But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions….— Hebrews 10:32
By Rick Renner
Have you ever received a word from the Lord that gave you the exact direction you needed? If so, let me guess what happened next. Suddenly — BOOM! It seemed like all hell broke loose! The craziest circumstances erupted, seeming to directly challenge and assault that word you had just received from God!
If I’ve just described what you’ve gone through or what you are going through right now, be encouraged! You must be right on track! A spiritual fight usually does occur when you’ve been specially illuminated to the plan God has for your life.
In Hebrews 10:32, the Bible says, “But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions….”
Today I want us to look at three key words in this verse: “great,” “fight,” and “afflictions.” These words describe what you and I might experience after the Lord has given us a word of instruction to illuminate us regarding His plan for our lives.
First, let’s look at the word “great.” In Greek, it’s the word polus, and it means a huge number or to an enormous degree. By using this word polus, the writer of Hebrews tells us that sometimes spiritual conflicts accompany a word of divine direction, and they are normally not challenges of little consequence that can be easily overcome with minimal effort. In fact, the enemy’s attacks are usually polus! In other words, they’re significant attacks ― the kind of trials that require all of your determination to hold fast and not give up!
The second word I want you to see is the word “fight.” It comes from the Greek word athlesis and refers to a committed athlete. This undoubtedly tells you that when you receive a word from the Lord, it may throw you into one of the greatest challenges of your entire life! You’ll feel like you’ve just entered the ring and are competing for the prize!
Finally, we come to the third word, “afflictions.” It is the Greek word pathema and usually refers to mental pressure or to suffering that affects the mind. This isn’t talking about mental sickness; rather, it points to a war in your soul or an attack on your mind.
Hebrews 10:32 could thus be taken to mean:
“After you were illuminated, you endured an enormous ordeal that threw you into the biggest fight you ever faced in your life. But the most critical part of the struggle resulted from the unremitting assaults that literally battered your mind….”
You can be sure that if you take a stance of faith in response to a word you received from God, every possible negative thought will come against your mind. Not only will the devil try to use people and circumstances to thwart the plan, but he will also affect your mind with all kinds of negative thoughts and accusations. He’ll do everything he can to talk you out of doing what God has called you to do.
Don’t be surprised by this! You must remember that Jesus experienced this type of attack as He hung on the Cross. As He selflessly laid down His own life on the Cross, the soldiers and other criminals hurled their horrible, slanderous statements at Him. But Jesus pushed aside all the assaults that came against His soul and endured, committing His life and destiny into the Father’s hands.
So if you have received a word from God for your life, let me ask you:
- Did you go through a huge ordeal yourself after you were illuminated to God’s plan?
- Did you feel you were thrown into a fight that came to challenge what God had told you?
- Did you find that the devil tried to assault your mind and emotions with lies, accusations, and fears?
If you have been in this place I’m talking about — or if this is exactly where you are right now — then be encouraged! This is probably your clearest signal that you’ve received a real word from the Lord. You must be right on track, because the devil is terribly concerned about what will happen if you act on what God has revealed to you.
Don’t back down. Don’t surrender to the enemy’s vicious lies in your mind, his attacks against your body, his challenges to your finances, or his assaults on your relationships. Regardless of how much resistance he tries to bring against you, don’t you dare back up on that word God gave you!
If you hadn’t received a true word from the Lord, there would be nothing for the devil to challenge! The fight you face is the greatest evidence you’re right on track! Just hang on, and don’t give up! You’re clearly headed in the right direction!
Rick Renner is a prolific author and a highly respected Bible teacher and leader in the international Christian community. He is the author of more than 30 books, including the bestsellers Dressed To Kill and Sparkling Gems From the Greek.
In 1992, Rick and his family moved to what is now the former Soviet Union. Two years later, he and his wife Denise founded the Riga Good News Church in Latvia before moving on to Moscow in 2000 to found the Moscow Good News Church. In 2007, the Renners also launched the Kyiv Good News Church in the capital of Ukraine. Today, Rick serves as Bishop for this group of churches.
In addition, Rick and Denise pioneered a Bible school, and a ministerial association that serves thousands of Russian-speaking pastors throughout the former USSR as well as parts of the Middle East.
Rick also founded Media Mir, the first Christian television network established in the former USSR. Its broadcast capabilities via terrestrial stations in Russia, Ukraine, Mongolia, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova, and as well by satellite means millions of people are reached with these messages. It has since expanded into book publishing and managing social media accounts. Website: Renner.org