8Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. 10Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: 11Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest. -Psalm 95:8-11 (KJV)
Behind our house there is a large expanse of dense forest which covers several acres. As a result of this we have had close encounters with all sorts of wildlife. Countless deer have roamed close to our house, as have turkeys, snakes, possums, raccoons, and numerous species of birds. Although we have never seen a skunk we have smelled them on many occasions. I even saw a coyote passing through our yard a few years ago. A few nights ago the weather had cooled considerably so we turned off the AC and opened the windows. Around 3:00 AM we were awakened by the sound of a life and death struggle in the woods behind the house. Since our bedroom window faces the forest we could hear the sounds, yet we could not see what animals were fighting.
I will never be certain, yet I have a theory the struggle involved some sort of bird, perhaps a turkey or an owl, and a coyote. The bird was screeching with a sound of mortal peril and I heard the distinct canine sounds of growling and snarling. After a few minutes the forest was quiet again. The next morning I wandered the woods behind the house searching for clues to what may have happened, yet my search was fruitless. However, there had been a definite struggle going on in the woods, of this we are sure.
I point this because we as followers of Christ face spiritual struggles every day. The spirit and the flesh are always at variance with each other and will ever be at odds. In order to ensure our spiritual struggles result in victory over the flesh we must arm ourselves with the Word of God and prayer. Psalm 95 speaks of the Israelite’s failure to trust God completely and how they ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 long years. Had they been faithful they would have saved themselves untold heartache.
The same holds true for us today. When we are faithful to the Lord and seek His will for our lives we are blessed and we can walk forward in spiritual victory. 40 is the Lord’s sacred number in the Scriptures, and when we commit ourselves to God for this time period we are on our way to winning those daily spiritual battles which come our way. Commit to rise earlier for 40 days to seek the Lord and you will experience powerful results.
Spiritual victory is waiting as we walk in faith and trust the Lord.