Slaying Gladiators

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

I welcome our new Fresh Manna readers from Burnaby British Columbia, Egypt, Munich Germany, Brussels Belgium, Maharashtra India, Kowloon Hong Kong, and Liaoning China. My sincere thanks to you for reading…Pastor Tim

Matthew 1:23. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and He will be called Emmanuel (meaning, God is with us)

If you have every seen the movie Gladiator or any movie with gladiators in them, then you’ve you can picture that epic showdown when the champion gladiator enters the center of the arena to battle with the strongest fighting slave with the intention of destroying him. I think that picture fairly represents how I might feel on occasions when an overwhelming type problem or crisis manifests in my life. It’s like there is the battle going on of anxiety and fear working to destroy every hope and prayer. At some point in life, people face these moments or should I say seasons of inward struggle. It may be over a loss of a job, financial pressures, a relationship breakup or a marital schism, or any number of hurtful situations that arise in your life. At times like this people lose sleep, stop eating or eat too much, make wrong decisions out of emotional distress and say and do things they regret out of that emotional distress.

As a Christian, it isn’t that we don’t encounter these times in our life. But we can find a peace that the Bible describes as the “peace that passes understanding” when there should be none. This is a peace and rest that the world will never understand. I’m not saying it’s easy to come to that place of peace and yet Jesus spoke the words desiring us to know that it’s more than possible in those difficult times. Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 Why would Jesus say that? How could He say that? He would and could say that because of His profound love for you and sincere desire to be with us and help us through every moment of our life. He knows that the circumstances of your life can be overwhelming at time. But He wants you to lay them at His feet, pray in faith that He’ll help you, and then trust Him that He will. He is with you. Seriously! I realize that too many people box Jesus out of their lives except when they need Him. That’s why they have such a hard time believing that He would and does care. But He does, and our unbelief in it isn’t going to change it. He simply loves us. He loves me. He loves you!

I know we just moved past Christmas but a verse that we pass right over that is written on many Christmas cards is one that can have a life-changing effect on our peace – if we let the revelation of it penetrate our heart. It’s the verse Matthew 1:23. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and He will be called Emmanuel (meaning, God is with us). Emmanuel is a description given to Jesus that means “God with us.” God has always described Himself in the present. He described Himself to Moses as “I am” meaning He is now! He is with us now.

When you need help you need it now. There is comfort in knowing that God describes Himself as the God of now. If you evaluate whether Jesus is really with you by what is going on in your circumstances, you’ll be in anxiety and fear and that gladiator will knock you all over the arena and continue to do so till he has won. You’ll lose sleep. He’ll steal your health. He’ll make you an emotional wreck. Instead, He wants us to have faith in His words. In your weariness lay your burdens at his feet and turn them over to Him. Believe He is there at that very moment, and at every future one to walk you through the situation you are facing. Then you will find rest.

God comforts us further with this promise in Psalm 23:4. Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. God’s rod is a weapon of protection. His staff is to lean upon. In other words, your sincere heart faith and rest in Him will result in you knowing that God is with you and will help you.

Emmanuel God with us! What powerful words of peace. Don’t let the enemy – the gladiator of your soul destroy you. You destroy Him. Rebuke him in Jesus name and rest at the feet of Jesus! He is with you and cares for you! He has repeatedly promised so!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
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