No Weapon Formed
No weapon formed against you shall prosper. If you believe, and if you receive.
So Many Lists
I am addicted to lists.
I have lists of lists. Literally.
One of those lists – which is one of a number of lists I have in various places that contain potential topics, outlines and partially written posts for this blog – has 419 items on it.
Number 303 on that particular list is entitled, “No Weapon Formed.”
The brief outline I wrote there was dated May 15, 2019.
Not quite two years ago.
I have been meaning to finish that for some time.
Some ideas won’t leave me alone.
“No Weapon Formed” was one of those ideas.
I kept meaning to get around to completing that post, but – as so often happens – stuff just seemed to keep getting in the way.
But I couldn’t get it out of my head.
I knew I’d complete that post at some point.
I just didn’t know when…
Sometimes, things happen – seemingly randomly – that compel us to action.
You get a phone call from a long lost friend, who makes a comment that reminds you of something you forgot about long ago, and that causes you to take some action you had meant to take years earlier.
Or you discover an old card from someone at the back of a junk drawer, and that compels you to reach out to them, and a relationship is rekindled.
Sometimes, those random things that happen seem so directly on point with respect to some other thing that they all but grab you by the throat and demand that you do something.
Like, right now.
Right this minute.
With respect to writing this post, that’s exactly the kind of thing that happened to me, and that’s why I ended up finally completing this, nearly two years after I first had the idea.
More specifically, on February 13, I was scrolling through Facebook, and I stumbled upon this, from Patricia De Los Santos:
Patricia’s post was so on point, and so directly related to what I intended to ultimately say in this blog, that I stopped what I was doing and I wrote the bulk of the remainder of this post on the spot.
So, to you, Patricia, I say, “Thank You,” for providing me that little push that I needed to get this done.
OK, enough with the preamble.
Let’s move on to the actual purpose of this post.
Before we continue, it’s important to provide context: what, exactly, are we talking about here?
We are talking about a Bible verse.
More specifically, we’re talking about Isaiah 54:17, which reads as follows (NKJV):
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment, you shall condemn.”
The focus of this post is about those first seven words: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
What that means, in lay terms:
First, the bad news: weapons will form against you.
In other words, in this life, things will happen to you and against you.
Breaks will go against you.
You will suffer setbacks.
You will endure losses.
You will have enemies, and, sometimes, those enemies will conspire against you in various ways.
These, and many other things, are “weapons forming against you.”
The Bible is actually very clear on this point in a variety of other places.
As I wrote in this post – Stop Blaming God – weapons forming against us are guaranteed in this life:
In fact, if you do a keyword search on the word “trouble” using the website I use for studying the Bible – BibleGateway.com – the “suggested result” (the single scripture the site believes is most relevant) is John 16:33, which says this: “In this world you will have trouble.”
Note that there are 172 references to “trouble” in the New International Version of the Bible, which you can see here. Ergo, the Bible is loaded with stories of people dealing with significant amounts of pain and suffering in their lives.
Continuing with John 16:33, note that that verse doesn’t say, “In this world you may have trouble.”
Or, “In this world, you could have trouble.”
Or, “If you believe in God, your life will be free of trouble.”
No, it says directly and unequivocally, “In this world you will have trouble.”
So, not only does God NOT promise us a life devoid of pain and suffering, but He actually says the exact opposite.
So, yeah, bad stuff’s going to happen.
To literally everyone.
That’s the bad news.
The good news: Isaiah 54:17 goes on to say this:
“This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.”
“This” is referring to “no weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
Meaning, for servants of the Lord – those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior – “no weapon formed against you shall prosper” is their heritage.
It is their birthright.
It is their destiny.
And while it is absolutely true that weapons will form against each and every one of us – servant of the Lord or not – for those who do believe in the God of the Christian Bible, those weapons will not prosper.
That is, in the long run, they will not prevail.
Ultimately, they will not triumph over those who believe.
That’s what Isaiah 54:17 tells us.
Why This Matters
Those things said, what are the takeaways, or the things we can learn from this scripture?
Why does this matter to me?
Why does this matter to Patricia?
Why might this matter to you?
For these reasons:
To reframe perspective – Because, as already noted, this scripture makes clear that weapons will form against us. So, when they do form, we should not freak out or overreact. They are a normal part of life here on earth, for each and every one of us.
To manage expectations – Going a little deeper, some people have an unrealistic, idealistic perspective on what life is supposed to be like. They think the goal is perfection, and, every time there is any deviation from perfection, it is cause for unhappiness, worry and anxiety.
But if we KNOW perfection is not possible, no matter what we do or how hard we try, that can change our overall view of “trouble” and of weapons forming against us.
