2 Timothy 4:16-18 – “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also, I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” NKJV
In life, everyone has battles, everyone! Some attempt to deny their existence but they exist. Some, desire such anonymity and privacy they never confess their struggles or the need of help from anyone and fight alone. Some have a false sense of their importance and strength and believe they need no one, so they fight alone. In the spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, or political fighting alone is a flawed philosophy that results in defeat or delayed victory. It produces hurt, wounds, casualties, and difficulties that might well have been avoided by being UNITED with others of like precious faith.
I am cognizant of the importance of developing ability, courage, confidence, and trust as we endure the struggles of life. There are some battles no one can fight for us, although they can stand with us in prayer, the battle is ours. David knew what it was like to stand alone, or without human help as a shepherd. It was his responsibility to defend the sheep with his life, if necessary, and he did as he defeated the lion and the bear. Those events, inspired trust, and confidence in his heart that God to be that friend of Proverbs 18:24, who ‘sticks closer than a brother.’ Thus, when he was faced with his epic battle with Goliath the Philistine champion his words express the root of his confidence and awareness that he was NEVER ALONE. When Goliath expressed anger over being disrespected by Israel for sending out a boy to fight him, David, revealed the heart of a warrior who knew an inner secret many never know. David said, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you.” (1 Samuel 17:45-46). David was alone but he was not alone!
Elijah felt that intense aloneness after his battle with Jezebel and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel and told the LORD, “I alone am left; they seek my life.” God chastened him and said, “Elijah, Elijah, Elijah, you forget who I am. I have seven thousand in Israel, who have not bowed their knee to Baal and they will stand with you.” (Roy’s paraphrase). YOU ARE NOT ALONE so STOP BEING ALONE! You are not invincible so stop pretending to be. You are not superman or superwoman you need others. Remember the counsel given in Ecclesiastes 4 that two are better than one and that although one may be overpowered by another, two united can withstand and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. When two horses pull in tandem they get the strength of a third invisible horse added to their efforts. Yes, God is with us but there are times when we need to open our hearts and allow others to join our struggle and the multiplied power of unity brings victory. In 2 Chronicles when King Jehoshaphat and Israel were facing sure defeat God said told him to not be afraid because “the battle is not yours, but mine!”
In America, today, in the church, society, and government there is a war raging that is destroying individuals, many of whom, are trying to stand alone. In life, we sometimes face battles in potentially deadly disease and we err if we try to fight that fight alone. The Bible tells us to CALL for the elders. It did not say for the elders to seek us out but for us to open our hearts, acknowledge our need and REQUEST HELP. We need others to join their faith with us to fight the fight before us. In matters, spiritual, if we try to stand alone, we may well be overcome by the immensity of the assault and become discouraged or even so fatigued that we give up and give in. But, if we UNITE with others of like precious faith we form a threefold cord where the one that is down is encouraged, the weak is strengthened, the feeble hands or lifted up, and TOGETHER we win the fight.
In America, we are dangerously divided to the point that even people of faith are at odds with each other. Lasciviousness, selfishness, independence, and pride often prevent our willingness to UNITE with others to combat the destructive plague. When we fight a unified fight, someone must lead otherwise there is chaos but the ultimate head must be Christ. When we fight a unified fight, we must keep our eyes on the true objective rather than succumb to personal preferences and desires. When we fight a unified fight, we commit to the struggle to the end or death as America did in World War II where we determined that it was Victory regardless the cost, sacrifice, struggle, duration, or demand.
Standing alone makes one an easy target and the stress of the battle will fatigue even the hardiest of souls. Discouragement is often the key to defeat but when UNITED one encourages another and the courage of one becomes the courage of all. We, as iron, sharpen the iron of each other and whereas individually we have only so much strength, collectively we have incredible power. That is emphasized in Deuteronomy 32 where we find that one can chase a thousand, and two can put ten thousand to flight. If you extrapolate that you discover that the threefold cord is enormous and the fourth man in the fire provides victorious strength. YOU ARE NOT ALONE so STOP BEING ALONE. We are the BODY of Christ and the UNITED States of America so whether physically, emotionally, spiritually, or politically seek and receive the help and strength of others and most importantly the LORD.
God, bless you richly is my prayer and desire!