Fighting Our Battles
Do ever feel like you are fighting a never-end/hopeless battle? Like each push of the accelerator, your wheels dig deeper and deeper with no hope of ever breaking free. I have and I’m sure many of you can relate.
The Old Testament has story after story of people who realize they were fighting the wrong battle, and when they got to that realization, they had a choice to make. Do I keep fighting my way, or do I fight God’s way?
In 2 Chronicles 20 we read about a king named Jehoshaphat. At the beginning of his reign he removed all the Ashtoreth poles (idols) from the land of the Israelites and brought worship back to God. He didn’t walk the straight and narrow, but he did remember God was his salvation. He cried out to Him in times of distress and tried to follow God.
At one point during his reign, three different nations joined together to attack King Jehoshaphat. “Jehoshaphat was afraid, and he resolved to seek the Lord. Then he proclaimed a fast for all Judah, who gathered to seek the Lord” (2 Chron. 20:3-4)
In such a time of desperation, King Jehoshaphat stood before the people and proclaimed their dependence upon God. He didn’t run to the army officials and great warriors in his army to make a plan of his own, he didn’t sit it stubbornness doing nothing, and didn’t even run and hide to save himself. He went to God. He went to God in front of the whole nation of Israel.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, go down against them. You will see them coming up the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley facing the Wilderness of Jeruel. You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them, for Yahweh is with you’” (2 Chron. 20:15-17).
Wait…. You want me to what? You want me to go, position myself before the attacking army and just stand there, not fight!? That doesn’t even make sense Lord! If I just stand there they will surly kill us!
It’s at this point that the king had a choice to make. Do I fight this battle my way or do I obey and fight this battle God’s way?
King Jehoshaphat chose to fight God’s way. Let’s see what the outcome was.
“In the morning they got up early and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa. As they were about to go out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Hear me, Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem. Believe in Yahweh your God, and you will be established; believe in His prophets, and you will succeed.’ Then he consulted with the people and appointed some to sing for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of His holiness. When they went out in front of the armed forces, they kept singing:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for His faithful love endures forever.
“The moment they began their shouts and praises, the Lord set an ambush against the Ammonites, Moabites, and the inhabitants of Mount Seir who came to fight against Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites turned against the inhabitants of Mount Seir and completely annihilated them. When they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped destroy each other.
When Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked for the large army, but there were only corpses lying on the ground; nobody had escaped” (2 Chron. 20:20-24).
Jehoshaphat not only obeyed, he did it praising and singing to his God. In a twist of fate, God used his worship to defeat the attacking enemy. How amazing is that!
They walked in obedience, with anticipation that their Lord would fight for them. When they arrived at the fight, it was already over! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! For He is mighty and great! Salvation comes only from Him! Look what He did for us! He defeated the armies before we even got here!
Choosing to fight God’s way doesn’t always make sense to us, but if we will simple obey, He will fight our battles for us.
Seems easy enough right? Well, only if God’s way makes sense in our finite brain, but how many times does that happen? For me, never! He is always asking me to take a step of faith to do something that seems ridiculous.
But, when I do, He shows up and makes the ridiculous, remarkable; the unfathomable, unbeatable! What I thought was a stretch for any one’s imagination turn to reality before my eyes. Yet again, I am reminded, He is the God of the universe! All things, all situations, all circumstance, bow before His thrown. We must simply obey what He has called us to do and He will do the rest!