Sometimes life leaves us filling overwhelmed. We look at the circumstances around us and instantly see defeat. Thankfully for the nation of Judah, when the Assyrians came knocking, Judah had a king on the throne who “did right in the sight of the Lord.” At this time in Judah’s history, Hezekiah was king in Judah and Sennacherib was king of Assyria. Sennacherib entered Judah and made camp against the fortified cities of Judah.
As Christians, we face off against the enemy called Satan and all his army of demons who are constantly aiming their bows at us with their fiery darts aimed right at our most venerable areas. We no sooner defend ourselves against one before another is already zinging through the air to find it’s mark. Sometimes, if feels as if we are defending ourselves against multiple fiery darts at once. As Hezekiah looked out at the vast Assyrian army, he and the people of Judah had to be overwhelmed and afraid. Like Hezekiah and the people of Judah, we have two choices to make: surrender in defeat or allow God to fight for us. When Hezekiah saw the Assyrian army, he went into action to protect his nation with four strategies that we can apply to our own lives as we face the battles that Satan brings to our doorsteps.
First, Hezekiah commanded his leaders and commanders to stop up the water from the springs that were outside the city – cutting off the water supply for Sennacherib’s army – and built a tunnel that would send the water inside the fortified city so the people of Judah had plenty of water. When we are feeling overwhelmed, we need to look for the areas of our lives where we need to stop up extra and unnecessary activities so that we can spend more time focusing on the living water of Christ. Whether the cause and source of our “overwhelmed moment” is of our own doing or not, we can at least temporarily stop some of the activities that claim our attention and use that time for prayer and Bible study, seeking God’s will, claiming His promises, and drawing on His strength. By stopping up the unnecessary activities and focusing on the living water, we leave Satan and his minions dry while our thirst for the living God is being satisfied and our faith is being renewed so that we have the strength to stand in the battle.
When we are feeling overwhelmed, we need to look for the areas of our lives where we need to stop up extra and unnecessary activities so that we can spend more time focusing on the living water of Christ. — click to tweet
Second, Hezekiah strengthened himself so that he would be battle ready. He built up the wall that was broken, added another wall outside, repaired another fortification called the Millo, and made weapons and shields in abundance. In Ephesians 6, Paul tell us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might and that we are to put on the full armor of God so that we can withstand the wiles of the devil because we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. With the Armor of God, we are able to stand. This armor includes the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. These pieces of armor include five components of defensive armor and only one offensive weapon. But if we are going to “put them on,” then we need to know how they work. Let’s look at how each of these pieces of armor helps us fight Satan:
Belt of Truth: The belt of the Roman’s soldier’s armor is the piece that holds all the other pieces in place. For the Christian, Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life. We find all the truth we need to fight against Satan when we face off his lies with the truth of God’s word and it is these truths that set us free from Satan’s lies. Satan wants us to believe that we have no hope, that we could never measure up to be good enough for God, that we are sinful and could never merit God’s grace. But the truth of God’s love and Jesus’ sacrificial death, burial and resurrection sets us free from sin and give us eternal life.
Breastplate of righteousness: For the Roman soldier, the breastplate covered the heart and provided protection to it and other vital organs. For the Christian, Christ’s righteousness protects us from Satan’s accusations and charges. It is only the righteousness of Jesus (not our own!) that is given to us when we accept Him as our Savior that covers and protects us.
Shoes of the gospel of peace: Any soldier marching into battle needs strong, dependable, comfortable shoes. For the Christian, Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.” 1 John 2:6 tells us that if we abide in Jesus, we ought to also walk just as Jesus walked. Satan is constantly trying to set up traps and obstacles to get us off course. But as we set our feet on the paths that God has given us, using the Word of God to light our way, we can advance the Kingdom of God as we obey the orders He has given us and keep steadily walking forward.
As we set our feet on the paths that God has given us, using the Word of God to light our way, we can advance the Kingdom of God as we obey the orders He has given us and keep steadily walking forward. –click to tweet
Shield of faith: Out of all six pieces of armor, Paul says, “Above all…take the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” Our faith defends the blows of doubt and temptation that Satan hurls at us continually. Our faith will keep us steadfast in our walk with Christ. Romans 12:3 tells us that God gives each one of us a measure of faith. As we depend on Him, our faith will grow and become a shield that protect us and enables us to live a victorious life
Helmet of Salvation: Our minds is one of the most venerable parts for Satan to attack. Satan wants us to doubt. He wants us to doubt our Salvation, that God is real, that God could love someone like me, that I’ve done too much bad for God to save me. The Helmet of Salvation protect our minds when we have sure knowledge of our salvation. Once we have settled it, we can come back to the promises of 1 John 1:9 and 1 John 5:11-12. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 5:11-12 tells us, “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life.” We can memorize these verses and others like them so that when Satan wants to throw the fiery darts of doubts, we can throw back the promises of God.
Sword of the Spirit: This is the only piece of our armor that is an offense piece. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s Word is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” When Jesus faced the temptations in the wilderness, he used scripture as his weapon. This is why Bible study is so important for the Christian. You can’t use your sword if you don’t know the truth and power that it contains.
Third, Hezekiah organized his military, setting captains over the people. When we are facing spiritual and physical battles, we need to pray. In Daniel 10:10-14, we find that angels are assigned to represent and protect the nations. In a similar way, Matthew 18:10 teaches that angels are assigned to represent believers to God and that these angels have access to the heavenly throne and constantly present our needs to Gods. Psalm 103:20-21 says, “Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will.” Psalm 34:7 says, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” The angels make up God’s army, and they are activated by our prayers. Daniel 10:12-14 says, “Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one day; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” Angels stand at the throne of God waiting to do His bidding and when we pray, God dispatches the angels to fight on our behalf or work out a need that we have. When Daniel was praying, an answer to his prayer was delayed by 21 days by an evil supernatural being and the arch angel, Michael, had to come to help him defeat the demon. Just as Hezekiah organized his army, our prayers organize and activate God’s army.
Lastly, Hezekiah gathered the people to him and to remind them that Assyria was no match for the strength of Yahweh. Because of the strength of Yahweh, the people had no need to be afraid or dismayed. Their courage and strength was found in God. All the Persian King had on his side was his mighty and vast army – but the people of Judah had the Almighty God on their side. Because God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we can know that the same Almighty God is on our side. Just as he fought for the people of Judah, He will fight for us. We need to take time to reflect on times in the past where God has fought for us and give Him the honor and glory for how He worked all things out for our good.
However, over and over again in the history of Israel and Judah, we see God fight when the people are humbly surrendered to God, honoring Him with their worship, and following after only Him. Whenever they strayed into idol worship and turned away from God, the people met with defeat in the battles they faced. If you feel like you are losing the battle, you may want to spend some time in prayer asking God to reveal to you any sin in your life, confess it, and repent from it. Like Hezekiah, we need to be a people “who did right in the sight of the Lord.” Then we need to suit up in our God-given armor, pray, and allow God to fight the battle for us.
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Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.