"What then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, then who can be against us?" --Romans 8:31, niv.
I don't know about you, but most days I wake up and I feel like there are a lot of things against me: the enemy, my own flesh, the brokenness of this world, and so many other things that seemingly justify my anxiety. I'll also admit that on some of those days, I lose. I feel broken and defeated, not sure what went wrong or how I got there or how I'll ever recover.
I'm reminded of Ephesians 6: "Be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood (although isn't it a little against our own flesh?), but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand," (v.10-13, hcsb).
Did you catch that? Spiritual forces of evil! In the heavens! There's a cosmic war going on. I've seen the Avengers movies and it doesn't seem all that far-fetched to me when I read these verses.
These verses, these are war language, spoken on the battlefield that is our lives. And so when I hear the words, "who can be against us?" I can think of a lot of "who's" against us.
We are at war. That much is obvious. Every moment of every day, there is a blatant enemy who is working really, really hard to defeat us. And to be honest, some days it feels like he won that battle.
But God will win the war. I guess that's what Paul was really saying in Romans. At the end, when the world comes to a close, everything will fade to dust. Except God. He will continue to rule every realm for all eternity.
And that God, the ever-powerful, Almighty, Everlasting God, is for me. He picked me to be on His team at the beginning of time. He chose me to be one of His soldiers on the front lines. He has also equipped me with weapons of war so I'll stand a fighting chance.
"He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all--how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" --Romans 8:32 niv.
So yes, I can think of a lot of things that could and do stand against me and God. But if God sent His Son Jesus to defeat death and rise from the grave, then what else is there? If death is the best that Satan can do and Jesus already defeated it, then what do I possibly have to fear?
And if I have nothing to fear, then I have everything to gain. Nothing can withstand God.
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming. Thank you for living a perfect life in a world full of sin. Thank you for suffering a sinner's death on a cross so that we might go free. Thank you for proving yourself to be God incarnate by defeating the grave and raising yourself up from the dead. Thank you for enduring it all with our souls in mind. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to dwell not just among us, but within us. Thank you for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the still, soft voice that leads where you want us to go. Thank you for equipping us to fight the good fight with your weapons: the truth of your Word, the guidance of your Holy Spirit, and the strengthening nature of prayer. Thank you for always providing for us, for protecting us and pressing in on our hearts.
Lord, we ask that you would make us strong in the resolve to follow you. We ask that you would help us stand firm in our faith. We ask that you would draw us close and allow us to know you more, better, deeper. We pray that when the enemy is aimed straight at us that you would shield us from harm. We ask that you would help our knees not to quake with fear but be planted, firmly rooted in your truth. We know that you will win the war, God, but we ask that you would help us win battles, too. For if you are for us, which we know you are, then who could possibly stand against us?
You've made walls crumble at trumpets' sound; you've raised up armies of dry bones. Raise us up to be soldiers as well. Amen.