The Battle Belongs To The Lord By Reba Altizer
Have you ever said, "I am done with this"? Then later, pick it back up, rehearse what happened, and began plotting what you were going to do about it. It is such a battle to just let things go. God wants to fight our battles if we let Him. He has many examples in The Word how He helped His people overcome in their battles. None of the stories emphasize the strength of the person. Rather, it is the power of God that enables them to overcome or win. These days, we live with so much of our focus on the "YOU". "You can do it" -just work harder, get smarter, and look a certain way, and you will make it. Not much is said about putting your eyes on Jesus, spend time with Him, wait on His instruction, humble yourself, and He will help you. That just sounds to easy, but that is truly where the answer lies. We have our part in getting through stuff in life, but we have to get ourselves out of the way. We must listen to The Lord..
It is said that the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the promise land was only an 11 day journey. However, it took them 40 years, and still some of them never entered because of their stubbornness. They refused to submit to the ways of God. Instead, they continued trying to do it their own way. So, we get to make a choice. I do not want to keep circling the same mountain. God help us to go to you and quit trying to do things in our own strength. He loves us, and we need to give Him all the Glory when He does help us. We have to remember that when the Israelites finally did arrive to the promise land, they allowed the 10 negative reports to talk them out of what God wanted to give them. The two positive guys Joshua and Caleb were begging the people to believe they could overcome the enemy with God, but the majority believed the negative report. Because of this, they did not get to enter the promise land. They couldn't see how in their power they would overcome. Instead of looking to God, who had done so much for them up to that point, they kept trying to do things their way. This brings me to my first point:
1. Remind yourself how God has seen you through other times, when you face the mountain. In the story of Jehoshaphat, there are three things that were very important that help him face a difficult battle. A battle he he knew he would not win unless God helped them. 1) He admitted that he had no might to stand against his enemies. 2) He admitted that he did not know what to do. 3) He Said that his eyes were on God. By doing these three things, he put himself in position for a miracle.
2 Chronicles 20:15-21
New Living Translation (NLT)
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”
18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.
20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”
21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:
“Give thanks to the Lord;
his faithful love endures forever!”
I love this story and our God still will go before us and we will succeed! The second point I received out of the story of Gideon.
2. Gideon felt very inadequate, but he did listen to the Angel of The Lord. God was patient with Gideon. He started with instructing him to get some things in order. Next, He confirmed to Gideon that in fact he was the one God was going to use. He even caused Gideon to hear the enemy talking about a dream they had of being overtaken by Gideon. This really let Gideon know he was on track and confirmed God was with him. Last, Gideon heard the strategy to victory which was nothing like what he would of thought. Gideon was careful to give God all the glory when they overcame their enemy! The whole story is found: Judges 6-8. It is really awesome to see how God accomplishes what he desires through open vessels.
Judges chapters 6 : 11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
17 Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. 18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”
And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”
This is a great story of God's mercy at work. He used Gideon in spite of all his short comings. God being with you is the main point. You want Him on your side, but you have to be open, have a heart to hear God, and willing to be obedient to anything He says without reasoning Him away. He shows He will be patient with us. I believe even though Gideon did not feel adequate, he still listened to the angel of The Lord, and God encouraged Him and saw him through.
Trust The Lord, wait for His instruction, and do what He says. He sometimes speaks to our heart or directly through the Word of God. Sometimes He will even speak through a friend, loved one, or perfect stranger. We have to stay open to hear Him, and give Him first place in our heart. Sometimes, I wonder how I can sit in a service and really feel like God is speaking to me, and someone in the same service feels nothing. The point is, God is always with us. We make the choice to just watch God work in others lives, or allow Him to work in our live as well. He is for us! He is no respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of faith. Are you open to Him? He loves you, He is for you, and He is ready to work through you.
If you haven't heard Hill's Surrender, do listen now.