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Jungle Warfare

If racing with mere men has worried you,

how will you race against horses?

If you stumble and fall on open ground,

What will you do in Jordan’s jungles?

Jeremiah 12:5

That scripture was one of our young, much-loved pastor’s favorite verses. I don’t remember too much about his interpretation or his application, only that he prefaced his message this way: “You thought this was a tough battle, that you were having a rough time now? Just wait until you hit the jungle!” And some of us know from personal experiences what God was saying through the “weeping” prophet.

God informed Jeremiah that He had appointed him to be His prophet before he was even born! [1] And Jeremiah, much like Moses, tried to reason with God and talk Him into changing the plans He had for him. “I’m just a kid, Lord! I don’t know how to speak, what to say, what to do. I’m too young! I’m just not Your man for this job!” [ 2] God didn’t change His mind and “reluctant” Jeremiah preached for forty years to the people of Judah, all the while enduring loneliness, opposition, beatings, and imprisonments. But he could not be silent because the Lord had appointed him.” [3]

I’m so very glad that God included some of His chosen men who don’t measure up to our high expectations. God tried to placate Jeremiah, Don’t be afraid of them, for I’m with you to take care of you. [4] I know, Jeremiah didn’t have the power of the indwelling Spirit like we do, and because of this power within, we tell ourselves and others that we should “be perfect,” allowing Jesus to face those catastrophic battles in the jungle for us. I can’t see the enemy! There are too many places for him to hide! It’s too dense. I keep hearing sounds but where is he? I can’t do it! I’ve lost my way!

Then someone points to “paragon” Paul and says, “here is the way we’re supposed to face those hard places in our life! Paul did it! We can do it!” Have you ever read Paul’s statements in II Corinthians 1:8? For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life: Jungle warfare! Paul was ready to quit! He had “despaired of life!” Yes, he acknowledges that the power of Christ was the answer in the next verse, but Paul was going through what his predecessor, Jeremiah, had gone through, and that is now a part of my life and perhaps your life.

All of that to say what, Anabel? That’s it all right to yell “uncle”sometimes!

Believers don’t have to constantly put on their “Pollyanna” hat. Yes, it helps to sing one of your favorite songs, to whistle “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” but does Christ expect me to “whistle” as my daughter lies in a comatose state after overdosing? As my husband is dying? As my house burns down? As my marriage falls apart and my children are emotionally ripped apart, torn between giving their allegiance to mom or dad? When the doctor says, “There’s nothing else we can do”?

No. He doesn’t expect that. He made us! He knows our hearts are broken. He tells us that we are going to have heavy burdens [5] and exhorts us to help each other when those heavy burdens fall. [6] So what are we to do? We stand tall, shoulders back, chin up, determination in every step, and exhibit strength to meet this tragedy. My strength? No way. It is His “superhuman” strength through me.

In quietness and trusting is your strength. [7]

We are quietly trusting. There may be tear streaks on our cheeks and a longing for release in our hearts, but His strength will win’He promised me it would. We will stand! [8] And it’s true. I know. I’m learning about this jungle warfare. It is tough, but I’m still standing!

[1] Jeremiah 1:5

[2] Jeremiah 1:6: He began his ministry when he was about twenty years old.

[3] Jeremiah 1:10, 20:9

[4] Jeremiah 1:8

[5] John 16:33

[6] Galatians 6:2

[7] Isaiah 30:15(b)

[8] Romans 14:4

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.