He said, “Listen to me, King Jehoshaphat and all you people living in Judah and Jerusalem. The Lord says this to you: ‘Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of this large army [that is coming against you]. The battle is not your battle, it is God’s.â€ Â Â Â 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NCV)
I played basketball in college. There was one team in the league that had these â€“ Amazons! They weren’t just tall. They were BIG! Now I had never played organized basketball before. I was used to playing â€œstreet ballâ€ so I wasn’t adverse to throwing an elbow and pushing my opponent around. But the power forward on this team was about 6 foot and weighed about 200lbs and I admit to having a bit of doubt as to how much I was going to be pushing her around. I was 5’8â€ and weighed about 125lbs with my high tops! I went to school about 300 miles away from home so my parents came to only one of my games. Yes, they came when we played this team. So this opponent and I spent the first quarter of the game pushing each other around under the goal and then came the moment â€“ we both went up for a rebound â€“ and she put her elbow to my nose and crushed me on the floor. They say my mother calmly stood up and checked that I was moving and sat back down. I have a slight bump on my nose still today â€“ but my blood may have spurred my team on as we won the game!
Have you ever felt outnumbered and/or outgunned in life? Groceries, gas, taxes, and utilities keep increasing but the paycheck isn’t increasing at the same rate. Demands from your boss to do more in the same amount of time with your usual high standards. Oh, and wait, you go for your yearly mammogram or check-up and â€“ you have cancer or some other life-threatening health problem. Will your insurance cover? Will you be able to continue to work so you can keep the insurance? Who will take care of the children and the house and the laundry and yard work? Yes, the enemy’s army is falling into their formation and are ready to march!
â€œThe battle is not your battle, it is God’s.â€ This statement is absolutely, 100% true. We know it is but it is living it out in what we perceive to be the practical, real world.
It is a test. Those of us who actually liked school, the learning and opening of new horizons, know that with the â€œfunâ€ learning came tests. In order to determine if I had really learned, my knowledge had to be tested. And so it is as I learn and grow in God’s Kingdom. And in addition to checking what I have learned and accepted to live out in my life, there is also the test-imony factor. Every test comes with some opportunity to give a witness or encourage another who is also trying to navigate through their life. I may not feel like I want or can give anything as I lay in a hospital bed, but since I have been on the receiving end of such testimonies, I can tell you that some of the most precious life lessons have come from people who thought they were in their weakest moments.
It is about pride. A battle is not fought by a bunch of individuals but by an army moving together, encouraging and helping each other achieve more than they could have alone. So if I am facing an overwhelming battle, turn first to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. Dropping to my knees with my face in Jesus’ lap is where He will love and encourage me in those first moments when I find myself in a uniform when I had no idea I had been drafted! In my shock and weakness, I will find the strength of the One who knew about the upcoming battle and wasn’t surprised and has a plan. Then I need to lay down that independent pride that says, â€œI have to do this!â€ and mistakenly think that means alone. The Holy Spirit will open my eyes and show me those who have been chosen to help and support me. What blessings abound when I allow others to come close!
It is about faith. And faith is having that anchor of Hope in Jesus that allows me to believe in what I cannot see. It is having the Body of Believers around me like Aaron and Hur were with Moses and held his arms up during the battle when he was too tired to do so and the army was victorious (Exodus 17:8-13).
So if you are in a battle today and you are tired and wonder how you will hang on and â€œWhat’s next?â€ the best game plan in this life will begin on your knees.
Before I call my LORD, He’s already answering (Isaiah 65:24).
There is MORE with me than is against me (2 Kings 6:15-16).
And surely my Jesus is with me every minute of every day â€“ even until the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).
Awesome God by Rich Mullins, sung by Hillsong Worship Team