If you are fortunate, one struggle will end before another begins. Often, however, battles invade in mass. There are times when I want to raise the white flag of surrender and say, “Enough, Lord!” Battles serve a divine purpose. Ultimately every battle we face is the Lord’s while at the same time, He is training us for war.
“These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites
who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan
(he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites
who had not had previous battle experience.”
God’s intention is for us all to become mighty in battle, warriors who are thoroughly equipped and prepared for any affront. Training is developed in the battlefield of experience not in the classroom of hypothesis.
We all enjoy singing the songs of victory; few relish in the throes of battle.
The Battle is the Lord’s
Whatever we are going through, whether small or great, God alone gains the victory for us. Though it is tempting to “handle” the small stuff ourselves, foundational principles are learned in the little battles of life that can be applied equally to larger attacks.
“This is what the LORD says:
Do not be afraid!
Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army,
for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
2 Chronicles 20:15
Don’t wait for the marriage to fail, the diagnosis of cancer, the prodigal son to run off to a distant land, or the bank account to occupy the red zone before relying on the Lord’s help. Bring every struggle and battle to the Lord, seek His strategy, and follow His directives.
Jehoshaphat “inquired of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast“. Then all the people around also sought “help from the LORD.”
The King, as one in authority, went first. He set the precedent. Prayer and fasting don’t twist the arm of God, rather they position hearts to trust, eyes to see, ears to hear and minds to comprehend the agendas of God.
God is Big Enough
When we learn to fearlessly trust during the “little”, trusting in the “big” comes instinctively. God dwindled Gideon’s army down to where only He would receive the glory. First God released the fearful.
“Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave…
So twenty-two thousand men left…”
Fear spreads quickly! Twenty-two thousand fear-filled warriors would easily have destabilized the entire army! Once fear was weeded out, only courage remained!
Fear may help get the adrenaline pumping, but no one functions at their best when afraid. It is the solid recognition of Who God is, that solidifies fearless trust. Stepping forward in God’s authority, dominion, and power, increases strength, renews hope, and builds extravagant faith.
“LORD, the God of our ancestors,
are you not the God who is in heaven?
You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.
Power and might are in your hand,
and no one can withstand you.”
2 Chronicles 20:6
State the Problem
Don’t be afraid of calling things out! My father would say, “Call a spade a spade!” In other words, say it like it is! State the circumstance you are facing honestly and clearly. Acknowledging personal inability to overcome a battle is never a declaration of God’s inability, only ours!
“For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.
We do not know what to do,
but our eyes are on you.”
2 Chronicles 20:12
The important part is knowing who you are with!
We’re not asking God to come and join us in our battle. We position ourselves with Him! Like a little child standing in our Father’s shadow, we are invincible with our God! We always win!
Paul put it this way:
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
We cannot assume we know how to fight our battle! “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
“Be merciful to me, my God,
for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
all day long they press their attack…
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you…
in God I trust and am not afraid.”
In God we trust!
Warriors Who Don’t Fight
Here comes the seeming contradiction! God allows the enemy to come close for the specific purpose of equipping and training us for battle. When we step into battle position, He fights!
“You will not have to fight this battle.
Take up your positions: stand firm
and see the deliverance the LORD will give you..”
2 Chronicles 20:17
The temptation is to pick up the weapons and run ahead of our Leader. Self-reliance and self-sufficiency must be laid down before we even begin.
We take our position in worship and adoration, standing firm on the unfailing promises of God. Our eyes are fixed on the LORD to bring victory. Positioning ourselves in Christ, we move forward.
“Go out to face them”
2 Chronicles 20:17
Face your battle! Even if you need to lean on others, stand and face your struggle!
The Song of Victory
Jehoshaphat was so confident of God’s victory he placed the singers in the lead! The warriors armed with physical weapons followed behind.
“What song is so powerful enemies cringe and flee at the melody?” I ask.
“His love endures forever” is the answer.
“Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD
and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness
as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
‘Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever,’ ”
2 Chronicles 20:21
Now that is audacity!
The song of victory buckled the knees of the enemy before the fighting began. The joyous sound of audacious faith and trust in God caused the enemy to be thrown into confusion.
The minstrels carried the tune back to the streets of Jerusalem and into the temple. When the song of thanksgiving rises, demonic kingdoms hear and tremble.
Why? The battle is not ours; the battle is the Lord’s.