Have you ever been under siege?
This morning was a sweet time in the Word, pondering all the ways the Lord has encouraged me . . .
through His Word,
through a song or a devotion,
through clear answers to prayer,
through creative orchestration of circumstances,
through a person’s words of affirmation.
Even through looking back in my journal and all that I’ve overcome the last few months, I have seen His hand at work.
This morning I was in 2 Corinthians 6 and was struck by the way it spoke to me. I’ve always believed in doing the right thing even when it hurts. Learning from complaints and frustrations heard in our author’s voices. Making good, usually in a way that costs us financially, when something goes wrong. To me, this commitment to integrity in how we run Redemption Press is how we “put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no one can discredit our ministry.” (v 3)
Does that mean we always do it right? Of course not! But when we realize our failure, we do the right thing.
This Scripture went on to give such an amazing blueprint of godly leadership which gave me a whole new perspective of the weapons of our warfare!
Rather, as servants of God, we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships, and calamities; in beatings, imprisonments, and riots; in labor, sleepless nights, and hunger; in purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, slander and praise; viewed as imposters, yet genuine; as unknown, yet well-known; dying, and yet we live on; punished, yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
2 Corinthians 6:4-10 (BSB)
When I place these words from 2 Corinthians 6 (in troubles, hardships, and calamities) on top of Psalms 31, I discovered it describes perfectly the chaos that occurred a few months ago with the Amazon returns that rocked the publishing industry and hit our pocketbook in a way that we were not prepared for!
Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. In my alarm, I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. Love the LORD, all his faithful people! Psalms 31:21-24 (NIV)
David exclaimed how the Lord showed him the wonders of His love when he was in a city under siege.
I had to get a handle on that saying. I kinda thought I knew what it meant but I went and looked it up anyway, and was blown away at how it described perfectly what we’d been experiencing:
- A city under siege is cut off from resources, cannot build or repair itself or use the production of its resources.
- Surrounding a city with units and wearing down it’s defenses by continually attacking it.
Think about that: David kept his eyes on the Lord in the siege . . .
in the middle of the uncertainty,
in the midst of his alarm,
while feeling cut off from His sight,
He kept His eyes on the faithfulness of God.
Here we were, under siege with the Amazon returns and several other challenges all hitting at the same time (along my personal ongoing struggle with Ross’s unexpected resignation), experiencing as Paul describes: chaos of troubles, hardships, and calamities. AT THE SAME TIME, we determined as a team to walk in purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God.
But here are the words that just leapt off the page at me…
…with the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left… (v 7)
I dug into the Greek and found:
- Weapons = arms used in warfare metaphorically
- Righteousness = integrity, virtue, purity of life, uprightness, correctness in thinking, feeling, and acting.
WOW. Do you see what I see?
RIGHTEOUSNESS IS A WEAPON!
INTEGRITY IS A WEAPON!
PURITY IS A WEAPON!
and so on…
No wonder God met us over and over and over again during this time because we stood in righteousness and the enemy was defeated!
Have you felt under siege recently? How did God meet you and show you His wonders? May I encourage you to use your weapons of Righteousness within your battle, praising God along the way for the wonders of His love? He promises to help His faithful people.
Thanks for hanging out with me today,
Welcome, I'm Athena!
I start each day by tithing the first hour to the Lord in prayer, reading the word, doing word studies of the Text, and asking God how I can live out what I am reading. This time is usually met with meditation on devotionals that are usually written by dead guys like Oswald Chambers, CS Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, AW Tozer, and Andrew Murray.
Right now, I’m reading a daily devotional with a friend called Tozer on the Almighty God for my focus for the day. It's fun to see individually what pulls us in to spur one another on to good deeds!
The Bible is filled with action steps to walk out in practical and intentional ways. This sets my day in motion to walk it out! I hope this is your heart, too.
Consider this a personal invitation to join me in this journey!