Today, the world has a lot of messages it’s telling and selling us. One that has been told and retold is we must use common sense when living our lives. Often, this can be true and wise; however, the issue is that if you want to live a life of faith it will not be “common” (even in Christian community) or at times “makes sense” to other people (or even ourselves haha).
Over the years living in Isla Vista, I have been up against many enemies. Enemies within my own soul like doubts, fears, insecurities, and constantly walking into the unknown. Enemies from the outside that impose the work of God in our city. And enemies that come with leading a church in a college town with limited resources, finances, and the constant change of people from year to year. I share this to help you understand that enemies are normal and God even uses them to build our faith in Him.
His desire is that we would rely on Him and His strength when we encounter them instead of trusting in our own strength to overcome them.
This is what happened in chapter one in the book of Judges. God told the tribe of Judah that (1) He was with them and (2) that He would drive our their enemies. The key word is “He” as our tendency is to show up in life thinking we are alone and it’s our job to defeat the enemy we are up against.
“The LORD said, Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand….Now the LORD was with Judah, and they took possession of the hill country; but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had iron chariots.” (Judges 1:2,19)
From these verses we see that the tribe of Judah decided not to rely on God but on common sense. God had told them that He would give them possession of the hill county and that He was with them, BUT when they saw the “iron chariots” they decided that they couldn’t drive them out. Judah, like us at times, didn’t trust in God’s strength. Instead, they measured their own strength against the enemy’s strength. When we rely on ourselves instead of God we are usually always overwhelmed with the battle that we are facing. What the tribe of Judah forgot was that God was with them, causing them to put their faith in their own strength instead of God’s strength.
Each day we are invited by God to rely on Him. To allow His power to be made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). This really is the key to the Christian life; not showing up in life thinking we can defeat “iron chariots” in our own strength when God has invited us to rely on Him and meet the iron chariots in His strength.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” – 2 Corinthians 2:14