Now we are to look unto YESHUA, the author and finisher of our faith. We have to keep our eyes on Him. He will show us what to do next. He will be able to warn us and say, 'Watch out!' By His Spirit He'll be able to alert us, 'There's an attack coming on your left flank.' Or, sometimes, He gives a dream. Have you ever been warned by a dream? In our text above from Matthew chapter 2 and verse 13, Joseph was warned in a dream to flee the wrath of Herod.
Sometimes you and I have a dream in which we say something we wish we had never said. When we wake up [or we do something we wish we had never done]; we wake up and we find, 'Thank GOD it was a dream!' Why did GOD let us have that dream? It was to warn us. 'My child, watch out for this. Watch out that you don't do it.' And that dream has made such an impression on us, we are careful what we say; we watch our tongues. We are careful what we do. The dream has been a warning from GOD.
Sometimes someone else will make a chance remark. They don't know, but it hits home, and it's really a word from GOD to us. The LORD is the Captain of our Salvation, and He is looking out for us. He's warning us of the ambush, whatever it might be, to protect us. We look to Him. And the result is, we stand; we are able to stand.
'That you may be able to withstand in the evil day; and having done all, to stand.' No retreat! In fact, this is encouraging, the devil can't make you do anything; he can only urge you and impel you and tempt you; but he can't make you do anything. If you say, 'In the Name of YESHUA I refuse!' There is nothing he can do. In the Name of YESHUA!
In James, Chapter 1; the Letter of James, Chapter 1, we read why it is we fall. It's really our own fault. We give way to what is said, or what is called by our rabbis, 'yetzer ha-ra'; the evil impulse. The child of GOD has it in him to resist. Now let's look at James, Chapter 1, verse 13:
'Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by GOD.' For GOD cannot be tempted by evil; nor does He Himself tempt any one. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires, and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.'
There are some times, in our lives, where we have to fight off more than once, more than twice. We have to keep coming back; and many times we fall. But the important thing is to keep fighting. We may lose a battle, but you will win the war. There are some sins that are easier to overcome than others. But we must never give up fighting back; even though we may be brought to our knees; even though we may fall. We must keep on fighting.
The evil day spoken of here is an unusual time of distress, when everything happens. 'It never rains, but it pours!' As we read in Ecclesiastes 12:
'The clouds return after the rain;'things are bad; things look desperate. Unusual distress of circumstances might be distress of conscience; when we are besieged with all kinds of thoughts. Sometimes the devil will try and tempt GOD's people by hurling thoughts. Here you are, you've just woken up in the morning; you haven't had time to collect your thoughts together, and suddenly a barrage of evil thoughts comes at you. Where does it come from? If you're wise, you will realize that it is the devil trying to swamp you before you have had a chance to get your wits together. The thing is, he tries to make you think you're guilty; it's you who are thinking those thoughts. No it isn't. You haven't had time really to wake up. He takes advantage of you in your weakness. Or when you're sick and your health is low; that's the time for discouragement. Even John the Baptist, although he had said,
'Behold, the Lamb of GOD, which takes away the sin of the world.' When he was in prison, in that cold dungeon; cold, sick, hungry, thirsty, without any sunshine to cheer him; he began to give way to doubt, and he sent his disciples to ask YESHUA,
'Are you He that should come, or should we look for another?'
As someone said, 'You can't stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from making a nest in your hair.' What you do is say, 'In the Name of YESHUA, I disown these thoughts; I reject them; I pray GOD to forgive me if in any way, I have given way to them.' Don't yield!
'Resist the devil and he will flee from you.' He tries to spoil your day. It's a lovely day and you are looking forward to it, and he wrecks it from the start. But in the Name of the LORD, you can reclaim your day. Stand in the evil day spoken of here, and,
'Having done all, to stand.' That is, having done all by way of preparation, and now, actual conflict.
Let's look at Proverbs, Chapter 20:
'Every purpose is established by counsel; by wise counsel, wage war.' How are we to get that wise counsel? It is by being rooted and grounded in the Messiah.