Do you realize that you repeatedly accept, almost welcome, a battle (problem or struggle) that does not belong to you?
So often we approach God with our battles (problems and struggles) big and small. We ask for his support and assistance during our trial or difficulty. This battle is our battle, and we plead to God for help with our battle. We look at trouble as solely, completely ours.
Have you ever heard the phrase “the battle is the Lord’s”? Do you know who was one of the first to declare this and when? It was none other than David while speaking to the giant Goliath in 1 Samuel.
1 Samuel 17:46-47 NIV
This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.
All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.
Notice David says that the LORD will deliver the Philistine army into his hands. David acknowledged that it is God who will give them to the Israelites. David does not say to Goliath “I will destroy you” or “the Israelites will destroy you.”
1 Samuel 17:37 NIV
The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.
Was this battle against the Philistines David's battle or God's battle? David plainly states for the battle is the Lord’s battle.
In another war, God himself tells the people that the battle is not their battle but his.
2 Chronicles 20:15-17 NIV
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.
The Bible is full of stories of battles and conflicts that prove without a doubt that God delivered Israel time and time again. It was by the hand of God that conflicts were conquered. Triumph was achieved by the hand of God. The battles were not for the Israelites to win. The battles were the Lord’s. This applies to today as well. Let me show you.
Look how clear God makes it in Proverbs 21.
Proverbs 21:31 NIV
The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the Lord.
You may feel somewhat prepared for a battle with things you have on earth. It may be money, influence, knowledge, security or whatever gives you a sense of control from earth. However, that horse (earthly weapons and protection) does not win the battle. Victory belongs to God. All your struggles and afflictions are not yours alone to fight and sort out. Realize that the battle that you face is not yours. It belongs to God.
It is not up to us to engage in a conflict and ask God for assistance. We tend to ask our God for support during what we call our trial, our difficulty. When the truth is the actual battle is for God to conquer, not us. To grasp the spiritual reality will bring a new perspective to your view of the world and of troubles you face.
There are many, many stories in the Word of God that prove this truth. As much as I would love to explore a lot of them, for now we will focus on one battle that God has brought to my attention in a passionate manner.
We will start our journey learning to see that our battles do not belong to us in the books of Exodus and Joshua. Joshua and the Israelites preparing to enter God's promised land will begin this study.
God has directed me in some intensive research and a lovely amount of quality time in the book of Joshua. This time with my Creator and author of all that I write has brought me so much peace.
The Word can and will let you see spiritual realities that brings much trust and comfort in God. So, this Bible study will include some reading of the Word to give you peace and confidence in your God. While you read, your Father God will give you unique revelation specific to your heart.
The battle is God’s battle. Our role is to serve him in this battle. We need to submit to God in a trial, so that we can serve him through it.
Although we do see victories from God in our past, sometimes we tend to forget them when a new struggle arrives. Our first reaction is to feel fear, and then we let worry begin. After worry and anxiety settle in, we call on God for help. Our battle is too much for us to handle, so we need to be saved from it. Rescue is in the forefront of our cries; taking on this affliction says the war is ours! This mindset completely dismisses the fact that God owns the battle.
We do not need to be delivered from a battle that is not even ours. All our distress and worry came from an actual conflict that is not our problem. The battle is God’s battle. It is not yours to fight.
Let us start with the Word of God (alive and active) to correct this mindset of owning the battle. We will begin with looking at Joshua when he recently took on the leadership of the Israelites from Moses. Pay close attention to the bold print verses to see the true owner of the battle, God, not man.
Deuteronomy 31:1-7 NLT
When Moses had finished giving these instructions to all the people of Israel, he said, “I am now 120 years old, and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has told me, ‘You will not cross the Jordan River.’
But the Lord your GOD himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy the nations living there, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua will lead you across the river, just as the Lord promised.
“The LORD will destroy the nations living in the land, just as he destroyed Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites. The LORD will hand over to you the people who live there, and you must deal with them as I have commanded you.
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them.
You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land.
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. HE will be with you; HE will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Who will cross the Jordan in front of the Israelites?
Who will destroy the nations living in their promised land?
Who will hand over the people living there to the Israelites?
Who will be with them when they receive possession of the land?
Who will not fail them?
Who will not abandon them?
Is this battle up to the Israelites to fight?
It is noticeably clear that the battle is God’s battle to fight and win. This is God’s war. The role of the Israelites was submission to God. Our part in God’s battle is to submit to Him and follow Him. God is the commander. We are his followers. We only need to inquire about our part.
God told the people to take possession of their land. He explained that Joshua would lead them across the river. He even reminded them that he has done this for them in the past. He had destroyed Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites for the Israelites. He told them to be strong and courageous.
This is where submission comes in the picture. God instructed the people on what to do. He told them their part. Submission is yielding to the power of God. It means to surrender to God. This means simply to do as God asks and trust him.
Whatever battle you are facing,
whether it is fear over the current state of the world,
stress over your job or lack of one,
an upsetting relationship,
any type of trouble,
it is time to see that problem, that battle, as no longer yours alone. In fact, it is not your battle at all.
You do have a part as the battle rages, but it is still not your battle.
When you grasp this amazing truth, your perspective will make a drastic shift. The world landscape will appear less troublesome as you learn to trust the victor of the battle, God.