As we battle our way through life’s many challenges, we have to trust God. He will fight for us.
Winning a battle does not necessarily rest on a nation’s sophisticated war machine, which in ancient times meant many well-armed men, horses and chariots. If God holds the keys of victory, the side which enjoys His favour is the victor.
Here are three Old Testament accounts that reveal how God caused His people to triumph over their enemies against tremendous odds. For the battle belongs to the Lord.
Hopefully, whenever we face life’s challenges—whether it is cancer, retrenchment, marital discord or a delinquent child—these precious truths can be applied in our lives.
Foreign Invasion Repelled
When King Jehoshaphat faced a huge army, he was dismayed. A great military alliance was preparing to invade his nation, Judah. In despair, he cried out to God. Firstly, he began with adoration. He extolled the greatness and might of God. Then he placed his fears and worries before God, reminding Him how He had once driven out their enemies.
The king called upon the whole nation of Judah to pray for God’s mercy to be upon them. Then Jahaziel, the prophet, proclaimed God’s comforting word to the whole nation: “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15).
Acting upon the prophetic word, the king confidently arranged a worship team to go before his army. As they went into battle, they praised God, as if the Almighty had already defeated their enemies. “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever” (2 Chronicles 20:21).
The battle was truly a walkover in favour of Judah. God caused their enemies to fight against one another; Judah did not even have to fight against them.
The spoils of war were so abundant that it took three days to collect them. On the fourth day, the victors gathered at the Valley of Beracah (blessing) to bless God for His favour upon them. Truly the battle was not theirs, but the Lord’s.
Parting of the Red Sea
In the exodus account, the Israelites were fearful because they were locked in a tight situation. The Red Sea lay ahead of them, rendering escape impossible. Behind them, the army of Pharaoh—with their horses and chariots—was closing in on them, relentless in hot pursuit.
Terrified, they cried out to Moses: “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?” (Exodus 14:11).
It was true that Pharaoh’s army was behind them and the Red Sea was before them but they had forgotten one thing: God was above them.
Moses, demonstrating great faith, calmed them, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14: 13-14).
And, as they say, the rest is history. As Moses lifted his rod over the sea as if to “divide it”, in obedience to God’s command, a miracle happened. Moses’ symbolic act was instrumental in the unfolding of God’s deliverance of His people. He was God’s co-worker. The sea parted and the people of Israel were able to pass through it as if it were dry ground. When the soldiers tried to cross the sea, the walls of water on either side collapsed on them and they were drowned.
When City Walls Tumbled Down
After crossing the river Jordan, Joshua prepared the people to invade Canaan, the Promised Land. The males had to be circumcised as a mark of sanctification before the conquest.
Now Jericho, the first city that stood in the way of their conquest of Canaan, seemed like an impregnable fortress. In some places, its walls were heavily fortified, even up to 25 feet high and 20 feet thick.
God had already told Joshua exactly how to capture Jericho. Every day, for six days, they were to march around the city once. On the seventh day, however, they were to march around it seven times. Then, seven priests will blow their trumpets made from rams’ horns, everyone would shout and the walls would crumble (Joshua 6:2-5).
When God’s people obeyed these instructions, a miracle happened. The walls of Jericho collapsed and they charged straight into the city.
The conquest of Jericho illustrates the fact that the believer’s weapons of warfare are not carnal but spiritual. Repeated marching, shouting and blowing trumpets by priests may seem silly in the eyes of any military strategist. But the foolishness of God is better any day than the strength and wisdom of man.
For victorious living, what must we do? What does God require from us? He wants us to listen to His instructions, trust and obey.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God (Psalm 20:7).
The horses are prepared for battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD (Proverbs 21:31).
His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love (Psalm 147:10-11).
And what is the other requirement? Holiness. Notice that the Israelites failed to conquer the next city in their push into the Promised Land, Ai, because of one man’s disobedience (Joshua 7:1).
It is natural for us to fear, like Elisha’s servant who was dismayed when a great Syrian army came to capture his master. But once Elisha prayed to God for his servant’s eyes to be opened, the young man was comforted by the sight of an overwhelmingly superior army of horses and chariots sent by God to protect them (2 Kings 6:15-17).
Aren’t we inspired by the above passages—that whatever challenge we might be facing is not too big for God to handle? God is bigger than any of our problems. If we lay aside our fears and worries, and commit them to God, He will help us overcome our difficulties. He may even bless us abundantly beyond what we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
Victory without strife does not mean doing nothing and letting God do everything for us. On the contrary, we need to pray, seek Him, humble ourselves, listen to His instructions and obey, make the move at the opportune time and leave the results to Him.
When we face various challenges in life, we often forget that God is in control and that the keys of victory are in His hand. So let’s cease striving and start trusting Him. For the battle belongs to the Lord.
What does it mean to have ‘quiet confidence’ in God?
It means seeking God, being still before Him, trusting that He is in absolute control of our circumstances and that, in due time, He will deliver us (Isaiah 49:23).
When we worry, we expend a lot of nervous energy which is better channeled to serving God and advancing His kingdom. Satan is most delighted when the army of God is weak—weighed down and distracted by the cares of the world.
The greater our faith, the more we are freed from the tyranny of our feelings and external circumstances.
HOW TO QUICKLY ACCESS PORRIDGE
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Note: Dr Lim Poh Ann is a medical practitioner. He was the former editor of Asian Beacon magazine (Dec 2008 – Oct 2011). He can be reached at his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AskDrLi
SOURCE OF ARTICLE: http://limpohann.blogspot.my/2017/11/let-go-and-let-god.html
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Dr Lim Poh Ann