Life Lessons – Identify the Enemy
Are you tired of hearing about wars? How many have you heard about lately? Maybe you have spent time and energy on these wars:
- 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?
Life Lessons – Know Your Weapons
Do you want academic answers or would a picture better serve you? For most, the picture is better and we have one 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.
Life Lessons – Know Who is in Charge
Jehoshaphat led his people in prayer. Part of his prayer was:
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’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 God left no doubt for those who may have seen it. 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?
Life Lessons – Employ the Weapon(s) God Chooses
The nation of Judah went 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? Paul tells us a great deal in Ephesians 6. Many, but not all, of our weapons are listed there. But he opens that discussion by defining our enemy (see point 1). But 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. You freely gave your life to Christ and now you are on mission for Him. 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 really 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? See the next post!
Soli Deo Gloria!