July 19, 2014

Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.

This is a remarkable promise that deserves a good bit of meditation. God isn’t saying that people won’t create and try to use weapons against the people of God, He’s saying those weapons won’t work. I’m certainly reminded of the rockets that are being fired into Israeli territory even as I write, only to be shot down by the Iron Dome defense system, unless they’ve already been determined to fall harmlessly into an uninhabited area. I couldn’t begin to count the number of testimonies I’ve read of guns that have jammed when someone was trying to shoot a Christian. Just yesterday I watched a video of a missionary who was shot multiple times, but each bullet just missed a vital area, and he was able to subdue the shooter. Weapons exist and they are turned against the people of God, but we aren’t to fear them. The next line has more universal application. Everyone has experienced people saying things against them. However, in the time of judgment, the people of God will convict every lying tongue of sin (as the Japanese translation expresses it). Such words can be painful indeed, but we must remember that they aren’t final. God has the last word, and that last word is always vindication for those who believe in Christ. The Japanese translates that last part as, “This is the righteousness that they receive from Me.” Our righteousness in Christ isn’t something we have earned, it is imparted by grace through faith, so it doesn’t matter if the accusations against us have truth to them, they are nullified by the grace and righteousness of God.

Just yesterday I was talking with someone who is starting to grasp this truth. He has allowed fear of people’s opinions to cause him to withdraw. As it says in Proverbs 29:25, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” God never says that people (and demonic spirits) won’t come against us, but if our focus is on Him we experience victory. That’s what John 16:33 is all about. I’ve got to keep remembering this myself, and I’ve got to keep communicating this truth to others.

Father, thank You for how encouraging it was to see You working yesterday. Help me indeed keep my eyes on You, even when I can’t see the fruit of my labors in the natural, so that I won’t be discouraged but rather rest, relax, and rejoice in You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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