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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

From Carolyn

Just For You
The Blessing in the Battle—3.7.17
 
It happened this way. God’s people were feeling vulnerable and distressed as news came that an overwhelming enemy was advancing to take them out.  Danger was on the move. Jehoshaphat got the news first and he “was afraid.” At this point he gathered the people and did the responsible and wise thing. He “turned his attention to seek the Lord.” He cried out to the Lord in his distress, acknowledging God’s power and might and His past faithfulness to deliver His people. Then came the familiar words that are often so relevant to me and to you. “Lord, we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
At this point the Spirit of the Lord instructed Jahaziel to address His people. His first word to the people was, “Listen! The Lord has a word for you.” Yes, there would be a battle. Yes, the enemy was mighty, too mighty for them.  Nevertheless, they need not fear or be dismayed.

Really? Put away our flight or fight mechanisms? Really? How can this be?

And here is the blessing in the battle. The Lord also said, “The battle is not yours. The battle is the Lord’s!” The battle is the Lord’s. The battle is the Lord’s.
Some days ago this became my mantra for all the “enemies” facing me in the big picture of my life and in the daily days. As I wrote a note for my Blessing Box that day, I counted as a huge blessing this promise: The battle is the Lord’s. I decided right then to ask the Lord to help me remember this truth in four broad areas where my enemies pop-up: Health, Family, Feelings, Aging.

Each area has various facets but none are too big for the Lord. Nor are any too small. Some of my “enemy” thoughts in different areas have been, “What do we do next?” “That hurt!” “Will she be okay?” “I don’t think I have the strength for….” “I need to forgive.” “I’m burdened about his spiritual health.” “One more daily detail seems overwhelming.” “I’m feeling impatient.” “Fear is crouching at the door about….” “How does ministry fit in here?”

So often our battles begin in our distressing thoughts, don’t they? For at root all our battles are spiritual battles. Especially then I want to remember the battle is the Lord’s. It’s His battle to calm my thoughts as I ask Him to do so. I certainly can repeat His promises and that can help. But ultimately the battle is the Lord’s. I count on Him to show me His ways, enable me to think right and to do right. Then I can rest on a platform of peace. Often a lot of waiting is involved. Sometimes I am like Winnie-the-Pooh and have a bit of fluff in my ears and don’t readily hear the words of the Lord. I sometimes don’t focus on Scripture. But the One who is mighty is the One who so loves me and is infinitely patient and always available when I turn to Him for help.

The same is true when I think of those I love and the “enemies” they face. Whether family or friends the battle is the Lord’s! I do not have to helicopter in with my plans to rescue them. I can love and I can call on the Lord to help them as I pray for them. I can listen if He directs and leads me in His paths to help but praying and waiting are often the most real help I can give. He will show me His ways. My love can care and reach out in ways the Lord directs but it cannot control. The battle is the Lord’s.

I encourage you to remember that whatever enemy you or those you love face the battle is the Lord’s. Certainly there will be skirmishes and I will have to continually come back to my mantra, my battle cry. Still, I can have peace in the process as I remember and count on the battle is the Lord’s.
I can also do as these folks did and go out singing and praising God for who He is and what He will do. The battle will not always go as I think it should. But then I can rest in God’s mysterious love that moves Him to be at work on my behalf, often in ways I cannot fathom.

The battle is the Lord’s. Will you please pray for me to embrace this truth today and each day? I will pray the same for you because I care about you and I know He cares about you even more.

With love and hope and praises,

Carolyn
FYI 2 Chronicles 20: 1-25 records the account of this battle

3 comments:

Brian K said...

Thank You for the reminder to Trust in Trial!
some thoughts here: disarm the prevailing anxiety with heavy meditation on Psalm 118 and Isaiah 26:3.
In my reading schedule this a.m. I read 1 Samuel 1-5; what a beautiful picture of solid faith in Hannah & how she handled the pain, worry, etc. She endured like Moses by seeing Him who is invisible. Her faith in the sovereignty of God is "epic". Her testimony has strengthened the Church for centuries and will continue until the end of the age.

Romans 15:4 (KJV) For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Ed Pickard said...

Just for me--and just when I needed it. Thank you, Carolyn.

Diane Kulkarni said...

I am so glad I read this piece today, Carolyn! It is exactly what I needed, facing what I am--many of your issues are mine, so it all rang true.
Bless you,
Diane Kulkarni