"Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.'" - Exodus 14:13 (NIV)
There is a daily battle being waged for control of my mind. The world versus God. The world wants my mind to focus on my troubles, to be fearful, to worry, to take control. It wants to sap me of my courage and confidence in the face of my circumstances. Then there's God. He wants my mind to focus on Him and the peace, joy, hope and comfort He offers. He wants to build me up with His courage and confidence. I get to choose who wins this daily battle.
Jesus won the victory over sin and death for me. He faced the cross with strength and courage, through His Father. I can do the same with my cross, my circumstances. God is always near, His Presence surrounds me, He is my protector and my deliverer. He promised to give me His courage, strength and confidence. If I will stand firm on the Word of God, He will deliver me from my circumstances.
How do I stand firm? It's easier said than done. The world, Satan, the enemy....however I choose to think of it....is sneaky. The news is full of doom and gloom: the economy is tanking, unemployment is rising, flooding in some areas, drought in others. People going hungry, thirsty, living in their cars, in storage units. On and on and on. TV shows are filled with adultery, hate, cheating, stealing, me-first attitudes. The radio is filled with songs about killing, sex, pain, unhappiness. We are constantly being bombarded with things telling us that there is nothing more important than ourselves. Even some Christians are grumbling, complaining, back-stabbing. It's much easier to give in to all of this and let my mind be flooded by fear, worry, and anger. Standing firm means I fully trust in God and believe His promises. It means continually turning to Him, in prayer, worship, and study. I don't mean on a daily basis. I mean on a minute by minute basis, constantly, continually, again and again. It means choosing to acknowledge His Presence in all things and believing that, no matter what is going on, He is in control. It means choosing to be joyful, to be hopeful, to be at peace in ALL circumstances. It is being strong in my faith, being alert and aware of the battle being waged. It is focusing my mind on Heaven, on an eternity free of pain, unhappiness and strife. No retreat, no surrender to the things of this world.
In my daily battle, I guarantee the world wins more often than I like. I don't always pray when I should, I don't turn to His Word for guidance in the midst of a crisis, I don't ask Him for help in decisions I make, I don't stand firm. I allow fear and worry to take hold. I allow anger to flood my mind. But, the war isn't over. I can make different choices. I can become more aware of when I'm letting the enemy win and choose, at that moment, to ask God to give me His courage, confidence, strength and wisdom to turn the tide against the onslaught. The more I choose to turn to God, the easier it will become to place my feet on the foundation of His promises and stand firm.
"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm." - Abraham Lincoln
Heavenly Father, give me Your courage and confidence to stand firm against the world. When my mind is being bombarded in the daily battle, remind me of Your Presence and Your love. Remind me to trust in Your promises and to place my feet upon their foundation. When I begin to tire of the battle, fill me with Your strength, Lord. Give me the wisdom to choose You over the world. In Jesus' name, Amen.