Come Hell or High Water
I have been reading through the book of Isaiah which is one of my favourite books in the Old Testament. The Lord keeps bringing me back to messages on: spiritual stamina, perseverance and determination, whether it be through recent examples with family and friends or my own circumstances.
I’m sure we have all heard the phrase Come Hell or High Water, which means “If you say that you will do something come hell or high water, you mean that you are determined to do it, despite any difficulties that there might be.”
Isaiah 43:2-3 (NIV) declares, “When you pass through the waters, I will be there with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”
We further read in Isaiah 54:10 (NIV), “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant (binding promise) of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” I especially love how this verse ends with a reminder that Christ has compassion, meaning to have sympathy, concern for the suffering or misfortune of others.
How many times do we find ourselves at battle with the physical evidence (unseen) vs. spiritual evidence (unseen). I’m sure we can testify that this is one of the greatest challenges in our Christian faith. To hope for, trust in, and have faith in something that is yet to manifest in physical form such as a job, salvation of a loved, healing for your body, financial reprieve, etc. To persevere in prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. Simply put, not matter how bad things are, don’t stop praying! The devil wants to muzzle your voice in warfare and in worship, but I challenge you to be the lioness or the lion in prayer.
Often, in order to be deliberate even when spiritual fatigue sets in, we must push through by means of self-talk or self-determination speaking words like: “Come hell or high water I will push through until I see this manifestation activated in my life because I know that God is for me not against me, God is with me, God will uplift me with his righteous right hand, and He will bless me just as He promised.” One of the greatest strategies of the enemy is to deplete us mentally so that we can then become dry, frail and susceptible to fall into depression, self-pity, bitterness and anger. However, we know that prayer is the point of “hell or high water” in seeing mountains move for it was Job 9:5 (NIV) that says, “it is God who removes the mountains, they know not how…”. There are at least 17 instances in the Bible where speaking to mountains, declaring they be removed or actively praying for God to intervene so breakthrough could take place.
My readers, I know these are difficult times. Life is not easy, surviving is not easy, making ends meet to provide for your families is not easy, building wholesome relationships is not easy, putting all your hope and faith in Christ when things seem to be unraveling is not easy. I know!
Last year, I wrote a two-part series about how after 10 years of battling with a kidney disease, God healed me. My diagnosis looked hopeless, doctors even spoke hopelessness over my life and to my parents. This is just one example of some of my desperate prayers coupled with determination and fight. It was my “come hell or high water” attitude that propelled me to see my circumstance change. I knew God was faithful, truthful and loving and that is what kept my family and I grounded when it would have been much easier to give up. But say we had given up? Would I have seen my breakthrough? I wonder about this often. So, when I say I know the difficulties of life…. we all have ways of identifying with one another even though circumstances are different for each of us.
We are being refined through our hardships to become better men and women of God. Though it may not seem like such in present form, there will soon be evidence of “all things working together for good to them that love God” Romans 8:28 (NIV). Perhaps the result may not be as you hoped, or at least not immediately, but Abba Father would never allow an opportunity for a good fight, if not for a divine purpose. Think on that for a moment…
There is a reason God informs us to daily put on the Armour of Christ. The first instruction starts with the helmet of salvation which protects our mind (thought process). It is in times of great challenge where our minds run helter skelter and brings forth disillusion, assumption, distorted narratives, worry and fear. This is a reminder that we need God daily: minute by minute, hour by hour. To renew our mind is as simple as asking the Lord to re-align our thoughts so we may be centre on Him first. Let me pass on a great tip that my good friend uses to remind me: “breathe in peace and breathe out unrest (repeat)”.
I am thankful for the personal reminder “to count it all as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order so that I may gain Christ” Philippians 3:8-9 (ESV). In short, to not have a faith in Christ during these times of testing is to live a rubbish (or littered) life with unending turmoil. Trust in the Lord your God because He orders your every step. Keep praying, keep pushing, keep standing, keep fighting dear ones. It’s not over yet!