This realization can change our overall view of the world, and of life itself, in a very positive and healthy way: we simply adjust our expectations to more closely match reality.
To compel to believe – To repeat, whether you are a believer in the God of the Christian Bible or not, weapons ARE going to form against you. You WILL experience trouble in this life, no matter who you are or what you believe.
But if we know God will keep those weapons from prospering against us, might that not make us give real consideration to believing in such a God? Having a protector, someone looking out for you and watching over you – if that could actually be a real thing – would be a huge deal, wouldn’t it?
If you’re not a believer in such things, that sounds crazy. I am keenly aware of that. And, FWIW, at one time, all of ‘this’ sounded like abject lunacy to me.
But it no longer does.
It no longer does because I’ve tested God on His Word and found Him to be utterly and completely reliable and faithful.
And I’ve been living like this for so long – I’m talking decades – that I can’t imagine living life without this sort of perspective, and without God’s divine protection.
All that said, what do you have to lose by investigating?
What do you have to lose by testing God at His Word and seeing what happens?
To dramatically reduce stress and anxiety – Once you embrace this perspective and choose to believe, and you then begin to develop a body of experience around living those beliefs and seeing the results, you come to realize that – while it doesn’t always seem like it in the moment, and sometimes it does take time for things to play out and for you to perceive how, exactly, God did whatever He did – He really does prevent those weapons that form against you from prospering.
I wrote this post – I Got 44 Blessings – in which I described a handful of such instances. Time and time and time again, God has prevented the weapons that have formed against me from prospering.
To repeat what I said in response to Patricia’s Facebook post:
“When you KNOW the weapons will never stop forming, but that that doesn’t matter – because He (God) has the final say, on everything – you learn not to freak when you see the next weapon start forming. You just look in your rearview mirror and see that God is pitching a perfect game when it comes to defending you. And you can chill in that knowledge. And in the comfort of that incredible experience.”
Can you imagine ever getting to the point where you could know that something negative was forming against you, and that that wouldn’t bother you?
That’s actually possible.
I have been living it for a while.
And it really is amazing.
Don’t get me wrong: I still suffer stress and anxiety. I’m human, and there’s simply no getting around the reality that, sometimes, in the moment and driven by emotion, I can still freak out with the best (worst?) of them.
But, in total and on average, I suffer a tiny fraction of the stress and anxiety I once did.
A Recent Illustration
As one small, recent example of the kinds of things we’re talking about here, on November 15, 2020, I suffered a complete tear of my left achilles tendon.
I was working out – doing lunges – and I heard a loud POP.
It felt like I had been shot in the back of my ankle.
I knew instantly what it was.
I didn’t freak out.
I didn’t get mad.
I didn’t curse God or shake my fist at cruel fate.
I simply dealt with it: I asked around and found a great surgeon – Dr. Robert Mihalich of Advanced Orthopedic Specialists, P.C. in Brighton, MI – had surgery four days later, on November 19, diligently started rehabbing the moment I could, with great advice and counsel from outstanding Physical Therapist Mike Lurvey, and now, just 106 days later, I’m walking around normally, almost as if the injury never happened.
In fact, in some respects my surgically repaired leg now feels stronger than my uninjured leg.
I was able to do what I’ve done because I knew – I KNEW – based on so many prior experiences, that God would see me through whatever I had to go through, and that He would not let that weapon prosper over me.
And that is exactly what happened.
This particular injury is supposed to take a full year for complete recovery.
At my current pace, I expect to be fully recovered in half that time.
I’ve watched every single YouTube video on the topic of achilles surgery rehab, and I have yet to see anyone recover as quickly as it appears I am recovering.
That weapon did form; it just didn’t prosper.
Accumulating and Compounding
Finally, as crazy as it may sound, I was actually happy during the entirety of that process.
I was happy because I could feel God with me the entire time. I could feel His presence.
I knew He was going to bring me out of the situation better than before, and with the added benefit of one more big, real life illustration of a negative somehow being turned into a positive.
Every time something like this happens, and you experience it personally, it gives you that much more confidence the next time you face something similar.
Over time, the experiences begin to accumulate and to compound.
And you wake up one day, and you have so much confidence that God can see you through literally anything, that it completely changes your perspective…on everything.
Other Similar Promises
As added reinforcement for the larger point being made here, there are other scriptures in the Bible that promise essentially the same thing that Isaiah 54:17 promises. Here are two of my favorites:
Psalm 27:1-3 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
The point: God can use any circumstance – no matter how it may appear from our limited human perspective – for our betterment.
We just have to believe, and we have to trust.
Do you believe?
Will you trust?
Will They Prosper?
Weapons are going to form against you in this life.
That is a guarantee.
Will those weapons prosper against you, or will they fail?
That decision is in your hands.
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