Deuteronomy 20:4 – “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
Whatever it is you are battling, may I remind you God is right there battling with you, fighting for you. You question if you will ever win, but the victory has already been guaranteed. But goodness gracious, sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, does it?
This week I’ve spoken to several women who feel totally and completely defeated. They are exhausted from the battle. Do you relate? Are you growing weary of the struggle? You probably thought at this stage of life you wouldn’t be going through THIS (whatever this is). There are some things recently in my own life that have just shocked the crapola right out of me too.
But this morning I want to give you a few truths. These truths will not get you out of the battle, but perhaps they will give you hope in the battle.
First – YOU ARE OF TREMENDOUS VALUE. The enemy knows your potential much better than you do. He knows you have the potential to be the one to rise up and impact your entire family. He knows you are THE one who could create and influence and lead. And because you are so darn valuable with all this potential, honey you have a big target on your back.
It is said the birthmark of a believer is a bullseye.
Ever feel like you’re targeted? You are. Ever feel like there’s a battle inside of you and all around you? There is.
All good things come under attack. That’s just the name of the game. So you know what your struggle means my sister … it means you are a GOOD THING. Oh yes you are – you are a good, good thing. It’s time you get on board and see the good in you too. You are overflowing with potential. You are ripe for progress. You are primed for a breakthrough. YOU ARE A GOOD THING, now stop tearing yourself down.
Second, GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE. He is for you, not against you. Whatever you are battling right now, please understand this … GOD WANTS TO GIVE YOU VICTORY IN THIS. Not temporary victory – not kindof almost victory – FULL and complete victory. Victory that leaves you shocked and in awe. Victory that has you dancing because you are completely free. Victory that leaves no doubt God did something miraculous in your life. This is the victory God wants to give you. He wants to make you more than a overcomer – more than someone who just survived it – but someone who used every ounce of harm for good. This is where you find purpose. When what you went through is the motivation for the impact you make today. When God gets the glory because there’s no way you could have done this on your own. Yes, that kind of victory – that’s what is in store for you!
The enemy can’t permanently defeat you, so he tries to give you a defeated mindset. Those feelings of embarrassment, that’s where they come from. You know that feeling of, “I could never tell anyone my family has struggled with addictions, alcohol, drugs, pornography, infidelity, depression, bankruptcy, corruption … aren’t those things only bad families face?
So we hide behind our closed doors, creating our own private little hell. The victory has been won, but we live defeated. Embarrassed.
I have a circle of friends that pray for one another. We can share anything and everything with zero judgment. In this circle I found tremendous confidence because it ends up my family wasn’t the only one who was really dysfunctional at times. It was all of us. It is all of us. In this safe circle I could drop the shame. And when the shame was dropped, the embarrassment no longer had the opportunity to infect my identity and cripple my progress.
So you’ve screwed up. So you’re family is screwed up. So you’ve been knocked down. So you’re struggling. GOD CAN WORK WITH THAT! And here’s the thing we often miss, GOD WANTS TO WORK WITH THAT. It’s not like God is sitting back saying “gosh, I really don’t want to get my hands dirty here. I hope they don’t seek me in this mess. I would kinda rather stay out of it.”
NO! God pursues the mess. He wants to get all up in your chaos and bring radical change. Throughout the bible we see Jesus seeking out the most undesirable, the most unlikely, the most disgraced and outcast people, the ones who were too far gone and hopeless in the eyes of everyone else, and doing the impossible. The man who was crippled for 38 years, HEALED. The woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, CURED. The little girl who had already died, BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE. The 90 year old couple without a baby, PREGNANT. The fishermen with empty nets, OVERFLOWING. The prostitute who had ruined her life, SAVED.
There’s no shame in this. The body that’s too far gone, the marriage that’s ruined, the relationship that’s broken, the business that’s hopeless, the dream that’s dead … that’s a flashing neon sign beckoning the attention of Jesus. He’s not avoiding this … he’s running to it! You may have a bullseye on your back, but girl you have a savior with a shield! You may have an enemy on attack, but you have Jesus standing guard!
Now, let me give you some hope – In those times when you have felt most alone, when the path you were walking was nearly impossible and you didn’t know how you would get up and do it again the next day … and yet somehow you did. THAT IS WHEN GOD WAS CARRYING YOU. Do you remember the poem ‘Footprints?”
My grandma had the “Footprints” poem hanging on the wall in her house. As a little girl I remember reading the poem repeatedly, memorizing it. It’s a story of seeing scenes from your life, walking along the beach with God. In each scene there were two sets of footprints. One yours, one God’s. But then in the hardest and most troubling times of your life you notice there was only one set of footprints. Why would God leave you when you most needed him? Then God answers, no this is when I was carrying you.
If you’re in one of those hard and troubling times in your life, one of those shameful, disgraceful, embarrassing times when you don’t want anyone to know what’s really going on … remember this, GOD IS CARRYING YOU. That’s how you keep getting up and getting dressed. When it makes no sense to be able to show up at work, yet here you are again today. When you didn’t imagine you would be able to have those difficult conversations, and yet you somehow did. You wanted to wrap your hands around his neck and choke him … and yet somehow you controlled yourself and walked away … yip, God is just carrying you.
Don’t live defeated. You’re still in the fight! For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. Victory is coming my friend.
The Message translation of today’s scripture, Deuteronomy 20:4 says “Don’t fear. Don’t hesitate. Don’t panic. God, your God, is right there with you, fighting with you against your enemies, fighting to win.” GOD IS FIGHTING FOR YOU AND GIRL, HE IS FIGHTING TO WIN!