I’ve never been one to enjoy watching movies with violence. Lone Survivor, American Sniper and Saving Private Ryan, while worth watching, still had me covering my face many times. The extreme bravery and courage…the commitment to “fight” for the cause they were willing to sacrifice their life for…was extremely moving to me.
When you live life as a Christian, a son/daughter of God, you are committing to the greatest life call..a surrendered life to Christ… and for this cause we are told we will have troubles/battles. We are told in John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that IN ME you may have peace. In this world you WILL HAVE TROUBLE. But take heart! I have overcome the world” [emphasis added].
We are sons/daughters of God. We are servants of God. We are “soldiers” of God. Being a child of God and a servant of God are the enjoyable calls…but to be a “soldier” of God requires much more from us.
One of the first things we have to tell ourselves is that the battle is “not of flesh and blood;” it is a “spiritual” one. Therefore, our “war tactics” are different from the movies we watch. As we live in this world and endure the spiritual battles that we will all face, one of the first things we all need to grasp and understand is this: One word from God is better than a million words from people. We cannot put people in the position of commanding officer. God must be the commanding officer.
We have to “humble” ourselves to a mighty God. I love the book of James written by Jesus’ half-brother. It is one of my favorite books of the Bible because it not only teaches about “rules of engagement” for life’s battles, it also teaches why we have them. God’s purpose is to mature and complete us and we are to consider it “joy!” But it also teaches us we have to be “humble to get help.” James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
If you are finding yourself in a battle, a war, right now…GRIP GOD! Even if you are not in a battle at the moment, just know one is coming because that is how we mature as believers. God has the battle plan…weapons for warfare. When you don’t know what to do, as a child of God you always have answers when you seek Him!
I love reading the story found in 2 Chronicles 20. It is a story of warfare against Jehoshaphat by the Moabites and the Ammonites with some of the Meunites. NOTE: we all have some kind of “ites” we have to fight in this life. Whatever “ites” we are facing, we can learn from Jehoshaphat in this story.
The first thing Jehoshaphat felt was fear/alarm. That is normal but then we read he RESOLVED TO INQUIRE OF THE LORD and he proclaimed a fast for all of Judah. So even though he felt fear, he went to the Lord first and then he asked others to pray and fast! The Spirit of the Lord came to those who fasted and prayed and God gave them a word in 2 Chronicles 20:15b. “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
God also told them to march against the enemy…to move. Then he told them in verse 17, “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged . Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.” Is that not just so encouraging?!
Next we see in verse 18, “Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship of the Lord.” In verse 21 we find them thanking God, ”Give thanks to the Lord for his love endures forever!”
I love what happens next in verses 22-23, ”As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were DEFEATED. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy One another.” In essence they “brought their own rope to the hanging.” Look at verse 24, “When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw ONLY DEAD BODIES lying on the ground, no one had escaped” [emphasis added].
Now that is a War Story! It can be our story in life’s battles against our “ites.” We are to SEEK the Lord…to engage with HIS rules of engagement.
Fall face on the ground…
to seek Him (humbling),
to get others to pray,
to march when God says march,
all these things are contrary to what the “world would tell us to do.”
I don’t know about you but I love a good war story where the good guys win. Take heart. God always wins. His ways are higher. His thoughts are higher.
When we seek Him and take orders from Him, the War is won!