Nowadays, the light of the gospel of the new covenant spreads out rapidly. Meanwhile Satan the devil employs every possible tactic to disturb the gospel work.
In our struggle against the evil spirits, we are winning victory with the full armor of God-with the absolute faith in God, with the hope for salvation, with the firm resolution to defend the truth to the end, and with our feet fitted with the gospel of peace. Though the devil our enemy resists us with all kinds of evil things, we are preaching the gospel with firm belief that we will surely overcome the devil. So the gospel work doesn’t stop but shines its light brighter, so that many souls are being saved.
Who do you think the greatest and the strongest man is? Answering that Biblically, he is the one who absolutely trusts in God.
Until today, we’ve seen many heroes sway their ages, but all of them have returned to the dust. There seems to be no one big and mighty.
Through the book of Jeremiah, let’s learn how to become a big and mighty one.
This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.Jer 9:23-24
What can a man, born a sinner, boast of? If he returns to the ground, all of his wisdom, strength and riches disappear. If we must boast, we shall boast that we know God. Some people boast of their relationship with a man of power. How about us? Our close relationship with God the Creator can be the greatest source of our boast: We know God the Almighty, and the great and holy God is with us and becomes our Father and Mother. Is there any pride or boast greater than this?
I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.Ps 121:1-2
When we ask for a person’s help, who will help us? Sometimes we are surprised to find that our close friends or persons whom we expect to help us turn away from us and take part with our enemy. However, our God is always on our side.
Though we are worried and upset without eating and sleeping, we can’t do anything with our own wisdom and effort, can we? All men are like grass and dew in the morning that appear for a little while and then vanish. What about those who believed and trusted in God absolutely? They’ve become the biggest and strongest ones and are being praised as the Biblical heroes.
David, one of the Biblical heroes, had such firm faith in God, so that he could triumph over Goliath and become the king of Israel. When David fought against Goliath a Philistine veteran fighter, there were many people but no one could help him. David knew that only God would help him, and he trusted in God only and took the victory over Goliath.
Who on earth can overcome the one God supports? However powerful a man may be in this world, he is no match for the person whom God helps; he can not harm the one God protects.
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.Ps 20:6-7
If we trust in men or riches or power of this world, we will perish. Men are essentially the same. Though a man has great power, before God he is like the early dew which disappears. Shall we trust in such feeble men?
We should realize man alone can do nothing. Man’s fine physique, good family and wealth do not make him mighty. What makes a man great and mighty is his absolute trust in God. This is the most important and prime point to become the greatest and strongest one.
Let’s continue finding out how David could triumph over Goliath and what was the result of his absolute faith in God.
… “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.” … “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me form the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” … David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. … All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” … David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. …1 Sa 17:32-54
Which one is strong, David or Goliath? Apparently Goliath was big and strong. However, since he lost his life appallingly by David the young and inexperienced boy, David must be the strong one.
While Goliath trusted in sword and spear on the battlefield, David trusted in the name of the LORD Almighty without sword, spear, shield and armor, believing firmly that God was with him. With his sling in his hand, he went out fearlessly. For his armor was God’s protection and his weapon was God’s power, he took off the armor which Saul put on him. He stood on the battlefield only with the belief that God would save him. The issue of that battle had already been decided. Who would be able to overcome David trusting in God Almighty?
All the Philistines and even the Israelites became afraid of David and envied him because God was with him. Since God was always with David and helped him, the banner of victory streamed wherever David went.
As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” … Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul.1 Sa 18:7-12
Saul was a veteran of many battles. Still, why was Saul afraid of David? The reason was not because David himself was strong, but because Saul knew that God was always with David. The people also praised David, who triumphed over enemies by absolutely trusting God, more than Saul king of Israel.
Saul once attained great fame by trusting in God and was praised as a mighty man. However, after he was enthroned, he became proud because all the people knelt down to him, so he came to trust in his own power and strength and the numbers of his people, rather than in God. Consequently, when he fought against the Philistines, he was in desperation and couldn’t defeat them.
The strong faith of David is also required in these last days. We are now fighting against the evil spirits, and we must win over them. For the victory, we need such a strong faith. Though we are short of knowledge and we are weak, we need not complain of it. When we absolutely trust in the great and mighty God, we will become great and strong as David was and defeat the devil and lead many souls to righteousness.
