Don’t Retreat

In Judges 11, the people of Israel made Jephthah their ruler out of fear of the Ammonites. The king of Ammon told the Israelites that they had stolen his people’s land 300 years before when they came out of Egypt and he wanted it back. Jephthah replied that the Israelites wanted to pass through that land peaceably, but were denied. The Ammonite king attacked them first and they retaliated. Then in verse 23 he said, “So you see, it was the LORD, the God of Israel, who took away the land from the Amorites and gave it to Israel. Why, then, should we give it back to you?” (NLT)

I love the question, “Why should we give it back to you?” In our lives, we have fought to move forward. We have struggled at times to gain ground, to climb out of holes we’ve been in. It’s never easy to move forward after you’ve been defeated and have been in retreat. Each of us have been there in life. We’ve lost ground, and then we’ve gained it back over time as we continue to move forward with our lives.

Over time, we can forget how truly difficult the struggle was to move forward. I remember the moment that I decided that I wasn’t giving up any more ground. I wrote “The bottom” on my calendar, and decided that I would no longer go backwards. I determined that no matter how hard it was, I would crawl out of the hole I found myself in. I refused to go down any further in my life. I had hit the bottom and it was time to advance.

So why now, years later, would I give up ground I have already won? Why would I allow myself to go back into that hole? The enemy wants each of us to go back in there. He wants to get us back into that dark place where we once were. But we have already been given the victory by God. It was He who led us out of the darkness into His marvelous light. So don’t give up land that God has given you. Refuse to go back into the dark hole the enemy wants to keep you in. Don’t give up ground already won. God is still on your side and will fight for you if you ask Him to.

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