Allegiance, Allies, Battles, Bible, Choices, Consequences, Enemies, God's Will, Scripture, Truth

BE CAREFUL OF YOUR ALLIES

ZEPHANIAH 2:12

“‘You also, Ethiopians, will be slain by My sword.’”

In the ministry I am a part of, Every Man A Warrior, we speak a lot about the importance of having allies. Men need men in their lives to hold them accountable and also to encourage them to walk with God. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, he has a friend who can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.”

The Ethiopians’ error was in choosing the wrong ally. They allied with Egypt against God’s people. They may not have invaded on their own, but they were part of the army that did. God speaks against them in Isaiah and Ezekiel. Their destruction was prophesied. However, they did not heed any of the warnings. They persisted in their hostilities toward Israel.

APPLICATION

We must be careful who we choose as allies. What may appear to be a good idea can prove to be a disaster. Many a person has lost fortunes due to partnering with a dishonest man. Promises made were not kept. Lies were told to get them to join in. Not everything that glitter is gold, right?

The same holds true for us in our spiritual walk with Christ. Not every church out there is teaching the truth. Not every preacher is living what he is preaching. Not every “Christian” brother or sister is a true believer. We must check these things by the Word of God. Through it, God will show us truth from error.

I have several men I consider my allies. Some are my partners in our ministry. I trust these men completely. I know they have my back. More importantly, I know they will call me out if I am wandering from the truth. I need that. You need that. Do you have allies? Do you have people in your life who will confront you if needed? If you don’t, get some. You don’t want to walk this path alone.

Lord, I know the strands of cord are strongest when they are woven together. Give me allies who will make me stronger.

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Accused, Allies, Belief, Bible, Commands, Defense, Enemies, God's Will, Scripture

AGAINST YOU

ZEPHANIAH 2:5

“Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, the nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you, Canaan, land of the Philistines; and I will eliminate you so that there will be no inhabitant.”

I’ve said before that I don’t think I have any earthly enemies. I try my best to be at peace with all men (Romans 12:18). I don’t like to be in conflict. I won’t run from a fight if faced with it, but I don’t pursue conflict like some people do. I really want to deal with conflict quickly. I don’t want anyone or anything to come against me.

Zephaniah tells the Cherethites and Philistines that “the word of the Lord is against” them. Whoa! That would be horrible. Instead of the word of the Lord coming “to” them, it is against them. Why? Because they were the ones who were against His children. They pursued aggression and hostilities against His chosen people. And for that, God was against them.

APPLICATION

How would you feel if the Lord was against you? Terrified? Fearful? Worried? You should! Hebrews 10:31 tells us “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” To openly rebel against God’s commandments and thumb your nose at Him only invites His wrath. Who would do that?

Unfortunately, many in our world today are doing just that. They scoff at God’s Word. They reject His truths as spelled out in Scripture. They make God into their own image, rather than allowing Him to make them into His. They want God to fit their idea of Him. How preposterous. How ridiculous. How can we even begin to comprehend God?

But God tells us very clearly how to follow Him. He tells us to trust Him. He gives us the faith to believe. Faith is a gift. Once we acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord, He gives us belief in Him. He discloses more and more of Himself to us as we pursue Him. What a great God! He is not against you. He is for you!

O Lord, I am so thankful You are for me. I am grateful for the faith You have given me.

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Abiding, Allies, Battles, Bible, Confidence, Disappointment, Faithfulness, God's Will, Promises, Scripture

MISPLACED CONFIDENCE 

NAHUM 3:9 

“Ethiopia was her might, Egypt too, without limits. Put and Lubim were among her helpers.” 

Have you ever had someone you were depending on let you down? It is no fun feeling. Your hopes seemed dashed. You get angry at that person and then you get sad. Emotions are always a part of this kind of disappointment. What do you do with those emotions? 

Nahum was reminding Nineveh that no one can depend on any earthly power. He gives the example of No-Amon who depended on Ethiopia and Egypt for her might. Historical records have shown their armies numbered in the millions, like sand on the seashore. But No-Amon still fell. Only God’s power is eternal. 

APPLICATION 

I pray you have not suffered the fate of misplaced dependence. Let me reassure you – people will let you down. I have promised people that I will eventually disappoint them. I am not perfect and have never claimed to be. I know my failures. Do you? 

As believers, we know our only certain source of strength lies in Jesus Christ. Only He can sustain us. Read these words from Psalm 62. “5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Hm. 6 Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” 

Aren’t those great words? I just love that He is my rest, my hope, my rock, my salvation, my fortress, my salvation, the source of my honor, my mighty rock and my refuge. If that doesn’t give you confidence, nothing will. Trust Him today! 

I shall trust in You at all times, my God and my Savior. 

