We tend to approach life’s challenges like battles. They are intimidating or possibly they don’t seem worth fighting so we’re tempted to completely avoid the battle. Or perhaps we fight—bringing our best efforts and weapons—only to fall short. We blame ourselves for not having prepared enough. We retreat—licking our battle wounds—as we ask ourselves what we did wrong and how we can come out on top next time.
But some of our greatest battles aren’t won through blood, sweat and tears. They aren’t won by overpowering or outnumbering the enemy. And they aren’t won by our strategic attack.
Because not every battle’s outcome is determined by how well we fight. They aren’t even won by us at all. Praying at all times in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18) becomes our greatest weapon. We are the victors when we show up armed and patiently wait on the Lord while He fights for us. These battles are won by dropping the sword of aggression and simply raising the shield of faith.
They are won in the guarding of our tongue. They are won in the submission of our incapable weapons and fears to the guiding hand of our Master. In the secret hiding place of our heart. In the quiet surrender of our heart.
Do not sit back and ignore the battle. Rather show up and let God lead.
(Read 2 Chronicles 20:3-23.)
Jehoshaphat—king of Judah—was afraid. He and his army were powerless to their enemy. Yet, he didn’t retreat. He set his face to seek the Lord. “For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” (verse 12)
“Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them… You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.” (verses 15-17) Even though they were afraid, they showed up. In the middle of the battlefield, while Judah began to sing praises, God set an ambush against their enemy. Just as He promised, God fought for them.
All they did is show up for the battle—armored and ready—and God did the rest.
In the valley of shadows
You are still with us
Fighting for us
(Strength of my Heart by Rend Collective Experiment)
Show up to this battle. Be present. Be armored. But let God work. For this battle is not ours—it is God’s.