The Battle Belongs to the Lord

Sam Petitfils

“You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17

God usually employs us to deliver us from our own trials.  He commands us to go forward in faith, work through difficulties, and then gives us the assurance of His help and presence.  Moses, Joshua, and most all the great people of God in the Bible needed to wrestle with conflict, enemies, and perform acts of faith in their daily battles, but sometimes God wants us to stand aside and witness Him work all alone.

Jehoshaphat, who generally was a good king, was besieged by enemies in 2 Chronicles 20.  The Moabites, Ammonites, and Muenites surrounded him, and naturally he was afraid.  He did what he needed to do: sought the Lord.  In verse 3, he “set his face to seek the Lord,” and God did not delay His response.  In the text above, God replied that Judah “will not need to fight in this battle.”  They only needed to “stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf” (2 Chronicles 20:17).  How powerful was that?  And God routed the enemies, setting an ambush and turning them against one another (vv. 22-23).

Wouldn’t it be great if God took on our enemies directly and asked us only to stand by and watch?  Well, sometimes He does just that.  Occasionally God wants us to see Him work all alone, with us trustingly standing by to behold His glorious work.  This usually occurs when we, like Jehoshaphat, have nowhere else to turn.

Now some people take this as their cue that they never have to do anything to be delivered, just watch God work, but, as we mentioned above, God normally enlists us in the battle and expects us to take hold of faith and charge the enemy, but at other times, He wants us to let Him do it all.  Some of us have a hard time with that. We want to “fix things,” or perhaps do not feel worthy of God’s direct intervention.  Yet God delights to help His people, sometimes all alone expecting nothing from us except believing faith.

When God does this, we need to remember a lesson: The battle belongs to the Lord.  Even when God uses us to work out a situation, the battle does not rest with us, but with God.  Our natural tendencies cause us to place our trust in men, and to rush to them when things go wrong around us.  We quickly call upon people who we think are in a position to rescue us, or come to our aid, but we risk placing our trust in them, when it actually belongs to the Lord.  Whether God uses us to deliver us or chooses to do it all by Himself, the battle belongs to the Lord.

When God performs a mighty work around us, He does not intend that we rely less on Him, but more.  The victory resides with Him in each and every battle, and we must not forget that.  In fact, we need to trust Him more and more to give us the strength to rely on Him for all things.  God leads us to trust in Him when things go awry in our lives, and we lose control.  Losing control contains a silver lining: It causes us to turn to the One who delights to work on our behalf so that we might praise His name and place our trust in Him.


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