Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Battle Is Not Yours . . .

If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)

Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. This year, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life.

Here is what spoke to me this week:
He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. Tomorrow march down against them. . . .Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.
(2 Chronicles 20:15, 17)
Have you been struggling with something, fighting to make it come out right? Are you exhausted from the battle and afraid that you will never succeed?
Jehoshaphat was frightened, too. He had been told that a massive army was headed toward Judah to defeat him and his people. He immediately decided at the first sign of this imminent tragedy to look to God. After all of Judah prayed and fasted, the Spirit revealed the above verses to Jehoshaphat and his people.
Notice that, as at so many other times in the Bible, God's first message was not to become disheartened. No matter our circumstances, God is in charge. In fact, the next point is that the battle is not King Jehoshaphat's, nor even Judah's; it is God's battle. So many times we, who are so wrapped up in ourselves and our circumstances that we forget that God is working all things according to His purpose, and He will cause them to work out that way.
Knowing that God is in charge can sometimes make us passive. We throw up our hands and say to God, "Okay, if this is Your battle, I'll just sit back and watch You do Your thing!" God's instructions to Jehoshaphat and his people did include idly standing by, however. Instead, He tells them to "march down," to "take up [their] positions," and to "stand firm." Going out to face the enemy, you see, requires faith. We must do our part, knowing that ultimately it is God Who will be responsible for our success. In fact, Jehoshaphat demonstrated his faith in God by sending men to sing praises to God at the head of the army!
God responded to Judah's faith by causing infighting among the enemy, and when the army of Judah saw what they expected to be a great army ready for battle, they saw only dead bodies on the ground. God showed that it was His battle in the way that He defeated Judah's enemy, and also in the result: "The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel" (2 Chronicles 20:29).
No matter how overwhelming our circumstances, it is not our battle. God will fight it for us in His way and for His glory if we place our faith in Him.
So, what verses have spoken to you this week? Post those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your life. Then, provide your link below so that we can drink from one another's wells of scripture.


Sandra said...

Hi Celly,

Many times I've sat idle thinking it's God's battle. I always thought once you gave it to God you did just that and forgot about it. I didn't realize that there may be times when we're required to do something ourselves as well. Great insight - thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I tagged you :) Come over and check it out...

Amy :)