Read Romans 11:1-10
You’re Not The Only One
“I have reserved for myself seven thousand who
have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
Digger Deeper: Isolation is one of the chief tools of the Enemy to discourage God’s people. And if he can cause discouragement by tricking them into thinking they are all alone, he can more easily defeat them. Too many of God’s people live defeated lives precisely because “the roaring lion” has isolated them from the herd where they are more easily devoured by discouragement, doubt and depression. (I Peter 5:8; cf., Elijah’s bout with depression in I Kings 19)
I know, only in hindsight, unfortunately, that Satan has occasionally used that age-old method on me—and with some success. You’d think after a few times of the old lion isolating me from the herd, I’d wise up to his ways. But time after time, he comes at me with the same strategy, and before I know it, I’m feeling like the Old Testament prophet, Elijah (Romans 11:3, cf. I Kings 19:10,14),
“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars;
I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me.”
He’s probably used the “solitary confinement” method on you, too—and all the while, you were totally unaware. You thought you were the only one who was standing for truth in that hostile environment. You were convinced you were the only believer at your work. You were sure you were the only one in the group who didn’t drink, do drugs, of treat sex as casually as a handshake. You thought that no one else struggled with that shameful sin like you did. You believed no one else could relate to your devastating failure—a broken marriage, a child who walked away from God, getting fired from your job, making what turned out to be a foolish investment, giving in yet again to that addictive behavior.
Well guess what? You’re not alone. Whether you are standing for your faith or struggling with sin or dealing with a devastation, you are in good company. We are all fellow strugglers. But here’s the deal: We are also overcomers. And there are a lot of us; God has made sure to keep plenty of us in reserve: “I have reserved for myself…” (Romans 11:4)
Think of that: Thousands of us, all flawed and in many cases feeble, but “more than conquerors.” In fact, that is our primary identity—more than strugglers, we are more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37) And at the end of the day, we will overcome the Enemy by the word of our testimony and by the blood of the Lamb! (Revelation 12:11)
So be encouraged and refuse to let the devil lead you into a box canyon of isolation. Share your struggles with a trusted friend. Stay connected with a small group. Don’t lose the vital link between your faith and Christian fellowship. And just remember, “those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (II Kings 6:16)
You don’t have to stand alone any longer. Jesus did that for you when he hung on the cross all by himself. Because of his isolation, you are now an inseparable part of God’s family and you are inseparable from God’s love. (Romans 8:35, 38-39) So hang in there—you’re more than a conqueror! So am I!
“We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we
shall most assuredly hang separately.”
This Week’s Assignment:
Read: Romans 11:1-36
Memorize: Romans 11:33,
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
For Your Consideration: There are several things in this chapter (as well as throughout Romans) that might leave you scratching your head. For hundreds of years, theologians and laymen alike have debated “election” versus “free will” with no clear resolution to the debate. Likewise, certain statements are made by the Bible’s human authors that seem to run against the grain of what we know to be true about God, such as the one in Romans 11:32, “For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” Do you think there are some things in Scripture that we should just chalk up to Romans 11:33?