Our faith and energy can be absorbed when our focus is turned from the power strengtheners to power stealers. Once a man had an opportunity to ask a lion trainer a question he had held for many years. As a boy going to the circus, the man had watched the trainers in the cage with the dangerous cats. He wondered about the tools the man carried into the cage. He had a whip in his hand, a gun on his belt, and a four-legged stool.
It was easy to understand the whip and the gun. A cat that made the wrong move would pay a price. But what about the stool?
The trainer explained that the stool was his most important tool. When he put that stool in front of a big cat, it tried to focus on all four legs of the stool at the same time. As long as the cat’s attention was so divided, the trainer knew it could not make any sudden moves.
Disappointments can become distractions. The shortcomings or failure of others, or even ourselves, can so pull our attention away until we stumble. Then the mighty One Who dwells within takes second place. As long as our enemy can keep us distracted from the real source of our strength, he will keep us powerless, paralyzed, and predictable. He need not worry about us. We will remain mesmerized by the strength stealers.
In 2 Chronicles 32, this strategy of Satan is graphically displayed. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, had come to capture Jerusalem and its king, Hezekiah. God’s Word was in Hezekiah’s mouth when he told them:
“Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah” (vv. 7-8 NKJV).
The threat against God’s people was very serious. They had been at peace. And now everything was in jeopardy. Hezekiah pointed the people toward their strength and confidence. God was with them and He would fight their battles.
Sennacherib sent his messengers to challenge their faith in Jehovah God.
“Now therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or persuade you like this, and do not believe him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?” (vv.13, 15 NKJV)
Deliverance all sounded so impossible. Judah’s enemy had built a very strong case. No one had ever escaped the grasp of Sennacherib’s armies.
But the people held to the words of comfort which Hezekiah. Then he and the prophet Isaiah prayed and cried out to God. Through their faith and prayer to God an angel of the Lord was released which went to fight their battle. By the next morning, the mighty men of the Assyrian army had been cut off and their plans crippled.
If your situation looks impossible, hold on to the comforting words of Hezekiah and your enemy’s plans will be crippled.