Thursday, August 1, 2019

Battle Above the Clouds

    Overlooking the Tennessee River and the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee, stands a 1800 foot plateau called Lookout Mountain.  In the late Autumn of 1863, two great armies faced each other. The Federal Army, under the command of Major General Joseph Hooker, stood at the base of the mountain preparing to assault the heights. On top of the steep ridge were over 8000 Confederate soldiers commanded by General Braxton Bragg.  The Rebels had cannons ringing the top of the heights and thousands of muskets in well protected positions.  The defense was a simple one, pour lead and death down on the exhausted, vulnerable, climbing Union troops.  The Union's strategy was simple as well, just keep sending more and more men up the hill no matter how many are being slaughtered.   General Hooker could not think of any other alternative, but victory by attrition.
    The weather that day had another plan it seemed   At 8:30 am on the day of the attack, a heavy fog rolled into the river valley, totally obscuring the Union troops who had begun to ascend the mountain.  The movements of the men were so screened by the clouds that some Confederate units were captured without even a shot being fired.  When the Federal infantry emerged out of the mist, the Rebel defenders had lost the advantage of their high ground positions.  The Confederate forces on the summit were overrun and had no choice but to retreat.  The battle was a resounding Union victory.  The Battle of Look Out Mountain was over.  A conflict that is now poetically referred to as, 'The Battle above the Clouds.'
     It is important to remind the Church that most of our battles are fought and won 'Above the Clouds.'   In the Book of Daniel Chapter 10, verses 10-21 the angel Gabriel reveals to Daniel that he and the angel Michael have been battling in the heavenlies to bring him answered prayer.  Angels war on behalf of God's people, and those spiritual battles take place, 'Above the Clouds.'  "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to assist those who will inherit eternal life."  Heb. 1:14
     It is not only angels that do battle above the clouds, but we, the Church, are warring in the heavens as well.  Scripture says that our very prayers are heard in the glorious smoke of God's throne room.   "And the twenty- four elders fell down before the Lamb...each holding golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."  Rev.5:8  "The prayers of all the saints are placed on the golden altar before the throne... and the smoke of the incense, which are the prayers of the saints went up before God from the hand of the angel."  Rev. 8:3,4
    The Enemy of our souls may have a strategy.   It may at times seems like he has the advantage, and we cannot see how we can prevail, but our God fights for us, 'ABOVE THE CLOUDS'.
He even controls the clouds!
    "That all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear, but the battle is the Lord's, for he will give you into our hands."  1 Sam 17:47

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