Winning The War That Matters
First, we must know there is a war. Second, we must know who the enemy is. And third, we must understand that enemy. But how many of you tired of hearing about wars? How many wars have you heard about lately? Maybe you have spent time and energy on these wars:
- A virus
- The media’s supposed “war on women”
We should be aware of terrorist activity. We should pray for those persecuted by terrorist groups and evil ideologies. The “war” on poverty is a money pit. The poverty statistics in our country haven’t changed significantly since this “war” began in the 60’s – despite the millions of dollars spent. Far more important than real or imagined wars is the one YOU are already in. The good news from this Life Lessons post is, you are equipped to win. How?
Know Your Weapons
Winning the war that matters also requires us to identify the proper weapons. How do we do that? I can give you academic answers. But I really like a picture! How about you? Most people like a picture – an observable example.
And we have an observable example in 2 Chronicles 20. Jehoshaphat was king of Judah. The nation was surrounded by hostile armies. Destruction was imminent. What happened? The king called the people to fasting and prayer.
Prayer is one of our better known weapons. Paul speaks of it alongside other weapons in Ephesians 6. I want you to see another lesser known weapon. The nation of Judah was delivered by this weapon! And it’s just as available and powerful for you as it was for Jehoshaphat.
Know Who is in Charge
Jehoshaphat led his people in prayer. How he began his prayer is instructive:
O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.
The King began with confession. To confess is to agree with. We do that when we voice our sins to our Father. But we can also do it as Jehoshaphat did. We can agree with God (confess) about Who He is and what He alone can do. And in troubling times we often need those reminders!
The king’s prayer continued, but even in this opening verse we can see a truth. Jehoshaphat knew the battle could be won. And He also knew God would have to win it. But did everyone have Jehoshaphat’s faith? God left no doubt for those who may have been wavering. His Spirit moved a man named Jahaziel to testify:
Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.’
God is in charge. If we try to fight the battles on our own we are very likely to lose! But God seldom fights His battles in ways that make sense to us. Why? Without faith (Hebrews 11:6) it is impossible to please Him! How did He fight for the people of Judah?
Use the Weapon(s) God Chooses
The nation of Judah was sent out to battle. If you were leading, what would you do? Where would you place the most powerful, experienced warriors? Where would you place the most effective weapons? Surely you would take thought for those things. Well, God did that. But He didn’t do what you and I would do. And what He did tells us a great deal! Notice:
Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.’ When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.’ When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.
What was the weapon? Who was leading the army? Let me say it in terms you would recognize from your own church services:
The choir led the battle. Worship was the weapon God chose!
You still want to be in the church choir? Remember: God’s ways are not our ways! See Isaiah 55:8-9.
The War That Matters
Weapons of our warfare are noted by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesian believers (chapter 6). And there is much to learn in his comments. But not all of our weapons are listed there. So he opens that discussion by defining our enemy (see point 1). And remember, our enemy is subtle. So Paul declares:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
You are a mission volunteer. Your life is not your own, you are bought with a price. So now, you are on mission for the King of Kings. You must win the war that matters. How will you succeed? By knowing:
- Your mission, the enemy, and the goal
- The battle is God’s, to be won in the power of His might
- The weapons you have been given for victory
And I already know some of you doubt the application. You wonder if something God did for the nation of Judah really applies to us today. Can worship really be a weapon of our warfare? Would it help if I told you Jesus said so? That’s for comments or an entirely new post!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Reminder: That EquipUs U pic is a great place to equip yourself to win the war that matters! Enrollment is open right now.