Not surprisingly, I have never been in a real-life battle of any capacity or magnitude. Thinking about war, my mind wanders to less of the modern day artillery-based warfare, and more on the ‘Lord of the Rings’ open battles consisting primarily of swords, bows, and a few catapults. I am often amused how in these heroic battle scenes there is typically one swordsman who advances his company’s battle ground at an amazing rate, taking out anyone who stands in his way. Even though it is fiction, I wonder how this character is doing all this from a point of physical stamina and emotional tolerance. I can never believe how they only face the enemy from the front where they can see, and one at a time. Why is there never anyone attacking them from behind? Wouldn’t that be so much easier to take down a man you just saw tear through countless numbers of your men? And how does this ‘hero’ know that his company is winning this battle behind him? How does he know that he is supported? Is he scared that he might be left behind? I reckon there must be an incredible amount of faith involved – faith that his army is simultaneously fighting with him, and that he has the support he needs from behind. This must be the formula to eliminating most areas of fear.
As Christians, we have the confidence and knowledge that God is fighting our battles; not for us, but with us. He never leaves us nor forsakes us, and always has our back covered. Unfortunately, many of us (myself included) struggle to really grasp this as the absolute truth.
I had been going through a season a few months ago, where trusting God was becoming a necessity, yet the magnitude of trust I had for Him was minimal at best. “What has God ever done for me to warrant my trust of Him? I see in His word that I can trust Him, but until I see His faithfulness for myself, I just can’t let go of control.” These were some of the things I was saying to myself when God began to really tug at my heart.
I had multiple people speaking into my life that God was telling me to trust Him. Each of them would say that they felt like I had someone in my past that betrayed my trust that is holding me back from trusting God fully, like I had these deep seeded trust issues. I couldn’t think of what it was until after hearing this for the 2nd or 3rd time I asked God what it was. He brought to light someone from my past, a memory from years ago that I had buried so deep that I had quite literally forgotten about it. I was reminded what happened and although it hurt to re-live, I was able to see where some of my mistrust was coming from. From that time on God kept opening my eyes to where He has been faithful throughout my life and how I really can trust Him.
I realized that someone can not be found faithful instantaneously. It requires time to determine whether they are faithful, and trustworthy, or not. Since I was not seeing God’s answer even to prayer instantaneously, I didn’t think of Him as faithful. I felt like the apostle Paul when the scales began to fall off His eyes and he could once again be able to see from a point of being completely blind physically. God was revealing all the things throughout my life where He was with me, listening attentively to my prayers and responding. One such simple example is the protection of my family – not something I can see instantaneously, but is easily seen once time has passed. He has always been with me, not once has He let me down.
More has surfaced since that time, where He has proven Himself faithful and trustworthy. In one instance where He was telling me to completely give something up I was pursuing. This one ‘thing’ in itself was not bad, I actually thought it was something that was good for me. He told me to completely abandon it, which naturally made me so confused and even frustrated, but I was obedient nonetheless. Not much time passed before He revealed to me why He wanted me to drop this original desire – it was because He had something so much better to give to me. It’s easy to look back and laugh at it and smile at how good God is, but in the moment of surrender, it was so hard.
God always has had my best interests in mind. He is much more clever than I am, and has far better things for me than I could ever want for myself. My confidence now through life comes not from self assurance and of my own strength in battle, but rather from the one who is fighting beside, behind, and in front of me. He is the one who eliminates the enemies from around me trying to harm me, He is the one who fights along side of me giving me the confidence to keep on, and He will never leave. With Him, I have no fear, because nothing can stand against my God.
-Jordan Upton, Beach to Bush DTS August 2016
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