I used to have multiple sclerosis. Not anymore. I used to have endometriosis. Not anymore. My expiration date from Stage 4 cancer was July 2012. Not anymore. Each of those diseases was a powerful life-draining attack from the enemy, which I believe was intended to end my time and purpose here. But the God we serve and love proved Himself more powerful and well able to defeat such ominous foes in a body that He created, with a destiny that He saw before I was even conceived. There’s nothing special about me; there’s everything special about our God, His power, and His supernatural ability to intersect our lives through divine measures.
Many times I was fully depleted of hope. Satan’s plan seemed to be working as symptoms worsened and the only remedies were surgeries, medications, hospitalizations, and rest. I was unable to fight, as my strength failed and my will faltered. I was “benched” and out of the game of active service to Christ and His Body. Instead, I was in a place of great need from the Lord and His Body.
Sometimes we can’t do a single thing to help ourselves. When the Israelites were terrified that their ominous foes, the Egyptians, would overtake them, their leader, Moses, said an extraordinary, off-the-wall statement in Exodus 14:13-14 (NLT): But Moses told the people, "Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm." The people, depleted of all hope and strength to fight, simply did what Moses instructed them to do. No one devised an I’ll-do-it-my-way plan or broke off into a little posse of rebels. They stood still, waiting for Moses’ next command, even though the Egyptians were all but breathing down their necks as they stood at the edge of the water of the Red Sea.
In a moment of weakness, the Israelites confessed they’d rather be slaves of the Egyptians than corpses in the wilderness (verse 12). I understand that level of desperation when there are no answers and no way out of chronic, terminal illnesses. Perhaps your ominous foe is not life-threatening, but soul-threatening. Addictions to drugs, gambling, and pornography, for instance, can back us into a corner and trap our souls until all the life is drained from us and our purpose in God is a fading memory.
"Be still, and know that I am God!” Our heavenly Father reminds us again of His extraordinary command in Psalm 46:10 (NLT). Are you struggling with a chronic or terminal disease? Has an addiction trapped you in a corner? Maybe you are tangled in an impossible relationship. Are the ominous foes of fear, despair, and hopelessness breathing down your neck whispering lies that you’re in a losing fight and about to become a corpse in the wilderness? Hear the Word of the Lord, echoed by Moses, "Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."
Declare to the ominous foes of your body and soul: “I will not be afraid. I will stand still and watch the Lord rescue me today! The Lord himself will fight for me, and I will stay calm!” As the Israelites stood on the riverbank, shaking and quaking in their sandals, God sovereignly intervened. Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side! (Exodus 14:28).
Ominous foes? Not anymore. Corpses in the wilderness? Not anymore. Just be still, and know that I am God. Watch the Lord rescue you. He’s a fierce warrior, and for us, He is the God of Not Anymore.
© 2021, Chris Werre