Devotion: Who can be against you?
I told you the other day that my father was quite the serious man growing up, but he wasn’t serious all the time. There were occasions when his inner-jokester was exposed.
In moments such as these, one of Dad’s favorite things to do was fake an injury for a few seconds, only to burst into laughter at the look of horror on his concerned children’s faces.
“Ha! Got you,” he’d laugh, pointing his finger, abandoning his phony limp, standing upright and breaking character. I would giggle, equally relieved and amused.
As a young girl, Dad’s brothers, regular court jesters, entertained me and my siblings every time we saw them. Uncle Frankie, in particular, kept me engrossed by doing the same trick: magically pulling the quarter from behind his ear. For years, this unoriginal, tried-and-true shtick, worked.
I’m not sure at what age it clicked for me that Uncle Frankie couldn’t actually perform magic and Dad wasn’t really ailing, but once I knew the truth, I’d politely play along, though wholly unamused.
Children are much easier to impress and captivate, aren’t they? With maturity, our ideas and responses to things change. In 2 Kings 2:23-24, we see a picture of youthful immaturity.
The Bible says, “From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. ‘Get out of here, baldy!’ they said. ‘Get out of here, baldy!’ He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.”
Yikes! That seems a bit harsh, right?
I first heard this story in church as a child and it terrified me! I thought if I mocked the man of God, bears would come and eat me. But that is not the right conclusion to draw from this passage.
In Hebrew, the word for boys here is “Naar,” which is used to denote young men, servants, and even soldiers. Also, when scripture says these young men jeered and mocked Elisha, the Hebrew word is “Galas,” which is a type of scornful belittlement of a person or thing. It reflects an attitude that devalues someone or something of great value.
These immature, spiritually rebellious young men, under satanic influence, were coming against the ministry of God’s anointed. They had zero respect for Elisha’s ministry or divine authority. They ordered him to “go away” as he was trying to enter the city of Bethel. But they had no authority to block Elisha from doing what God anointed and destined him to do, just as Satan has no authority to block you from your divine place of destiny.
Friend, whenever you’re doing the work of God don’t be surprised when the enemy shows up to stop you. Just know it won’t work. In Acts 5:17-42, Jewish officials got jealous of all the miracles, signs and wonders Peter and the apostles were performing by the power of the Holy Spirit. So they arrested them, threw them in jail and attempted to shut down the ministry.
But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was a highly-respected teacher of the law, stood up before the elders of Israel, and reminded them of two men, Theudas and Judas. These guys previously tried to lead a revolt, but both were killed and their followers were scattered.
After giving those examples, Gamaliel said something so powerful in verses 38-39. He told the Jewish elders, “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
Obviously, what Peter and the apostles started is still going strong today, because it was a move of God. Satan couldn’t stop it! And Satan can’t stop you either, because you belong to God. You are His anointed vessel. He is using you for His glory. The enemy doesn’t have permission to take you down. He can’t defeat you.
So remember, the next time Satan rears his ugly head, he has to contend with God, and we know the Lord has an undefeated record. Whatever the attack is—whether it be physical, financial, spiritual, emotional, or relational—it is designed to do one thing: come against your Kingdom assignment. Therefore, it will be an epic fail.
Instead of worrying, start speaking the word of God over your life. Declare that everything good God has said will happen. The promises He has spoken will manifest. Tell yourself, though the fight has been intense, the Lord fights for me.
He is on your side. He is for you. “And if God be for you,” Romans 8:31 says, “who can be against you?” Have no doubt and no fear; God will take care of you despite the setbacks, trials and troubles you face. He is not moved, surprised or intimidated by trouble. God knew you would be in this place before you got here.
To remind you that you are victorious, I’m stirring Jeremiah 1:19 ESV into your cup of inspiration, which says, “They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, rejoice, despite being under attack. Since God has promised to deliver you, who can be against you? Since He has promised to fight for you, who can be against you? Since He has promised to make you victorious in all things, who can be against you?
The One who is faithful to deliver has promised that no weapon for formed against you—His servant and beloved—will prosper.
Rest and don’t worry.
God, thank You that, even though I am under attack and the enemy has come against me forcefully, he is no match for Your power. I will not worry about the forces that oppose me, because You are for me. And because You are for me, there is no power greater than You, so I will not be defeated. In Jesus’ name, Amen.