17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue [that] shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This [is] the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness [is] of me, saith the LORD.
When I read those words I see God has an arsenal and He will use it to bless the lives of believers and their families. I see his hand of protection in every direction I look. I hope you take a moment too and look around at all the things God has blessed you with.
There isn’t a weapon that could be formed against Him, or you, that will prosper. YET, yet, yet! God is no respecter of persons, so how does He meet out this blessing and protection fairly? How does He figure out who to bless and who to withhold His merited favor from? Not all of us receive roses and gold doubloons from the sky right? Some of us really struggle in this life. Why is that? Why would a God of love hurt one of His children?
I’m so glad you asked…
It’s a little thing called freedom of will. Little, ha! That’s laughable. Freedom of will is our God-given freedom to choose whatever life, action, or thought in any given situation, at any given time. Freewill is ours. We always have a choice of who we want to serve. Will we serve God with that action, thought, or decision? Or we will serve ourselves; which invariably means we serve the devil because our human frailties lead down a bad road, with a bad person. Even if they aren’t truly “bad”, we still can be wrong. Wrong because sometimes the choice isn’t between what is bad or good, sometimes the freewill choice is harder. Sometimes we have a choice between what is good and what is best. How do we know?
I’m so glad you asked…
It’s a little thing called “wisdom”. We gain wisdom in this world by our experiences, or what we take in by way of our five senses. Then we gain maturity. At first we aren’t very good at making decisions on our own. We need lots of help and guidance. My six-year-old son does things sometimes that make me want to scream and holler at him like throwing things. Yesterday he threw his back pack on top of the car where he could not reach it. He laughed and laughed until I got in and drove off with it on there. (I knew it wouldn’t fly off) He got a little experience there. How must God feel when he sees us flailing around? Ha!
Look at this section in Ephesians 4…
“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting (MATURING) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:”
God gave us people in our lives to help us grow mature and gain wisdom. One of the things that always tripped me up as a young believer was “drama”. People would say things to get me riled up with envy, or try to manipulate my emotions with a bit of strife. That crap doesn’t work anymore because I learned about it. I learned what it was and how to avoid it.
Check out these verses…
“A wrathful man (an angry man or woman) stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” Proverbs 15:18
“Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.” Proverbs 17:1
“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.” Proverbs 17:14
(It gets away from you fast, so don’t even go there)
“Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease” Proverbs 22:10
“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16
Strife is anything that stirs up, stimulates or provokes people down a wrong path. Look at that. Where envy and strife is there is confusion and every evil work. If we are going to learn how to be wise, we have to learn about the devil’s arsenal too. But as we mature in Christ, we see this stuff coming a mile a way. We have the wisdom to get out of it before it starts.
God does have a big arsenal and He blesses people tremendously! But He has also given us freewill. He is a respecter of conditions. So if we allow ourselves to get caught up in the envy, strife and confusion, we have tied His hands in the situation. God is very just, He never breaks His own rules. The devil knows this. So the devil attacks believers with their own bad decisions.
Remember those choices between what’s good and best? Well, let’s say your friend comes to you with a whole load of crises in their life. One crisis happens to be about a fellow believer and friend, or just a fellow believer. They go on and on about how this person has done them wrong. You want to listen. You want to be a good friend so you listen to them. This is where wisdom meets freewill. God wants to bless you abundantly, but strife is getting stirred up in your heart. Envy and every evil work will follow. What should you do? Wisdom nudges you to stop them and yet, its’ so enticing to keep listening. This is where your freewill choice comes in. This is when you have to decide who you will serve.
This is a longer post today, but I feel like it’s important too. For those of you willing to read to the end here, I commend you!
It all comes back to this verse…
“14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:” Ephesians 4:14-15
Try this next time someone comes to burden you with all their strife. As they are speaking, ask God what to say. He might give you the words, but He might get you out of it another way. Ha! I’ve had all kinds of things come to my rescue like my phone ringing, a crying baby, a knock at the door. Trust me God does have an arsenal to get you out of these situations, but you have to choose to not participate either.
God bless you today!