Spotlight 09/2016: You are not alone
Battles are exhausting. Whether we are talking about the classic physical fight or the confrontation of two minds, it makes no difference. District Apostle Michael Deppner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo shows us whom we can count on for support.
A few years ago we had the opportunity to accompany our Chief Apostle and the District Apostles to Jerusalem. I was moved when we got to the entrance of the Garden of Gethsemane and I noticed an inscription on a wall containing words of Jesus to Peter: “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?” (Matthew 26: 40).
The prophet Elijah was a relentless fighter for God. Yet he also had his moments where he felt completely alone. It was at these times that he spoke to his God—and God came to Elijah. It was not in a spectacular way. Remember, the Lord was not in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire. He was in a still small voice.
We are not alone
What did the voice say to him? We read in 1 Kings 19 that God told him what he had to do and reminded Elijah he was not alone. God had reserved 7,000 in Israel who had not bowed down to the enemy.
Circumstances that we live through often make us feel that we are alone in our struggles and battles. Sometimes we are physically isolated and really alone. And at other times we could be surrounded by thousands and yet feel that we are the only ones fighting. Those on whom we have counted are not there, and we feel as though we have been abandoned.
The Spirit of God teaches us
Nonetheless, a child of God is never alone. As Elijah, we can speak to our heavenly Father. And He will make Himself heard—not necessarily in a spectacular way, but in the still small voice that we can hear from the altar of Christ, or through a brother or a sister, or sometimes even through a stranger. The Holy Spirit dwells in us and bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8: 16).
We learn what we are to do so that we can continue the battle, and He points out to us that we are not alone. Although we sometimes cannot see it, many have similar struggles as we are—and many are there at our side:
- we have our family and those our heavenly Father has surrounded us with.
- we have our brothers and sisters in the congregation—both here as well as in the beyond.
- we have our rector, the youth leader, the Sunday School teacher, the choir leader; they are called bearers of blessing, but they are also bearers of arms and weapons of faith, the greatest of which is prayer.
Jesus Christus ist mit uns
We have Christ, who will be with us always (Matthew 28: 20). He said of Himself: “The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him” (John 8: 29). .
Perhaps we are not perfect, but that will not stop us from battling for perfection. We are children of the Most High, and we continue to strive to do His will. Together with Christ, our heavenly Father will be with us and help us in our battles.