Have you ever been drug out so badly that even the smallest problems seem insurmountable, and maybe they even create a bit of a panic within you when they are presented to you? I believe from what I have seen in the Bible, that this is do to the fact that there is a link between weariness and fear, and the devil knows it. And once you begin to operate in fear, you are no longer operating in faith.
One day while reading my Bible about the time when King David’s son, Absalom, lead a rebellion against his own father, a particular passage really stood out to me. Absalom was being given advice on how and when to attack his father, and the mighty men who were with him. Here is the advice that Absalom was given:
“1 Furthermore, Ahithophel said to Absalom, ‘Please let me choose 12,000 men that I may arise and pursue David tonight. 2 ‘I will come upon him while he is weary and exhausted and terrify him, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king alone’…” 2 Samuel 17:1-2 NASU
Because both Absalom and Ahithophel were men being inspired by the devil, it is easy to glean from this tactic how the devil thinks, as well as his methods of operation against the people of God. He wants to strike once people have become exhausted and fill them with fear to get them off their faith.
And something else to notice from this passage is that if you will get people fearful when they are worn out, then they will not put up a fight but will simply run away from the battle.
To be honest, I have witnessed this very thing occur in the lives of believers on many occasions. They simply get worn out, both mentally and physically, from the everyday struggles of life, until they reach a point of exhaustion which then essentially breaks down their will to resist the devil and fight the good fight of faith (see 1 Timothy 6:12). And so, because they have never done anything to fortify themselves, all the devil has to do is come along and say “boo,” and they panic and run off from the battle field.
“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10 KJV
I have never forgotten when my pastor, Dr. Mark Barclay once said, “Life is life for everyone.” In other words, everyone is dealing with the struggles and battles of life. No one is exempt. And although your current hardships may differ from mine, both of us are responsible to do what is necessary to be strong in the Lord, as well as get the rest and refreshing that is necessary for both our soul and our body (see Psalm 23).
Have you ever considered the intense pressure that was on Joshua after Moses died? Joshua was now responsible to lead God’s people forward and into the land of promise. And when you read the first chapter of the book of Joshua, you will find that Joshua is not only wearied from the death of Moses but also from looking at the magnitude of the task that has just been presented to him.
His assignment was huge! And one of the ways that we know this is that the Lord spoke to Joshua several times about his need to be strong and courageous. And just the fact that the Lord had to tell him this several times over, is an indicator that he was most likely leaning more towards being weak and fearful instead.
“7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:7-9 KJV
According to what the Lord spoke to Joshua, we will become strong in the Lord when we:
- DO THE WORD – The doer of the Word has his life built on the rock and the storms can’t destroy him (see Luke 6:46-49).
- MEDITATE THE WORD – Meditation causes you to be like a strong tree by the rivers of water (see Psalm 1:2-3).
- SPEAK THE WORD – Learn to say about yourself and your circumstances what God says. And when you are weak, begin to call yourself strong (see Joel 3:10).
What have you been saying about yourself and your current circumstances? Speak the Word of God over your life and begin calling yourself strong in the Lord. Because your own words can empty you of strength and power, and your words can make you tired and weary. On the other hand, your words can make you strong and courageous, if you are saying what God’s Word says!
Remember that your soul (which is your mind, will and emotions) needs to receive the restoration that comes from meditating on the Word of God, and from recalling all the times the Lord has come through for you. And sometimes you have to speak out loud to your soul and demand that it starts blessing and thanking the Lord for all the good things He has already done for you (see Psalm 103:1-2).
When people are facing difficult times, they tend to neglect their body, often going without food and sleep, or eating food that fills their belly but provides no nutrition and health. Even when Paul was on the ship that was about to be shipwrecked in that massive storm, he took time to recommend that the men eat and get some nutrition (see Acts 27:33-34).
It is when you are strong in your spirit, and when your soul has been restored and your body refreshed through good food and productive sleep, that you can truly rest in the Lord during the battles of life. And resting in the Lord means that you’ve put your confidence in His ability to bring you into victory.