Have you ever noticed how when the tough get going the going suddenly gets tougher?
How many times have you decided it was time to rise up and do that “something” the Lord had been prodding you towards only to meet with a roadblock the moment you stepped foot out of your house?
I am part of an intercessory prayer group that meets three times a week. In the course of our work we have opportunity to pray for many missionaries.
Here are just a few of the requests we have sought the Lord for: Missionary friends in Honduras lost a thousand dollars of monthly support; A missionary friend to college campuses lost a hundred dollars of monthly support; A new missionary got to his field only to discover the building his church was meeting in was no longer available; Bible translator friends were almost finished their translation only to have their computer crash and their double redundancy back ups fail.
Joshua the high priest in Zechariah’s day would be able to sympathize with these folks. The Bible says of this man, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.” Zechariah 3:1 NIV
You may be saying, “Sure, I can believe Satan resisted Joshua. He was a high priest. I can certainly believe the Devil is out to get missionaries. But me?… I am just not that important.”
Allow me just a few words if you will. You are probably right. Satan himself is probably not going to attack you personally. He is too busy lining things up for the anti-Christ. But you are part of a “royal priesthood” according to I Peter and that makes you a viable target for at least one of Satan’s flunkies.
If these are the last days then the kingdom of darkness is going to do everything in its power to weaken the kingdom of light using discouragement and demoralization.
These days we are all hearing, “You can’t do it!”
“You’re too weak!”
“You are such a sinful loser. You can’t even fix yourself.”
That’s not just negativity on our part. It’s the devil.
So what do we do about it?
We must wait on the Lord. James tells us to “submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
Notice that step one is submitting to God. In Zechariah Chapter 3 as Joshua is accused by Satan, God rebuked the devil on Joshua’s behalf. God also told Joshua that if he would follow the ways of the Lord that he would be given authority to rule. God himself put Joshua in royal robes and at Zechariah’s request gave the high priest a new turban.
We need that from God too! We need God to cover our minds with His cleansing power so that when the enemy comes at us with all his “You’re not worthy hoohah” we are ready to come back with “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.”
Such a mindset in the face of a spirit of discouragement requires wholesale submission to God so that the Father can rebuke the devil on our behalf. In these perilous times the church must not be disempowered by the arguments of the enemy. We have to pull down every lofty thought that raises itself up against the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
How? Don’t forget the new turban!