So I spoke to you; yet you would not listen, but rebelled against the command of the LORD, and presumptuously went up into the mountain. And the Amorites who dwelt in that mountain came out against you and chased you as bees do, and drove you back from Seir to Hormah. –Deuteronomy 1:43, 44 (NKJV)
I just finished reading the book, “Trail to Wounded Knee, the Last Stand of the Plains Indians, 1860-1890,” by Herman J. Viola. The book is filled with accounts of eye-witness testimonies of the Indians who endured numerous atrocities inflicted on them at the hands of the American government. There were passages in the book that made me want to weep with the unfairness of it all. One part of the book which truly got my attention was the detailed description of the famous Battle of the Little Big Horn. This was the battle that took place in 1876 in which George Custer, leading the 7th Cavalry, found himself hopelessly outnumbered by a much larger force of Indians. Custer’s orders had been to only locate the Indian’s camp, but he instead chose to engage them and for that he and the 7th Cavalry were slaughtered. Custer’s arrogance and quest for glory proved to be his undoing.
The Word of God shows us that by faith we can trust in the Lord and move forward in the victory that He brings. But what happens when we seek our glory or we begin to think that we can fight the battles on our strength? Like many others who took such an attitude we would meet with disaster. God reminded His people of the time when they took it upon themselves to fight a battle which was not God’s will for them. The results were a humiliating defeat (Numbers 14:41-45). Let’s be certain that we are always looking to the Lord, trusting in Him, listening for His voice, and seeking Him in prayer as we fight the spiritual battles that will come our way.
Many years ago I was acquainted with a man who was a recovering alcoholic. In a move that was both reckless and foolish, he decided to test his will power by going into a bar to see if he could withstand the temptation to drink. He failed miserably. He ended up going back into treatment in worse shape than ever before. Through faith, prayer, the Word of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord will empower us to stand firm in the midst of life’s struggles. Along with that strength is godly wisdom for knowing when and how to engage the enemy.
Life is filled with challenges and difficulties. Remain in God’s Word and seek to be ever growing in faith. The Lord will empower us to stand firm in His strength and not ours.
Do not be afraid, for the Lord is with us.