Friday, May 25, 2007

The Lord Will Conquer Your Enemies

Dwell on Goodness of God:

Deut. 28:7 “The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven! “

Proverbs 6:31 “But if the thief is caught, he must pay seven fold as much as he stole…”

I may be wrong about this but I don’t think that I complain much or ever tell you about my bad days. I don’t because I usually don’t dwell on the things that make a bad day bad. That helps make a bad day better.

I usually dwell on the goodness of God and how that has impacted my life. I think about those things of real value and then I think of things in the light of God’s big picture – eternity and His eternal purposes. That makes any big problem immediately seem small and less significant.

On top of that, complaining glorifies the devil’s efforts. I won’t do that. I never let the devil get away with any attack he has brought against my life. The Apostle Paul taught us that “we don’t fight flesh and blood” – in other words, people are not our problem or enemy.

He taught us that there are spiritual forces that work to “kill, steal, and destroy.” Granted people are used by Satan to hurt one another at times but they are still demonic forces that try to hurt us, discourage us, and convince us that God is not real or does not care. That is a lie. He does.

Consequently, when I am attacked, I identify what it is that the enemy has done, I declare him caught, I identify him as the thief, and then I bring it to the Lord.

Why? Because of a very special promise that I remind God of – today’s Fresh Manna verse: “The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven! “

You may not know this about me but I love to do gardening – flower gardens. It is a place where I can get quiet with the Lord and wind down from working with people all day. I love to have a part in making things grow. Planting a garden is probably like painting on canvas to a painter. I put a variety of things in place in the garden. I nurture them, and over time, they spring into a beautiful flower garden.

This year our weather warmed up early. I was able to do my spring clean up in April. Then the weather stayed warm so I took a risk and planted it early. I actually had it mostly planted by the end of April. By May this year, it already almost looked like a summer garden. I had a broad mix of perennials and annuals. I invest a fair amount of money in building my garden as it’s a delight to Renee and I and one of the few hobbies that I spend money on.

Yesterday, we had a hard storm pass through. There were tornados in the area and we had hard hail and rain hit. It stripped many of the leaves from the trees. It also stripped the plants in the garden and every plant I had in a planter. I had beautiful towering geraniums three feet high with full blooms. It stripped them down to nothing. It stripped my beautiful blooming garden to the ground. Our streets were flooded. Part of one garden area was under water. Everything was a mess. I worked in three feet of water for an hour trying to clean the street sewers from debris so the streets would clear from flooding rain. I succeeded and the flood waters drained. Then I spend four hours just trying to rake the debris from the garden areas while trying also to not cry. A months worth of labor working many evenings and a significant investment in my garden and just been stolen.

I fell into bed last night exhausted. I fell asleep and began to dream. I had a horrible dream that Renee had died in this storm. Throughout the dream, I’d be walking but without her. Instead I’d be thinking about how much I missed her. It was such a sad dream. After what felt like a full night of this dream, I half woke up. I reached out for Renee but she wasn’t there. I fell back a sleep and dreamed more of the same. Then this morning I woke up and reached for her again. She wasn’t’ there but I realized she was next door at my daughter’s house. She’d been babysitting the grandchildren this week while my daughter and son-in-law were on vacation. When I realized this I was so happy!

I got up and looked out the window at my yard and garden. It is still devastated, but, it seems much smaller and less significant after my dream of Renee dying. I am so glad I have her. The garden I can replant. The time and money I’ve lost is not lost. I have turned it over to the Lord. I never let the devil steal even a nickel from me. What God has blessed me with is mine to use and to be a blessing. I will not let the devil steal from me.

What do I do about it? I turn it over to the Lord.

“Heavenly Father, Satan the thief has attacked our lives and he has no legal right to do so because Renee and I are children of God. I have prayed for your protection over this household and the enemy has violated that. I turn Him over to you. You said, you would “…conquer my enemies when they attack me.” You said, “Though they will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!” You said that “if the thief is found, he shall restore sevenfold…” I thank you for a sevenfold return on what the enemy has stolen and lay hold of that promise by faith today. Thank you for watching over us and the promise of your word in Jesus name. Praise God I have my wife. Praise God I will have my sevenfold return!

Used with permission: Pastor Tim Burt -