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October 3:  Psalm 18:2

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Psalm 18:2

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

by: Brian Bethke

As we entered the Forward Operating Base (FOB) we knew that our actions would elicit a response. Hours earlier we had swept through the tiny town, a known terrorist hotbed, conducting house-to-house raids looking for those on our top ten list. We shook up the town with the sounds of flash bangs, explosive breaches and smoke grenades. We experienced minor resistance, maybe a “pop-shot” here or there. I am positive that the sounds of the tanks that provided our cordon and the FA-18’s flying overhead suppressed any thought of immediate retaliation. However, as we started our return on foot to the FOB we knew it was a matter of time before we would receive a response. We knew the most vulnerable times of any raid were the infiltration (going in) and exfiltration (going out).

As we entered the FOB, we could hear the commotion of the town in the background. It was early morning and with the call to prayer reverberating throughout the entire area we descended into the bunker that was our temporary home. As all 40 of us crowed into the bunker dirty and reeking of gun powder and sulfur, we laid down awaiting the response. As we drifted off to sleep, we were awakened with multiple ground shaking thuds. The town had responded with mortar fire. At first I was jarred but realized that the bunker we had taken refuge in would not succumb to the pressure of the mortar rounds being dropped. So as weird as it sounds, with the realities of war literally surrounding me, that night I was lulled to sleep with the sounds of enemy indirect mortar rounds, nestled safe in a bunker.

Christian, we are at war! There is a spiritual war that everyone has been thrust into since Genesis 3. As Christians, we conduct raids on the enemy strongholds every time we glorify God in Christ. Every time we resist temptation, every time we share the gospel, every time we stand firm in God’s word, every time we show the love of Christ to all people we conduct a raid on the enemy’s position in this cosmic war. Be prepared—HE WILL respond. He will respond by dropping mortar rounds of temptation, discouragement, and persecution. He knows that we have won in Christ but his desire is to make us ineffective and neutralize our abilities to glorify God. What are we to do? Run! Take refuge in our rock, our strong hold, our salvation, our Lord Jesus Christ. Resist temptation through the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth in Christ. Parry discouragement with the truth that you where predestined by the Father in Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit as an adopted child of the Most High God. Endure persecution with the hope that suffering precedes glory and in Christ we have a weight of glory ready to be revealed at the end of the age.

What bunker are you using? Do you feel safe and secure? Maybe it’s time to run into an adequate place of refuge.

 

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Comments(3)

  1. Reply
    Roselle Heckendorn says

    When we feel we’re under attack its good to call for reinforcements too – having others pray for you can stop the attack in its tracks – that was my experience last Tuesday, when the staff gathered around to pray for me as I was feeling anxious and discouraged about Alpha that night.

  2. Reply
    Linda Malbon says

    Thank you, encouraging and challenging reminders! We cannot be lulled into complacency.. the enemy will not disappear but will win if we are not diligent.

  3. Reply
    Tim Peirce says

    Thanks for the excellent analogy, Pastor Brian. When you were describing sleeping peacefully in the bunker under fire, I was thinking of how Jesus was able to sleep peacefully below deck during a squall on the sea of Galilee.

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