Sunday morning, during worship, I heard Holy Spirit speak to my heart, reminding me that the battle belongs to the Lord…that so many Christians are worn out and discouraged from fighting battles in their own strength, fighting battles they are not meant to fight. I am worn out and frustrated from fighting battles that I am not supposed to fight. Why are we doing this? Because we have yet to submit certain things to the Lord. Our stubborn, prideful hearts lead us to believe we can do things on our own. We give it our best shot and often when we realise how big the opposition is that we face, be turn about-face and run.
We often forget just Who our God is. In Exodus, chapter 15, verse 3 we are introduced to God by Moses, singing His praises. He says “The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is His name.” (NIV) The ESV reads “The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is His name!”. God has not changed. He did not suddenly become impotent and meek – He still is a man of war, our Warrior King.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose Rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and wages war. Revelation 19:11
If then our God is a Warrior, it is only fair to assume that He would have left His people instructions on how to fight a battle. In Deuteronomy 20 we find such a set of instructions…
When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3 He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. (Deut. 20: 1 – 3)
We have to discipline ourselves and fight our fear. We also, still have not just a priest, but a High Priest, who speaks to us by His spirit, reminding us not to be afraid. We need to heed His voice when He says “do not be afraid, I will never leave you, not forsake you.” We have to submit ourselves to the Word of God, not to our emotions and put our trust in His character, not in the size of the opposition we face.
How do we find the courage to get out of bed every morning, when we know there’s opposition from the spirit of this world every time we step out our front door? We remind ourselves often “ For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (Deut. 20: 4)
Many words have been spoken over us for 2015 – open doors and windows, increase and expansion waiting for us. Yet, we will face a great battle on the inside when what we see in the natural does not line up with what has been spoken over us, when the way we expect the Lord to move on our behalf does not line up with the way He actually goes about it. I have come to the conclusion that promotion in the spirit often seems like demotion in the natural. Before you see the increase, there’s a stretching, a period of “cleaning house” to make room for the more and the greater of God.
The cleaning process might mean having to deal with issues of the heart we’d rather not deal to, it might mean letting go of some friendships or relationships that are not pleasing the Lord or even making a stand for righteousness where we have never made a stand before. Whatever our individual battles look like, it will seem overwhelming at times, that much is guaranteed.
Therefore, if we are going to make on new year’s resolution, let it be this declaration: I will not be fainthearted or afraid; I will not panic or be terrified by them(it), for the Lord my God is the One who goes with me to fight for me against my enemies to give me victory.”