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Agreement, Allegiance, Allies, Battles, Bible, Christianity, Devil, Enemies, God's Will, Modeling, Opponents, Scripture

A SHIELD

NAHUM 2:3

“The shields of his warriors are dyed red, the warriors are dressed in scarlet, the chariots are fitted with flashing steel when he is prepared to march, and the juniper spears are brandished.”

I love to watch football (American football), especially college football. I love to watch the team working as one to achieve a goal – to score on their opponent or to prevent their opponent from scoring on them. A lot of this occurs on the line of scrimmage. Young men forming a line of defense have to work together as one.

The English translation above says “shields,” but the actual Hebrew word is singular – “shield.” That makes a difference. Nahum is saying that “the shield of His warriors” is one. They move as one. They attack as one. They are no longer fighting alone against their enemies. They have become a unified force under the banner of Jehovah.

APPLICATION

This should send a message to us, not about fighting, but about standing together. Christians are so divided today. We segregate ourselves between denominations. We divide our churches by race. We cannot fight our common enemy if we stay divided. We must become one.

So, what prevents that? Is it pride or arrogance? Is it our church traditions? Some of these divisions are over minor doctrinal disagreements that do not really have an effect on our salvation. Paul says in Romans 12:4-5 “4 For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another.”

What part are you? How can you help unify the body of Christ? The ministry I am serving in now, Every Man A Warrior (www.everymanawarrior.com), cuts across denominational lines. We have leaders in 58 countries and in all 50 states in the U.S. And guess what? We are all not Southern Baptists. Nor are we all Methodists. We are all believers in Christ who want to see our culture changed by changing the hearts of men. Will you join us in unifying the body of Christ worldwide?

Help me hold Your shield, Lord, as I face our enemies.

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Affection, Affliction, Allies, Battles, Bible, Christ's Return, Confrontation, Consequences, Destruction, Enemies, Friends, God's Will, Rapture, Scripture

NO MORE WAR

MICAH 4:3

“And He will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift a sword against nation, and never again will they train for war.”

As I write this blog, war is still raging in Ukraine. When that will end is anyone’s guess. Through the ministry I am a part of, Trans World Radio (TWR), I know of believers on both sides of this war. Many have lost their homes and livelihoods and are struggling. It is heart-breaking to see the destruction of some beautiful cities and villages, not to mention the loss of life.

Micah prophesies, however, that one day there will be no more war. We have all heard this verse quoted over the years. Swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. I love that last phrase – “nation will not lift a sword against nation, and never again will they train for war.” Just think of the billions of dollars that could be redirected towards healthcare, food and clean water. This will be an amazing sight to behold.

APPLICATION

You are probably thinking, Sure, that sounds great, Carl, but we will never see that in our lifetime. You never know. I believe the Lord’s return for His church is imminent. With that event, the end-time clock speeds up – rapture, tribulation years (yes, I am a pre-trib guy), thousand-year reign and then the second coming of Christ.

How do we play a part in this? How about not making war with your neighbors? How about not looking at someone as if they are beneath you? How about extending the olive branch of peace towards someone who has harmed you? We can all help with these things. Peace begins with us.

I am personally not at war with anyone. I do, however, show my prejudices at times, politics and sports, to name a couple. I have to make sure I am not showing myself to others. I need to be showing Jesus at all times. Only He can make the change happen in others.

Lord, we await the day when there will be no more war

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Allies, Alone, Battles, Bible, Consequences, Deception, Enemies, Friends, Leading, Scripture

ALLIES

OBADIAH 7

“All the people allied with you will send you to the border, and the people at peace with you will deceive you and overpower you. They who eat your bread will set an ambush for you. (There is no understanding in him.)”

Don’t you just hate it when someone is betrayed by “friends”? It’s one thing for your enemies to attack you. But when so called allies turn their back on you, that’s hard. I am fortunate to say that has never happened to me (yet). I believe I can trust all my friends to have my back, if needed.

Poor Edom – they were betrayed by allies who knew them well. When push came to shove, the bailed on Edom and chose their own safety. Not only did they betray them, but they gave up many of their secrets to help the enemy. That’s like sticking in the knife and turning it. Not good.

APPLICATION

Who are the friends you can depend on? I serve now with a ministry called Every Man A Warrior. We teach men how to walk with God, succeed in life and multiply spiritually. One aspect of that training is teaching the need to have allies, guys in their corner. We know you can’t do this life alone.

It is beautiful when you see these groups of allies come together for one of their own. No betrayal. No turncoats. All coming together to give aid to one of their brothers. Whether it be a physical, emotional or spiritual need, these allies come together.

On the flip side, I’ve seen men try to do this on their own. What happens? They usually fall flat on their face. They are fine until they face that first hurdle and then wham! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down he has a friend to help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.” Be that ally today for someone else. You will need them yourself one day.

Father, You made us to need each other. Surround me with godly men who can help me navigate this life.

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