This weekend I was reading Daniel 7, regarding the antichrist. Without getting into the ins and outs of eschatology, and speculating on whether we are in fact, in the "end times" or not, I just wanted to share a verse that caught my attention. Verse 25 of Daniel 7 says of the antichrist:
"He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law;" (NASB translation)
We may not know who the antichrist will be or when he will appear, but we do know who he will be working for and where he will derive his power. From the same enemy we face- Satan. It is interesting to me that he will "wear down the saints." The NIV renders it "oppress," but it is from the Hebrew word "bala" or "bela" which means "wear away" or "to afflict," and literally means "to wear out as one would wear out a garment." The verse refers to what the future antichrist will do, but very much points to what his Boss, and our enemy is up to at this very moment- wearing us ("the saints"- followers of Christ) out! The question in the study I was doing asked, "How does Satan attempt to oppress you?" It occurred to me that I most often get "worn out" at the seams, just like my favorite jean jacket (pictured above). I am most likely to wear out at the point of tension, and what's holding me together gets stressed. And if what's holding me together is me, then there will inevitably be a rip. Then a tear. Then a gaping hole. It can be revealing. And it isn't pretty.
But that need not be the case for a follower of Christ. Romans 13:14 says to "Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ." Not only that, as a believer I can put on the full armor of God. Add to that that I'm lined and filled with the Holy Spirit, and I've got wear-proof, tear-proof spiritual clothing! Satan knows he can't truly wear me out, but he can, for short seasons, fool me into thinking I'm coming apart at the seams, wearing thin, flying by the seat of my pants, or coming unraveled.
That's when I must come before the One who knit me together in the first place. Let Him repair my holey-ness so that I might walk in His holiness. Allow Him to replace my self-willed stitching with His threads of grace, according to His perfect pattern for my life. Try as he might, the enemy can't irreparably alter what isn't his, whether it's the "times" or the "laws,"... or me.
"Pierce my weak areas with your Word, Father. Thread the seams of my soul with your truth. Search me and know my anxious thoughts which so quickly become my points of tension and lead to holes in my thinking and openings for the enemy. Help me to put on love, above all else, as love is the very essence of Who You are. Lord, you hem me in- behind and before. You have laid Your hand upon me. Oh, how I love You. Amen."