A Different Kind of Weapon
This world can be quite unforgiving. We do our best to live as Christians, yet we fall ill, our loved ones die, we lose our jobs, our children go wayward, etc. why do these bad things happen to us? Simple – we are living in a fallen world where people and things do not always conform to the ideals of godly living. How, then, do we fight the battles that are bound to come our way? Do we just give up and say that what’s happening is part of God’s will and that he doesn’t care about us? Certainly not!
We fight differently.
The Bible talks about the armour of God in Ephesians 6.
Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (NIV)
I have enjoyed many sermons on the armor of God over the years, and I know you have too! Today, however, I would like to present to you a few other weapons that you need to carry along as you face life in this fallen world.
But I always have faith, I hear you say! Yes, I know you have faith. I want to challenge you though – who or what do you have faith in? When you ‘put’ on the armor of God, for example, do you trust in the weapons or the weapon-giver? Do you trust in your own strength and skill to get you through the battle?
In 1st Samuel Chapter 14, we see an amazing example of how faith won a battle. At the time, the Israelites had no weapons, as the Philistines had vowed that no blacksmiths would be found in Israel. As a result, only King Saul and his son Jonathan were armed!
One day, Jonathan took his armor bearer out to the Philistine outpost to see how they could gain an advantage over their enemies. Considering the fact that they had no weapons, this was quite an ambitious plan! Jonathan, however, believed that the victory did not lie in his armor or prowess, but in the hands of the Lord.
I Samuel 14:6 ‘´Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!´’ (NIV)
Jonathan knew that the Lord was able to give them victory – and he did! The two of them killed twenty men, and the rest of the Philistine army was thrown into a panic, turning on one another with their weapons. When Israel saw what was happening to their enemies, they stepped out of their hiding places and gleefully joined the battle!
That day the Israelites won the battle, not because they were well-prepared or strong, but because Jonathan stepped out in faith, trusting God to give them the victory. When I think about it, two men going out against a whole army was a crazy idea – but Jonathan didn’t think so. He knew God was behind him. He trusted in God.
The boss slaps with you a warning letter for something you didn’t do. The cops arrest you for a traffic offence that you are not guilty of. Your family members stop talking to you because of what you stand for. Your friends at school shun you because you won’t cheat. All these are daily battles that we all go through.
Back to the example of the friends at school who ignore you because you will not cheat on a test. How should you fight back? Report them to the authorities, perhaps? Maybe slip them the answers – just this once? What about giving them a long lecture about being real friends, and how true friends should stick together even when they don’t agree? All these are great solutions, aren’t they? One problem though – they are YOUR solutions, not God’s.
Jehoshaphat had a problem – a big problem. A huge army was marching towards Judah! Jehoshaphat was terrified, and he turned to the Lord in despair. He instructed the people of Judah to fast and pray until they received guidance from the Lord on what to do next. The odds were definitely against them. The King cried out to the Lord, reminding him of the promises made to Abraham, and reminding him that Judah was powerless against such a large army. Jehoshaphat turned to the Lord in complete surrender, asking for his guidance and intervention.
What happened next?
2 Chronicles 20:15-17 “He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!” (NLT)
These words brought such comfort to the people of Judah. Led by Jehoshaphat, they bowed down in surrender as they worshipped the Lord. the next day, they marched out as the Lord had instructed them to, and sure enough, the Lord fought the battle on their behalf. All that was left for them to do was gather the plunder!
If Jehoshaphat had chosen to seek an unholy alliance with another nation, would his people have experienced such a victory? Oh no! What if he had decided to trust in the strength and numbers of his own army? They would have been routed like never before!
Jehoshaphat set an example for the people of Judah – he surrendered to the Lord and instructed the people to do so as well. Because the King chose to put aside his ‘kingship’ and surrender to the Lord, God heard them and fought for them and Judah won the battle without lifting a finger.
Surrendering to God in the midst of battle is usually the last thing on our minds, but it is most certainly the best course of action. Remember, God always knows when, how and why battles will come knocking on our doors. He is, therefore, the best person to call on to when they come along!
Shhh! The enemy’s coming! Should I get ready to fight? No, be quiet and wait for my instructions. If you go out now, you will be cut down before you know it!
Being still – one of the hardest things to do when you are facing a battle that may cost you your life! To visualize the magnitude of being still, picture standing absolutely still as you see a swarm of bees approach in the distance! That’s a tall order even for a person of great faith!
In the verses above, Jehoshaphat, after hearing the word of the Lord promising deliverance, chose to fall on his knees and to worship Him. He, of course, had every opportunity to go out and tell his troops to start getting ready for the battle the next day, but he didn’t. He went down on his knees and focused on God, and so did the entire congregation.
The next day, once again there was an opportunity to rally the troops, make a plan of action and get ready for the battle ahead, but no, Jehoshaphat did things differently.
2 Chronicles 20:21 “After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!” (NLT)
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I am worshipping the Lord, I tend to focus on him and not what is around me. Imagine, therefore, all the singers leading the whole group in praises as they marched. As they sang, their hearts became still because they knew that the God they were focusing on would fulfill his promise to them.
The story of Jehoshaphat is just one example of how you can be still when facing a battle. The key point to note here, however, is that when things are thick, focusing on God and giving him time to act is always the best way forward. When you fix your eyes on the Lord, he gives you peace and shelters you within his arms as he fights your battles.
Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (NIV)
Faith in the Lord, surrendering to him and being still in his presence. These are three weapons that are bound to get you through any battle that comes your way!
Hi, everyone! Do you now feel more prepared to face any battle that may come your way in the year ahead? Just remember to have faith in the Lord as you surrender to Him and remain still in his presence, and he will fight for you. Have a great week ahead and don’t forget to share this article. Blessings.