Never Bring a Horse to a Tank Fight
There is something about 2 am. I don’t think the devil takes much time off in the day but I know for sure he pulls double shifts at night. I can’t go back far enough to recall a day where I didn’t struggle with the terror by night that causes my stomach to flutter, my skin to glisten with sweat as I think about all the different ways I could die at my own hands. I lurch from my sleep with a sickening quickness like an unbuckled test dummy in a simulated collision. My mind races and my eyes burn. The voice in my head telling me I am going to kill myself sounds like me but it is not on my side. Variations of this 2 am ritual have played out as far back as I can remember.
This is war. These kinds of nights remind me that this battle isn’t one that can be won alone. I don’t know if you can relate to me on all my issues. Maybe you have never had to towel down like you just finished an Orange Theory workout in your sleep, but I have a feeling that the things you’ve been declaring war on can trap you in this same dark, helpless cage. The cage that says “This is all a nice idea but you’ll never change. You’ll never get through a day without yelling at your kids, you’ll never kick the negative self-talk, you’ll never beat the depression, the anxiety, or the vicious argumentative cycle with your wife. You can’t beat this. This is too much for you.” In and of yourself, in your own strength and in your own power, those statements might ring true. Positive thinking is important, so is watching how you speak and minding your habits, but if the practical tools we’ve discussed are all you walk away with, then these 5 days have simply been self-help. There is something much better than self-help—there’s God’s help.
You have enormous backup and firepower at your disposal. Don’t try to fight these battles in your own strength, or by relying on your own lung power. When your breath is taken away you need to rely on God for a second wind. The first wind is the natural air that was given to you at creation when God breathed into the dust He formed us out of. The second wind is the power of the Holy Spirit that was given to us after Jesus rose from the dead.
The Bible says no weapon formed against you can prosper. You are more powerful than you think…but not on your own. Listen, you are no match for the war you are facing. But that war is no match for God.
Discover what David said is possible when you are willing to call in God’s help as you declare war on all that holds you back.
He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet.
You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me.
You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.
They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the Lord, but he did not answer.
I beat them as fine as windblown dust; I trampled them like mud in the streets.
You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me, foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds.Psalm 18:34-45 NIV
He’s got the power, you just need to ask for it. He is a good father. He won’t give you a tarantula if you ask for a fruit-roll-up. But He will give you the Holy Spirit if you ask Him to.
You can’t do God’s work without God’s power.
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.Matthew 3:11
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.1 John 4:13 NIV
no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.Isaiah 54:17 NIV
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,Psalm 91:5 NIV
And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.John 20:22 NIV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV