Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fighting Battles

As much as we would like to avoid it, there are times when we are faced with battles. They come in all sizes and shapes - sometimes barging into our well ordered lives like the Philistine army; at other times slyly sneaking in, disguised as friends, past the well fortified places. We long for peace, knowing it is just on the other side of victory, but we fear the fight.

David was a man who certainly knew a lot about fighting battles. From the time Samuel anointed him king, he was locked in a deadly battle with the jealous, irrational Saul. After years of running and fighting, he finally took his place as king of Judah only to face another long war against Saul's followers. When that was over, there were the Philistines and other neighboring tribes who warred against him.

In all of this David was victorious, for the Lord was on his side. Before going into battle he would pray something like this, "Should I go fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?" And the Lord would answer, "Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you." (II Samuel 5: 19).

What a confidence booster that must have been. How much easier to face the enemy knowing that the Lord had already given you the victory. Don't you wish we could hear from God like that?

But wait...we have.

We have a relentless enemy. Just when we think we have settled into a time of peace, he is there ready to do battle. He knows the vulnerable places and tries to slip in. Failing that, or even in addition to that, he delights in throwing the very worst of circumstances at us.

We cry out, "Lord, can I win this battle?" He answers, just as he did all those years ago to a young king, "Yes."

"...despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us." (Romans 8:37)
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all." (Psalm 34:19)

Listen to Jesus' words:
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

He has even provided us with a suit of armor - one that fits us perfectly. (Ephesians 5: 13-18)

We will face many skirmishes in our lifetimes, but we have the assurance that Jesus has already won the war for us. Be encouraged. He will never leave us or forsake us.