The Bible says that the least of us will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. This prophecy will be surely fulfilled. We must not forget that this prophecy is to be fulfilled by our strong faith in God.
When our enemies heard our shouting, they trembled with fear. It was not because we were many, but because they realized that God Almighty was with us.
Through another history, let’s study how the smallest can be a mighty nation.
Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.”Jos 8:1
As God gave them this word of encouragement, the Israelites could attack Ai and defeat it. When the Israelites attacked Jericho, Joshua and his soldiers like grasshoppers could win the victory over people of great size.
When Joshua and his army appeared, the world trembled. For they had heard the power of God, who surrendered the Egyptian army, who led the Israelites by dividing the Red Sea, who fed and clothed so many Israelites during their forty years in the desert. They feared those whom such a mighty God was with.
And we know the fame of Gideon well. When he and his three hundred men fought against one hundred and thirty five thousand Midianites, did they rely on the sum of them and their wisdom? No. They could win because they trusted in God only and obeyed His commands. With God’s wisdom and power, they could achieve great victory and be praised by all peoples.
The heroes of the Bible-David, Joshua, and Gideon-have something in common. All of them did not trust in their physical conditions. They trusted in God the Creator and believed He would help them. For they trusted in such a great and mighty God, consequently a great and strong power which could frighten the world came out of them and their names could be written in the Bible as heroes.
So were many warriors of truth such as Apostles Paul and Peter. Trusting in God only, they preached the gospel of the new covenant even in the face of death. They boldly preached Christ and His truth, resisting the wicked blasphemers by flatly saying that it was right to obey God rather than men.
God wants us to say “Yes” about what is right, and “No” about what is wrong. He wishes us to overcome with this courage all persecution, trials and blasphemes of this world.
A tumbling doll stands back up when we knock it over, because it has a balance weight. Like the tumbler, we should have a balance weight, God, in our hearts, so that we can stand upright again and overcome any kind of outside pressure.
Though our enemy the devil sets his traps of deception, mobilizing the men of power, God of great and mighty power is with us and leads us. What shall we fear? God is our stronghold and shield. We should be very proud of doing the gospel work with the source of great power.
God is our captain, who controls and leads the ship of Zion. On our voyage there might be little waves because of a great typhoon. However, our ship of Zion will never sink; rather, it will continue its voyage with all speed toward the kingdom of heaven, our destination.
“… and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Ac 1:8
We are the witnesses of Jesus’ new name who is the Savior in this last age. We absolutely trust in God, and we will perform our mission of preaching the Christ until the last day. In our daily life, we must enlighten this dark world through the light of the gospel as children of light.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations … and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”Mt 28:16-20
Proclaiming God, we come to realize that we can do nothing when we trust in our own wisdom and ability. When we preach the gospel to boast of our own knowledge and wisdom, the fruit of the gospel falls down soon. At the moment we think we made it by ourselves, the spirit of God leaves us.
We should have the same faith as Joshua and Caleb had. We should have the faith David and Paul had. When we realize that the gospel is preached by God’s power and we trust in God, we will overcome persecution and spread over the world the aroma of Christ like myrrh. Then this world will not be worthy of our faith.
Regarding us as heretics, they are busy slandering us. They have no room for the new and the true. We can overcome them when we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit abundantly and love one another in Zion and live according to God’s word.
The more wind blows, the higher a kite goes up. Like this, the more the wind of persecution blows, the more quickly the fire of the gospel spreads. We must not commit the foolishness of regarding our good circumstances like a desert or wilderness rather than as a blessing. Though we face some difficult situations and circumstances, let us regard them like Eden and give thanks to God. Think of the Apostle Paul. He planted many seeds of the gospel so that they could fully blossom and bear fruit. We shall all be like him, being praised in heaven as heroes of the Bible.
Whenever Apostle Paul visited a foreign country to preach the gospel, he told himself and his fellow workers, “Let’s make a new start. This is a good place to start.” Wherever he went, the gospel increased and spread. He made disciples of many nations and taught them to obey the words of Christ, and he was greatly blessed.
Let us, too, make a new start. Depending on God who is great and strong, let us preach God’s word wherever we go.
An alarm clock may annoy us, but it makes us awake and rise. Likewise, difficulties and persecution before us awaken our sleeping souls and accelerate the speed of the gospel. Brothers and sisters! Let us trust completely in God, so that we can become great and strong; and let us fight the good fight of the gospel as conquerors.