Saturday, July 5, 2008

It Is Enough

Let us consider Gideon, a man of faith, who the Spirit of the Lord was upon to deliver Israel from the oppression of the Medianites. With an army of just 300 men, God gave him victory over all his enemies and through him reconciled all Israel unto Himself (see Judges, chapters 6, 7, 8 & 9). And, also, there was the faith of Samson, the “Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily,” and he, with only the jawbone of a dead donkey, slew one thousand of his enemies. Consider the deadness of his weapon, certainly there was no power in it; yet, by grace working through faith, God gave him the victory (see Judges 15:14-15).

And there was David, a shepherd boy, whom God had chosen to be victorious over Goliath and to be king over all Israel. David knew, by faith, he had a covenant with the one and only true God. He bore the sign of that covenant in his body, the circumcision of the unclean flesh. See the faith of David as he removed the armor of Saul and picked five stones to slay the giants of the Philistine armies. Why did David pick five stones? Goliath had four brothers and David knew that God would deliver them all into his hand; thus he picked one stone for each giant (see 2nd Samuel 21:22).

And again, witness the faith of David as he spoke to Goliath and the Philistine army saying, “--‘You come to me with a sword and a spear, and a javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” (1st Samuel 17:45-47)

The Spirit of grace was upon David and God delivered Goliath into his hands (see 1st Samuel 17:1-54).

“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of host. What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become like a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it’!” (Zechariah 4:6ff-7)

Not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of grace working through faith the mountains before God’s children become like a plain; victory belongs to God’s covenant people.

“And He (Jesus) said to them, ‘When I sent you out without purse and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?’ And they said, ‘No, nothing.’ And He said to them, ‘But now, let him who has a purse take it along, likewise also a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one. For I tell you, that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me. ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’, for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.’ And they said, ’Lord, look, here are two swords; And He said to them, ‘IT IS ENOUGH’.” (Luke 22:35-38)

Here, Jesus is telling His disciples that circumstances are about to change from a somewhat peaceful surroundings to a more hostile environment. The attitudes of the peoples are about to be much different than when He sent them out without any provisions. As His followers they would not be received kindly, but they must remember as it was before when He sent them out, they would not lack in anything. He is telling them to be prepared to meet the enemy.

Jesus does not want those of us who love Him to feel helpless, but yet, He does not want us relying upon our own earthy treasures and weapons; for their treasures and weapons are useless against the evil powers of the spiritual forces. The battle is His and He will give His people the victory. His love ones only need to be strong in Him and the strength of His might; to “stand firm” in the things He has taught us, and to exchange our robe of the flesh for the robe of the Spirit; which is the “full armor of God.” He desires that we pray for one another, “be on the alert” and have faith in Him. And it is of utmost importance that we remember to gird up our loins with the truth and set our minds on the things of the Spirit and not on the things of the flesh. Also remembering to shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace and walk in the truth and in the gentleness and kindness that His peace brings. Take up the shield of faith and put on the breastplate of righteousness for the preserving of life, and wear the helmet of salvation for the securing of the soul (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Just as Gideon and his army of only 300 men, Samson, with the jawbone of a donkey, David and his five stones overcame their enemies, likewise, those who wear the armor of God will overcome, “not by might, nor by power,” but by two living and active weapons; “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” and by the prayer of faith; --two swords---IT IS ENOUGH!!!

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world---our faith.” (1st John 5:4)

James C Sanford

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