I have incredible friends that serve our country in different uniforms. I have courageous friends that have sailed the world in the Navy, are veterans of the Army, Marines with boots on the ground in the Middle East and police officers that serve my community. The common denominator between all these brave, selfless people is that they are all defenders. They defend our homeland, our freedom, and our families.
Recently, my heart has been extremely heavy with the violence that seems rampant throughout our nation. The anger, hatred, and racial and political tension is something that cannot be avoided. With so much darkness, my heart has been aching to see the Light, the love of Christ. Not so coincidently, the Lord has been gently nudging me to evaluate what showing His love looks like tangibly to those around me, and if His love is evident in my own life. Additionally, He has been asking me to teach my kids how to show other what Love looks like, all in Jesus’ name. Last week, my oldest son and I made cookies to take to the local police station. All morning, I felt God impressing on me what to talk with my son about while we baked. My son is two years old, and without a doubt has more joy than anyone I’ve ever met. Completely unaware of what recent weeks have looked like in the news, I told him that we were making these for the officers to say thank you to them, but also to show them that they are loved. God lead me to explain to him that these officers protect people that God made. Every single one of them, even if they are unkind. Because that’s what love is.
Love is God sending His son to die for everyone, even those that won’t ever love Him back. Love is God saying, “No what you’ve done, I will fight for you. I won’t ever stop pursuing anyone that I have created.” Love is also God standing behind you, ready to stop any flaming arrow headed your way. Exodus 14:14 says, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” In times of uncertainty, when fear floods our hearts and minds we can be confident that the Lord is our Defender. He is there speaking courage, truth, and love to our wavering hearts, building our faith and silencing the enemy’s threats.
There are a lot of people hurting today, this week, this year. The pain seems to be getting worse and the dark even darker still. Families are broken, hearts are broken, and the enemy seems to be advancing on our homeland, our very own nation. I am here today to tell you, and myself, that there is one that is our ultimate Defender. He defended us over 2000 years ago and defeated death itself, and there is nothing that can stop Him today. He is fighting for your family, for our babies, and for our country. He is fighting for everyone that He created, and that will never change. The author of Psalms 34:18 encourages us in this, saying, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Our Defender will never leave us alone, but instead in His omnipotence goes before us and walks with us.
You might be wondering if He is doing so much fighting why there is so much darkness? I have asked myself the same thing. The verse mentioned above from Exodus 14:14 is written in the story from the Bible when the people of Israel were fleeing the Egyptian army and have found themselves backed up against the Red Sea. The Israelites began to blame their leader, Moses, for ruining their lives and leading them out of slavery only to die in the wilderness. In a moment of extreme tension, and what seemed to be a devastating end, Moses speaks to the crowd: “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:13-14
At the very moment the people were certain hate and darkness had defeated them, God speaking through Moses instructs them to fear not, stand firm, and be still. The very next moment, God commands Moses to use his staff to part the Red Sea, and as soon as the very last Israelite makes it to shore the waves crash behind them on the enemy.
I believe this is what He is asking of us, His people, to do today as well. Take heart and fear not, friends. Rest assured that fear is not from the enemy. 2 Timothy 1:7 says for “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” One of the ways I combat fear and anxiety is to memorize Scripture and claim God’s promises out loud. It is an effective way to get immediate results, and there is something so powerful about have the Word written on your heart. It becomes much more personal.
Additionally, in an effort to let God do the fighting for us, we must stand firm in what we know to be true in the depths of our souls. It is easy to be overwhelmed by whatever we may see in front of us, but we need to remember that our Defender only sees victory. Isaiah 7:9 says, “If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.” To stand firm in our faith, we need to know what we believe in. Challenge yourself to study what God really says, and again I encourage you to write it on your heart.
Lastly, in the darkest of times we are to be still. Psalm 46:10 tells us “Be still and know that I am God.” It is when we are still that we remember who is God and who is not. In the stillness we are reminded that it is God who sits on the throne and it is He who fights for us. When we are still, aware and confident that our Defender is diligently fighting for us, we can most clearly hear the voice of God. When God speaks to us and we are still at the foot of the Cross, we will then be able to hear and accomplish what it is He is asking us to do the be Light, the love of Christ, in powerful and effective ways to the world around us.
There is only one Christ and neither you or I are Him. The world needs Jesus. And when we resist fear, stand firm, and be still, we will see undoubtedly see Him moving in power as the Defender His people desire.