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we do not fight against people but against dark spiritual forces.  So what artillery do we use in the face of persecutors?


        Humility is the number one power weapon against spirits of prideful arrogance and ungodly control tactics.  And it is far from a copout.  Just ask Jesus.

        If we remain humble and take the situation to the Lord in prayer, He will intervene in our circumstances and guide us from there.

        I have learned that fighting back through my own words and means—instead of turning to God for resolution—creates within the human heart pride, self-righteousness, bitterness and callousness, which in turn distances us from God so that we cannot hear Him.

        Long term, operating in these sins can destroy every area of our lives, no matter how justified we feel we are.  We can even get to a point where our soul grieves and becomes so downcast it enters into deep despair.  When we get to that state of spiritual heaviness, we may even blame God due to our lack of understanding, and we may find ourselves in such a wilderness that we feel cut off from Him.

        2 Chronicles 13:12 tells us to “not fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers, for you will not succeed.”

        If you want to halt all success in your life, just fight against God.  He will let us remain in the wilderness for as long as we so choose.  But if we humble ourselves and repent, He will restore us and return us to an abundant life.  This can involve, however, a clean-up of the aftermath left by the very storm that we helped to create.

        But remember this along the journey: Christ’s glories follow suffering (1 Peter 1:11), and no one participated in more sufferings than Jesus Christ.  Participating in the sufferings of Christ offers us a facet of intimacy with Him that we would not experience otherwise.

        Remember, too, that God gives grace to the humble and opposes the proud (1 Peter 4:6).  If we remain humble and continue to do good through suffering, He will exalt us in due time.

        We can actually shorten our time in the wilderness by being carefully obedient.  And we can stand firm on God’s promise to restore us and make us strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10).

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell

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