"This is how I fight my battles! This is how I fight my battles!/ It may look like I'm surrounded, but you surround me!" This simple, uncomplicated worship song is trendy today because it speaks truth to everyday life. A significant part of living the Christian life is fighting battles. Some are small, others are severe, but each battle is ours for the taking when we learn how to tap into the victory Christ has already won. It's time we learn how to fight!
One passage that provides a practical outline for us is 2 Chronicles 20. It is the story of a coordinated attack on the nation of Judah by three other kingdoms. The passage says these enemies came, "After..." After a period of rebellion? No. After a period of backsliding? Quite the contrary, this attack came after Jehoshaphat enacted reforms to restore truth and integrity, especially to the judicial system in Judah. The most significant attack of your life will come following your decision to get your life in alignment with God's will and ways.
We don't know the exact number of the amassed army, but the strength of the enemy caused Jehoshaphat to fear. Judah could not meet these enemies on the field of battle and hope to be victorious. The record states, "Then Jehoshaphat was fearful and set himself to seek the Lord" (v. 3a). Though he feared, his faith won out. Faith isn't the absence of the feelings of fearfulness. Faith is choosing to believe the promise over the problem. Jehoshaphat didn't gather his team to prepare terms of surrender. Instead, He called the people to fast and pray for a miracle. Faith in action!
Prayer: It Always Starts Here
The prayer of Jehoshaphat (vv. 6-12) is more than a cry for help. When you look into it, you see a faith-crafted appeal. He begins by focusing on the greatness and sovereignty of God. He rehearses a truth that we quickly forget in battle: God is above all and ruler over all. "In Your hand are strength and might, and there is no one who can oppose You" (v. 6b).
But the Almighty is more than a distant deity; He is also the personal God of Israel! Jehoshaphat rehearses the covenant love God and "His friend" Abraham shared. He reiterates that the enemy is after the possessions that belong to Judah by covenant inheritance. The temple they stood in front of bore the name and presence of the mighty yet personal one who keeps the covenant. Jehoshaphat speaks some of the most profound sentences found in any prayer, "O our God, will You not render judgment on them? For we have not strength enough to stand before this great army that is coming against us. And we do not know what we should do, but our eyes are on You" (v. 20, AMPC). The prayer of faith is the acknowledgment that we are well aware of our weakness and confident in His strength.
Position: The Right Place
Ever heard the importance of being at the right place at the right time? I'm sure. That's because positioning is a crucial component to win any battle and to succeed in any endeavor. As Jehoshaphat and the people prayed and waited before the Lord, the Spirit moved on a young prophet who declared a word of encouragement and direction. "Pay attention ... do not fear, nor be dismayed because of this great army, for the battle is not yours, but God's. Tomorrow, go down against them...It will not be necessary for you to fight in this conflict. Take your positions, stand, and observe the deliverance of the Lord for you" (v. 15-17, MEV).
While you are seeking the Lord in prayer, be sure to make room for Him to speak to you. Listen for His voice to instruct you about the position. He knows the place you must position yourself to experience your breakthrough. Your obedience in faith will bring you to the moment of your "suddenly."
Following a time of worship, the people gathered early the next morning to do as the Lord instructed them. Jehoshaphat encouraged them, "Listen to me, Judah and those dwelling in Jerusalem. Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be supported. Believe His prophets, and you will succeed" (v. 20b). The position God places you in will always be the place of faith. Let's believe in the Love and believe His Word, and the breakthrough is ours!
Praise: His Mercy Endures
In Jehoshaphat and Judah's situation, the faith place was to put the musicians and singers in front of the warriors. What? That is a crazy idea! But, they did it. Why? Because they believed the word, "The battle is not yours, but God's" (v. 15b).
They sang about the mercy of the Lord and worshipped the beauty of God's integrity. He is the faithful God. His promises are sure, and His mercy toward His people endures forever. When they began to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the enemy. Their praise released total confusion in the enemy's camp, and the enemy destroyed each other. Havoc was released on the strategy of hell when God's people celebrated the goodness of their Sovereign in the face of overwhelming adversity.
They didn't focus on the enemy, but not one of the enemies escaped. The breakthrough came for God's people; total victory. They received the suddenly! It came as they sang the praises of Jehovah. Paul and Silas tapped into this principle in a dark, damp dungeon located in Philippi. Beaten, bruised and bloodied they yet sang songs of praise in the darkness of the night and released the power of God's delivering light. This is how we fight our battles. We set our eyes on Jesus and lift our voices in celebration! His word will prevail. And the victory in the battles is already ours because of His great love for us. Lift your voice now and began to praise.
Party: The Battle's Won!
Following their concert of praise and the resulting confusion and defeat in the enemy's camp, it was time to party! It took three days to gather the treasure left behind by the enemy. What the enemy intended for evil, God turned for their good. Hallelujah! The same is true for you today. The overwhelming and unusual attack against you will not prosper.
The devil is a liar, and God's word is true. Our heavenly Father is intentional concerning you. You can be confident that"... all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28). Get ready to say, "Wow!" It's time to party. The text says Jehoshaphat and all the people returned "... with joy because the Lord made them rejoice" (v. 27b). They celebrated! They partied!
Whatever you are facing, set your attention on the Lord, lift your voice in worship and get ready to experience breakthrough on a dimension beyond your wildest imagining. This is how you win your battles!
Keith Nix is the founding pastor of a thriving congregation, The Lift Church in Sevierville, Tennessee. He has traveled as an international evangelist since 1993 carrying a unique message of awakening and establishing to this generation. He and his wife, Margie, have one daughter, Isabella. To learn more and get a free audio download you can visit KeithNix.org You can connect with Keith on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeithNixTV/ or Twitter here: https://twitter.com/KeithNixTV.
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