David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
1 Samuel 17:45, NIV*

Other translations render “the LORD Almighty” as “the Lord of Hosts” or “the Lord of Armies.” A devotional in the Names of God Bible makes the new-to-me point that this doesn’t just mean the warriors of heaven, but the forces of nature and the physical earth. And people. You and me.

Because I’m confident in God’s love, I find courage in verses that remind me of His strength and authority. Like the angelic army that stood ready to defend the prophet Elisha. Like the storm quieting at Jesus’ command.

When anxiety seeps into my spirit I fight it with deliberate focus on God, determined praise for who He is and what He does. Music helps. The other day when I was struggling, He pierced the oppression with the song “You Shine”.

These are battles we can’t fight on our own, although we’re called to give our best effort. I’m learning that as I do my part, the Holy Spirit is so ready to meet me there. Not always right away, but if I persist He’ll eventually make His presence known. He’s there all along, but I can’t grow if I don’t practice depending on Him even when He’s silent.

Mighty God, Lord of Hosts, who loves us, thank You for the promise that You are with us. Thank You for Your light in our hearts and your grace that frees us. We’re under Your authority and Your protection. Our times are in Your hands. Help us not to fear, but to trust and obey. And I praise You for the many times and ways You rescue us from anxiety and despair. You are good, and worthy of worship.

Here’s Brian Doerksen’s “You Shine.” Let it anchor you in God’s strength.

*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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