When I wrapped up my Zoom Bible study last Tuesday, I encouraged the participants to be on their guard. “We’ve just studied five names of God,” I said. “Don’t be surprised if a test comes along in the not too distant future. Be watchful but don’t be afraid. It will give you opportunity to practice what you’ve learned.” I had no way of knowing that my test was waiting around the corner.
The next evening, I learned that someone dear to me has received a cancer diagnosis. This news came out of nowhere. I still find it hard to fathom.
Forty-eight hours later, I learned that we’re losing the facility that houses our ministry office, a few personal possessions that survived our purge in 2018, and all my ministry resources. The last time this happened, we spent five months searching for a suitable space. All the office equipment and my resources stayed in our basement interim. This time, we live on a boat—enough said. We have to vacate by July 31, and we’re in the far north helping our youngest daughter through a difficult pregnancy until July 1 which means we can’t look at potential places in-person.
My next book manuscript is due on September 1, and I’d planned to spend July writing it. Now my time will be divided packing and moving our office.
I’ll admit that my thoughts tug me towards worry and what-ifs. I have to intentionally lasso them and reel them back where they belong—in captivity to Jesus. Having a better grasp on the names of God and their relevancy to my life is a big help.
God helps us understand who He is through His names.
For instance, “Jehovah Sabaoth” tells us that He is the Lord of hosts. He commands the armies of men, millions of angels, and the stars in the sky. He’s the One who goes to battle on our behalf. Amazing, right?
We fight our battles by focusing on truth. The truth is, Almighty God is on our side. The enemy of our soul wants us to believe otherwise, so he whispers lies intended to lead us to believe defeat is imminent. In most cases, those lies come from within. In some cases, they come from those around us. David wrote about this when fleeing from Absalom: “So many are saying, ‘God will never rescue him!’” (Psalm 3:2 NLT))
David refused to listen to the voices. He focused on truth instead: “But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain.” (Psalm 3:3-4) He ended his prayer with, “Victory comes from you, O Lord. May you bless your people.” (Psalm 3:8)
While we do our part, victory ultimately comes from Jehovah Sabaoth. With that in mind, I’m viewing these challenges not as reasons to worry but as opportunities to practice what I preach and to see Jehovah Sabaoth work. That said, I’d sure appreciate your prayers.
What test are you facing today? What are the voices telling you? What’s the truth?
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