But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord AGAIN raised up a rescuer to save them.Judges 3:15a
During the time of the Judges, God served as Israel’s king and they were to follow and obey Him. Yet, Israel rarely walked in obedience; It was more like sheep going astray (Isaiah 53:6a). So, when the people became unfaithful and followed the ways of their pagan neighbors, God allowed the Israelites’ neighbors to oppress them. Israel would confess and cry out for God to rescue them. The Lord would send a deliverer (known as a Judge), they not only delivered the people from their enemies but also turned their hearts back to God. But Israel would soon lose their zeal for God and this cycle would repeat itself over and over again. Sounds a lot like Christians today, not learning from history and the church allowing forms of impurity to tarnish its holy calling.
These are the nations that the Lord left in the land to test those Israelites who had not experienced the wars of Canaan. He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle.Judges 3:1&2
God desires a people trained for battle. Psalm 144:1 declares, “He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.” Christians are given very specific pieces of armor to wear in battle. Ephesians 6:13 says to “put on every piece . . . then after the battle you will still be standing firm” (NLT).
God trains His people! How is He training you today?
God takes us through seasons that prepare us for battle. During my early years of marriage (and beyond), God trained me to learn contentment and taught me how to pray. Just like the Apostle Paul, I learned to be content in every circumstance. “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little” (Philippians 4:11-12, NLT).
But during those difficult lean years, I birthed children, thankfully, three healthy, uneventful pregnancies and deliveries. Well, “uneventful” might be the wrong word, let’s change that to “no real difficulty”!! 😉
But fast-forward to our grandchildren for a different story! Through miscarriages, a daughter not able to get pregnant again, and heartache, we finally had our first full-term pregnancy. With great delight I sat in the delivery room with my youngest daughter awaiting the arrival of our “firstborn” grandchild. The polycarbonate bassinet had been rolled in and the room prepped, anticipating his soon arrival. After spending all day waiting, it was decided my daughter needed a Cesarean delivery. A nurse came and rolled the empty bassinet out of the room as tears welled up in my eyes. At this time, I was also told I would need to wait in the waiting room. I cried out to God for a safe delivery. I called my mom and asked her to cry out to God on behalf of my daughter and grandson! Well, God answered in favor of our cries! But He was still training . . .
Our next grandbaby, born to our son and daughter-in-law, came at 29 weeks. Our precious granddaughter, who dipped to 2 pounds and 5 ounces, had an uphill battle. Again, cries reached the throne room of God! And again, He answered our request!
But He was still training . . . Our daughter and son-in-law, unable to have children, reached out to foster children and had a placement of siblings: a 2-year-old sister and her 1-year-old brother. Shortly, another 1-year-old boy was placed on adoption and they went through all the hoops to adopt him accompanied by the fervent cries of many. Again, “crying out” to God continued at the 19-month marker for the fosters to be given adoption rights, but without an answer. Trusting continues. So, God never stops training us, but why would we want Him to anyway? It’s through the training that we grow in faith and endurance (James 1).
Day 7 Challenge says:
Sometimes God is training us for bigger and more important battles in the future, and part of the training is perseverance in the fight. Don’t take your armor off. Stand Up. Be Bold! In the mighty name of Jesus lift up that prayer AGAIN!
- God to move in a way that seems impossible because you’ve been asking for so long and have grown weary of crying out. PRAY AGAIN!
- Pray for God to give you a desire to persevere and to train you as a prayer warrior this month.
Praise the Lord, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him . . . (Psalm 144:1&2).