Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Battle is the Lord's

Thus says the LORD to you: “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s… 2 Chronicles 20:15

It is good to remember that the daily skirmishes we fight our not ours but the Lord’s. Ultimately Satan is not at war with us as much as he is at war with God! When the Devil lifted himself up in pride and made his five “I will” statements of rebellion against God, he did not say, “I want to be like mankind.” He said, “I want to be like the Most High” (Is. 14:14). He wants to be like God and has been at battle with God ever since.
When Satan attacked the Lord Jesus in the wilderness and at other times throughout His life is was not only because He lived a sinless life as the perfect Man, but it was because He was and is God. Satan’s long war has been against God. We are soldiers in the Lord’s army, but it’s the Commander in Chief whom Satan is truly against. The battle is not ours it is the Lord’s!

We can trace this truth through Scripture. Moses encourage the Israelites as they faced many enemies, “You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you” (Deut. 3:22). Nehemiah was being attacked, he declared to those that worked on the wall, “God will fight for us” (Neh. 4:20). When the Assyrian King marched against Hezekiah, he reminded the people, “with him is an arm of flesh; but the Lord is our God, to help us and to fight our battles” (Chron. 32:8). Joshua continually drove this message home reminding them that it was the Lord who fought for them (Josh. 10:14, 23:3, 10). As David faced Goliath he proclaimed, “The battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Sam. 17:47).

The battle is the Lord’s and it is the He who always leads us in triumph and gives us the victory (1 Cor. 15:57, 2 Cor. 2:14)!

Fear Not

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Fear distorts our ability to see clearly, magnifying molehills into mountains. This stumbling block of Satan can even cause us to do foolish things, like disobey the Lord. The Lord admonishes us to “Fear not nor be dismayed”. The expressions “fear not” and its positive counter part “be of good courage” occur over and over in the Bible. The Lord does not want us to be people who live with shaky knees and jetty hands. He has “not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). Four times in the first chapter of Joshua, God said, “Be strong and of good courage.” The message got through to Joshua and he moved forward into the land and captured the impregnable fortress of Jericho.

It is God’s design for a believer to live by faith, not fear. This doesn’t mean we will never be afraid, but we need not live faintheartedly! Someone once said, “Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered, and there was no one there.” That is what the Lord is looking for in each of us, those that would conquer their battles by trusting in the living God and depending on Him. You and I are in a constant conflict with powers of darkness, and there is no place for us to be timid or live in fear. Whatever you are facing today; a struggling marriage, cancer, loneliness, or wayward children, reject your fears and embrace your faith. God is in control, He will strengthen you as He holds you by His righteous right hand.

What Can we learn from Jahaziel?

The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel…ad he said, “Listen all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s…” 2 Chronicles 20:15

Fear gripped everyone present as they stood together before the Lord. It was a time of national threat, and there the King stood in the house of the Lord to pray and we read that “all Judah, with their little ones, their wives and their children, stood before the Lord” (verse 13). In a time of crises families are always strengthen when they are found together in the presence of the Lord. Fathers, mothers and children all gathered together for prayer and to hear what the Lord might say to them. The mothers and the children didn’t stay home, they were all there and the Lord does have a message for them!

The message came from a man that had never appeared in the Bible before, nor do we hear of him afterwards. He was just a face in the crowd, but on this special day God chose to communicate a message of comfort and encouragement to Judah through this unknown bystander. Jahaziel’s message, barely 100 words long, came directly from God and was targeted towards each and everyone present. His message was a calming influence in a tense situation. He was a voice of faith in a time of testing. He was a spokesman for God, declaring how God’s people should react when facing a seemingly hopeless situation. His message has encouraged God’s people down through the ages and has many lessons for us all.

How good to gather together, young and old, to pray and listen to what the Lord desires to say to us. How good to be available to be used of God to be His vessel of encouragement to His people, maybe He wants to use you today to encourage someone?