When you’re fighting a major battle, you definitely want to choose your partners wisely. Having the right partner on your side can be the determining factor between winning and losing.
One valuable lesson I learned in the US Marines was this – it doesn’t always matter HOW BIG your team is.
What does matter is WHO is on your team, their level of commitment, training and determination. One of the symbols of the Marine Corps is a snarling bulldog. The bulldog is not the largest of canines, to be sure. But it is not the size of the dog in the fight that truly matters; but the size of the fight in the dog!
When you’re facing a battle, a strong partner is an incredible asset. You may think that if I’m facing a fight I’d love to have a battalion of US Marines at my side. Actually, allow me to suggest a much more formidable partner.
Today’s verse is taken from Psalm 118, and says THE LORD IS ON MY SIDE, I WILL NOT FEAR.
Let’s explore that verse in slices.
Yes, that’s right – THE Lord. Not one of many, not even the best of the bunch. THE ! As in “the only one.”
THE Lord spoke the universe into existence.
THE Lord transforms those who believe and obey Him.
THE Lord holds the future in His hands, and promises me the rewards of heaven.
THE all-powerful, all-knowing God who is present in every place I set my foot.
Yeah – HIM !!!!
THE LORD IS ON MY SIDE
HE is on MY SIDE.
Think about it for a moment. He who has chosen me has chosen to be with me and on my side! And He will do the same for you. He doesn’t promise that the battle will be easy, He promises that the victory will be won. He knows that everyone in this world will die a physical death, but He promises those who give their lives to Him will receive eternal life in His presence. Death smiles at everyone — but followers of Jesus SMILE BACK.
He trains our hands for war, and allows us to fight battles of faith for the souls of those who are TRULY dying around us. There are people who will never be drawn to a life of faith unless they see you living your faith with vibrancy and joy. There are people who will never be told that Jesus died to set them free from their sin unless you share the Good News of salvation with them. YOU may be the only Gospel that someone ever knows.
Is that going to be a battle? Most certainly. The first battle will be one of preparation, learning how to simply share your faith in Christ in an effective manner. The second battle will be within yourself, summoning the courage to speak out about your faith. The final battle will be with the enemy of our souls, as he fights to maintain his hold on the person with whom you chose to speak about Christ.
But these are not battles we are called to face or fight alone. THE LORD IS ON MY SIDE !!! He equips, leads and strengthens. He is with me. He is with you.
I WILL NOT FEAR
And so, we are called to make a decision. I WILL indicates a choice to be made. Exerting internal strength by an act of my will is a decision intended to lead to action.
Fear is a paralytic. It stops us in our tracks. Hence the need for us to REMEMBER that THE LORD is ON OUR SIDE — and therefore to MAKE THE DECISION that will allow us to serve Him well ….
I WILL NOT FEAR.
I WILL NOT — though there will be plenty of opportunities to do so.
I WILL NOT — because His grace is sufficient for all He calls me to do.
I WILL NOT — be stopped when the enemy attacks me with fear. Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death; and to keep saying I WILL NOT FEAR.
It has been said that assuming a Marine by himself is outnumbered can be a very dangerous mistake.
I’ll bet God says the same thing of a Christian. The FIRST wrong assumption is that the Christian is “by himself” or “by herself” – for that is NEVER the case. Christ has promised NEVER to leave us or forsake us, so being alone is not possible. The SECOND wrong assumption is that we might be outnumbered. One believer standing with God by their side is A MAJORITY.
The road we are called to walk may not be easy. But sweat dries, blood clots and bones heal. So do hearts broken by pain. So we press on, always being led in victory by the One who walks by our side.
We press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us. And He is with us as we do.
Both the US Marines and THE LORD are formidable partners. But I know which one I choose.
THE LORD IS ON MY SIDE, I WILL NOT FEAR.