The Enemy Will Not Touch You

The Enemy Will Not Touch You

By Rev. Joseph K. Acton

There we were in the sweltering summer heat of Belize. Our mission team went down to lead a Vacation Bible School, something my family and church had done for several summers. One day we had the opportunity to take the day off to explore this amazing country. I decided, along with about ten other leaders and young people, to take a tour of the extensive cave system in Cayo, a system that can only be seen by canoeing down an underground river.

The caves were well known as being sacred burial places of the Maya. A little creepy, yes, but an awesome adventure. For me the most frightening aspect of the adventure was the pitch blackness of the caves watery corridors. The guide had secured a car battery to each canoe which powered our lights. Deep in the cave system, amid the stalagmites and sharp rocks, the guide told us to turn off our lights. We did so and realized how dark, dark can be. It was the darkest, most suffocating blackness I’ve ever experienced. If one were to lose their light, or capsize, it would take a miracle to ever get out again. I imagined the panic of treading water down the many corridors of that cave, without a hairs breath of light.

We turned the lights back on and soon heard a weird chorus of tweets and squeaks . As we looked to the high ceiling of the cave a vast cloud of bats headed right for us. Apparently we were in the cave at the very time the bats flew out to feed as late afternoon and dusk was approaching. These bats were big. An army of them swarmed down flying within inches of our faces. We could hear the “clicks” and “tweets” zoom past our ears and feel the breeze of their wind flaps on cheeks.

So deep into a pitch black cave, with relatively small lights we were swarmed by bats! My impulse was too duck, climb around, waving my arms to protect myself. I would have done so, but the guide yelled out to all of us, Be still! Stay upright or you’ll capsize the canoe! Look straight ahead and keep paddling. They won’t touch you!
I resisted the strongest impulses to protect myself from the horrifying cloud of rodents but I did not move. They’d fly right between my eyes and then at the last moment, swoop away. Not a single one of us was touched by a bat.

I heard them. I saw them. I felt their presence- but I did not react according to my fear. I trusted the guide. And as I paddled and a multitude of bats flew by my face, I began to settle down and trust. They did not touch me. Of the thousands, not one touched me. I was reminded of these words from Scripture, “a thousand shall fall at your right side, ten thousand at your left, but it will not come near you.” My fear dissipated. I relaxed and restfully paddled on.

The bats couldn’t hurt us. But our fears, if obeyed, would. The real threat was not the circumstance we were in - the real threat was our fearful reaction to our circumstances. And that is the story of so many of the conflicts we face in life.

There is a spiritual orientation of the believer toward conflict. Position your life around the assurance of victory and do not contort your life around the bat like fears that sweep over you every day. Don’t try to defend yourself. Your not on the defensive. The devil should defend himself against the heavenly power of the believer in whom Christ dwells!
I love the story of God destroying the enemies of Jehosephat. Jehosephat was told to show up for battle - but that he would not actually have to fight. The Lord would sovereignly destroy his enemies by causing them to attack each other. Although Jeshosephat was terrifyingly out numbered, what did God command him and his army to do as the enemy approached?

He was commanded to sing praises, to give thanks. So they all knelt down in the midst of war and praised God in song, which rose like a concert of victory from the desert sands. Read now what the Lord promises Jehosephat:

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you. 2 Chronicles 20:17

In other words, you will have to face the sources of your conflict but you will not have to fight them. The Lord of Hosts does the fighting.
The next time you lift your hand to pray for a hurting person, filled with the “conflict” of physical, emotional or spiritual pain, remember the victory is already God’s. Face all your fears knowing the Lord is with you to fight and overwhelmingly defeat the enemy.

And when a cloud of anxiety assaults your mind- like bats in a cave of crushing darkness, do not struggle to protect yourself. Do not act according to your fears. Instead let your light shine, look straight ahead to Jesus and keep paddling. THEY WILL NOT TOUCH YOU!

The fear will dissipate and you will breathe easily, and a song of praise may even leave your lips.

--

Rev. Joseph K. Acton was the Keynote Speaker for the 2008 North American Conference, served as Director of Region 7, President of the OSL Board of Directors and now serves as OSL North American Director. Josh is the author of ‘A Powerful Joy: Lessons in Healing’ and co-author of ‘Spirit Walk’.

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The Enemy Will Not Touch You


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