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High Water Mark

via TJC


“The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” ~Luke 4:5-8


The term High Water Mark refers to the final extent of rising water from floods or tides. The term also refers to the furthest extent of progress for an opposing army.  As Kingdom Men, leading Kingdom families, we have experienced the enemy “successful” advance and “take ground” against us. When that happens, it’s easy and understandable to feel defeated. We ask how this could happen. We internalize it to ask what’s wrong with me. Was I asleep on my watch?


In every battle, ground is gained and lost. Fortunately, on those days when we feel that we have lost a battle, we are still on the winning side of the war. In these moments, with this knowledge, we say the enemy’s advance goes “Here and no Further.” This is exactly what Jesus did in Luke 4. Satan was tempting him. Satan was challenging Jesus’s authority and identity. Satan was questioning the promises God had made. Satan was trying to advance and exploit an age-old gap as he had done with Adam. But then Satan ran into Jesus, and Jesus said out loud, “Enough, No Further! “You do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Luke 4:12). Paul describes the high-water mark in Romans 5:12-19 and caps it off saying, “For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, is also through the obedience of the one man (Jesus) the many will be made righteous.”


Lastly, and equally important, is this: just because we set a High-Water Mark does not mean the enemy has given up. Luke finishes his account of Jesus’ temptation story by telling us, “When the devil had finished all of this tempting, he left Him until a more opportune time.”  (Luke 4:13). What this means is that, like Jesus, we must keep the promises of God with us and rely on them as our anchor. The enemy will attack again, but if we stand by His promise, we will not be overcome by the wave of attack. 

Recently, I had been feeling the external pressures of the enemy's attack. I knew he had been beaten back on this front before and a High Water Mark had been established. And yet, the battle was on…again. Then, as I was hanging out with TJC Kingdom families and friends, I was reminded of an inscription my mother had written in a Bible she gave me 20 years ago. Rereading that inscription changed everything. She highlighted my sonship in the Lord, and in our family. My identity was fixed, and my high water mark was fortified. I was ready for the attack and ready for the victory! On that day, the enemy retreated again. He’s looking for a more opportune time, but we’ll be ready and kneeling at the High Water Mark!


Daily Battle Order: Kingdom Man, what would it be if you were to call out a High Water Mark that would impact your family and usher in victory?  If you’ve established one, but you sense the enemy is gearing up for another attack because he thinks it’s a “more opportune time”, how can you combat that as a family? Discuss with your family.

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