Don’t Trust the Arm of Flesh

“Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God.  And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered.

“After these things and these acts of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them for himself…

“And [Hezekiah] set combat commanders over the people and gathered them together to him in the square at the gate of the city and spoke encouragingly to them, saying, ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.’ And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” 2 Chronicles 31:20-32:1,6-8

“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Hezekiah knew the Source of true strength and security. He knew his God, worthy of all praise and trust, and practiced walking with Him. So he was not surprised when the enemy attacked, for the enemy does not like faithfulness and uprightness. He saw this threatening plot as an opportunity for God to shine, and encouraged his people accordingly. When the Lord is God, our Helper in battle, we must not fear or be dismayed. Hezekiah’s confidence inspired confidence in his people, and God was exalted. Neither taunting nor tempted terror could unsettle those settled in the Lord. (2 Chronicles 32:9-21)

When life hums along with little conflict, we hum too. We find it easy to obey and do good. But when the enemy sets his teeth against us, and attacks emotions, pride, confidence, or security, we may be tempted to set ourselves against him in our own strength. Immediate flesh reaction is adrenalin-fueled and visceral: put up the fist, elbow our way through, arm ourselves with self-prescribed protection, push ahead with all our might. But we soon find we’ve expended empty effort.

The way to victory is to trust the One who sees every visible and invisible force against us and whose armies are mighty and able to save. He alone can vanquish any enemy threat and conquer any horde of fear, anxiety, doubt, and temptation. Will we let go of fretting and dismay, and take courage in Him?(Joshua 23:3; 2 Chronicles 20:17; Isaiah 41:10; Ephesians 6:10-18)

What attacks are we facing? In what situations do we feel overwhelmed and without hope? Where are we trusting the arm of flesh, our savvy and strength to solve and succeed? Would we ask God for faith to see His heavenly troops at ready defense, and confront temptation and despair head-on in His power? He is with us to help and fight our battles. (1 Samuel 17:47; Psalm 20:7; Zechariah 4:6; Romans 8:31-39)

Divine Victor, may I face every battle raising my arms only in surrender and praise to You.

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