It's conference time again - the network of pastors, missionaries, and church leaders will meet for three days of spiritual renewal, business, and friendship building. We always enjoy the conference, and this year I don't have to work at it. (Another perk to not being part of the alumni team at NU.)
Many of us have been believers for a long time. Some of us recently began following Christ. Some will be ecstatic at victories won and plans accomplished. Others will be bruised and battered by conflict and battles.
Somewhere along the walk of faith, we are waylaid by enemies. Those who are Christians for a while expect occasional ambushes from people who find us intolerant or inflexible when we don't embrace their ideas (though they hardly embrace ours.) We may skirmish with fellow believers who disagree with us or want to persuade us they have heard from God and we have not.
Hardest of all is when we engage the enemy within. Bad habits, laziness, or wrong attitudes leak out of our flawed humanity to soil our relationships, spoil our ministry, or block God's offer of abundant living.
That's when we loudly call upon the LORD. We depend on his perfect and loving provision in Christ. And we are saved from our enemies, even when the worst enemy is our fallen nature and worldview.
*“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. 2 Samuel 22:2-4 NKJV
*Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. Psalm 125:1-2 NIV
*I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:26-28 NIV