The Battle Is Not Yours
"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... You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you..." - 2 Chronicles 20:15, 17
This past week has been a sobering and fearful season in my adopted hometown of Austin, TX. A serial bomber struck five times (and nearly a sixth) taking the lives of two people, and seriously injuring several others.
This morning, the terror ended when the 24-year-old bomber was confronted by law enforcement and set off an explosive device in his car, killing himself in the process. It was a sad, terrible end to it all.
I started thinking this morning about how helpless and angry I have felt off and on all week, and how that helpless anger guided my responses. Throughout the week, I found myself praying less for the situation and spouting off more.
I found myself putting my trust in things other than God.
In the Scripture above, the ancient Hebrew people are facing insurmountable odds. Neighboring tribes are threatening to attack them, and they are outnumbered. The leaders of the Hebrew people pray to God for help, and they are given a prophetic answer to their prayers.
"Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army," the prophet declares to them, "For the battle is not yours, but God's." Then he goes on to say, "You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you..."
For some of us, there have been more than a few moments in our lives when we've felt as though we're staring down a vast, opposing army bent on our destruction. We are living in fear and dread--immobilized and overwhelmed.
But like those Israelites of old, we are called to not rely on our own strength--because truthfully we can't. Instead, we are called to rely fully on God, and to have the courage to step forward believing that God will fight for us.
If you are feeling overwhelmed today, take heart. The battle before you is not yours to fight alone.
May you be filled with courage today to face the "armies" before you. May you say with confidence, "This battle is the Lord's and not mine!" May you step forward in faith and believe that God is on your side, now and forever.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.