Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you. (2 Chronicles 20:15, 17, NIV)
Daily Bible reading is a discipline that today’s Christian cannot afford to neglect. Without the sword of God’s Spirit, our spiritual armor is incomplete and leaves us vulnerable to the attack of our enemy, Satan, and the forces of evil that war against us (Ephesians 6: 12-18).
A recent Bible reading in the twentieth chapter of second Chronicles was much more than a lesson in Old Testament theology; it was an epiphany of sorts. In verses five through thirteen, Jehoshaphat pours out his fervent prayer to the LORD for victory against the invading armies, seeking God’s help against his powerful foes. Don’t we all have vast armies that stand ready to destroy us and steal our joy and victory? For some, it is unrelenting job stress or family strife. For others, it is the threat of financial ruin or the fear that our children will grow up without God’s spiritual and moral compass to guide them through the maze of adolescence into the abundant life that God promises for those who follow him.
God’s answer to Jehoshaphat can be God’s answer for us today: “The battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you.” As Christians, we face opposition every day because of the forces of evil that are at work in our world. We arm ourselves with the promises of Scripture and in our own strength argue God’s points and principles with others rather than put them into practice in our own lives. We may be armed and ready to fight, but do we have the faith to stand firm, take our position in prayer, and trust God to fight our battles for us?
Rather than fret and fight, let us worship and call on the name of the One who is able to deliver us. “As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated” (2 Chronicles 20:22). God inhabits the praises of his people, and our worship of him is a powerful weapon against our enemy. Let prayer be your first line of defense, not your final act of desperation, and “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Copyright © 2011 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.