Pray Always And Do Not Lose Heart Luke 18:1
One of my favourite books in which I draw much comfort is the final installment of the "Chronicles of Narnia" by C S Lewis, entitled "The Last Battle", The protagonists find themselves in a final battle that appears to be hopeless. The tiny band of heroes are incredibly outnumbered, weary, bruised, betrayed by those that they protected, slandered and wounded, Finding themselves literally between a rock and a hard place, they battle on, even as they hear the distant sound of foreign drums signaling the dreadful promise of yet even more of the enemies troops to descend upon them. They battle on, fighting the good fight, their arrows and swords making purchase against their enemies, not fleeing or stopping as many of their own fall around them. As one of the warriors grieves over the loss of a friend who is felled in front of her, the young warrioress is not rebuked but only gently instructed to turn her head so her tears would not wet and ruin the string of her bow. They placed their trust in Aslan (The Christ figure in this Christian Allegory) aware that it was not their business to know the outcome of their efforts; their business was to do only his will, no matter what the cost and no matter how deep their grief.
I personally have battled many seemingly impossible battles in my own life, many of which I still have no understanding of the outcome and many of which are ongoing long term battles that the Lord calls me to 'not lose heart' but to press on in prayer and faith in his leadership. Through times of deep betrayal, confusion and deep grief, I cry out to God for explanation. "Why?" Often, the answer will not be evident this side of heaven. That's not my business. My business is to use the full armour of God and press on until the Lord calls me back from the battleground.
Eph 6: 13: KJV
Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
2 Cor 10:3 - 6 KJV
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Be strong! We are not here to play, to dream, to drift, We have hard work to do, and loads to lift. Shun not the struggle, face it, 'tis God's gift. Be strong! Say not the days are evil - who's to blame? And fold the hands and acquiesce - O shame. Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God's name. Be strong! It matters not how deep-entrenched the wrong, how hard the battle goes, the day how long, Faint not, fight on! Tomorrow comes the song.
Maltbie Davenport Babcock
I was given an invitation to join with a group of intercessors in a long-term concerted effort. The goal being: To see God work the miraculous in a desperate, impossible situation. My heart sunk when I was given details of the battle we were about to face. I was very well aware of what was asked of us and I did not need to count the cost, I knew the emotional, spiritual and physical price of joining this mission.
Four years before this invitation, many of us had warred in our spirits over this very situation and saw the hand of God change circumstances. It was a victory that was born from agony, tears, fasting and wavering faith. Through it all lay an overwhelming trust in a God who hears the cry of His children and who ruled supreme. Yet we all knew at the time that this war was not yet over and the victory was not complete. There had been minor setbacks in the meanwhile but now a huge battle loomed. Could I find the courage and fortitude to press in once again?
Our leader instructed us as individuals to seek the Lord as to our involvement in the present battle. War can be ugly, even in the spiritual realms and she did not want any of us to take part if we were not completely clear that the Lord was calling us forth. I looked around the circle of men and women gathered and while I could see they were asking of themselves the same questions I asked myself, I also could see a straightening of their inner spines and a resolve firm their facial expressions. We were a 'band of brothers', many of us had fought the previous battle and we were carrying the knowledge and skills learned through that battle.
It is not my place to know the sure outcome of my obedient stepping forth as He calls me into battle. He requires me to be willing, humble, obedient and open to his training. As Commander in Chief, he will direct the path of this little band of prayer warriors. We place our trust in the One who reigns over all.
Psalm 18: 31 - 35 NASB
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God, The God who girds me with strength And makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds' feet, And sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me.
Father God, many of us have long-term battles in our lives that seem hopeless to us. We have spent hours on our knees in prayer, yet the enemy's onslaught continues. We are tired and weary, our hearts are sore yet we declare, 'We shall not lose heart.' We will take your armour and we will fight, if need be, until our dying breath, confident that the One who reigns supreme and sits upon the Throne will eventually conquer. We will press on until you give us the command to stop.