When God Fights Your Battles . . .

The good news is that you win.

Satan is good at being bad. Knowing our weaknesses, he camps out with bated breath just waiting for his chance to launch his missiles. And he does it with extreme accuracy. The good news is we can begin to recognize his tactics and watch his attempts be thwarted. How? By saturating ourselves with Scripture. By reading about the triumphs of those who stumbled before us. By believing God is bigger than Satan's best shots. Remembering why the enemy continues to hit us where he does is essential.

Weak Spots Work

If we become increasingly aware of our areas of struggle and rely on God's strength in those areas, eventually they will not be the targeted areas. The only reason they are revisited is because Satan has success there. It's a spiral that we can get out of. We need to believe that God is bigger than those areas of our lives. The truth is, God is bigger than any weakness we have. Mull that over for a while.

In their book, Boundaries, Townsend and Cloud tell a story about a man who continually goes down a street and falls into a hole. The story paraphrased goes like this:

A man would go down the street, see a hole, and fall in. The next day the man walked down the street and saw the hole and fell in again. The third day the man partially changed his route but eventually still fell in the hole. The fourth day he altered his route a little but then looked back and fell in the stubborn hole. Finally when the man became tired of his failure, he decided to walk on the other side of the street. Enough was enough. He stopped thinking he could do it. Many of us still think we can.

When we keep trying to get different results by doing the same thing, others recognize it as insanity; we think we are persevering.

Look at God's Record

It's helpful in our battles to remember God's track record. He has proven himself in each of our lives. I need to remember what he did in my life because that's the life I'm living. And while I can learn from the stories of others, it's important to look back and see his faithfulness to me.

David went against Goliath, not because he was feeling particularly giant-strong one day, but he remembered God was with him—the very same God who gave him strength when he stood eye to eye with a bear—the same God who showed up when a lion crossed his path. David's trust needed to be in the right place, in God. Once that was established he stepped out.

And when Saul tried arming David with something that might have worked for Saul, David dismissed it. Not merely because of the obvious, the poor fit, but because God was the one who would do the fighting and he fights armor-free.

All Is Not Some

Satan is a word-twister. He did it in the garden when Eve was in the mood for a piece of fruit and he still does it today. He has found we are more apt to swallow half-truths than blatant lies. When we choose to trust God and start walking in faith, Satan whispers that God can do a lot, he can even do many things, but not all things. But Numbers 23:19 tells us that God is not a man that he should lie. If God said "all things," then that's exactly what he meant.

Challenges teach us two things; something about God, and something about us. If we choose to believe that God will give us the victory, we will see ringside just how powerful God is. If, instead, we choose to trust in our own strength or intelligence, we will quickly see how inadequate we are. We need to truly believe John 15:5, which says that we can do nothing apart from him.

Grace Is New Every Morning

One thing I love about God's grace is how fresh it is. We don't have to subsist on yesterday's leftovers, adding a little more of this or that, hoping it will be enough for what we face today. We don't have to beg, borrow, or steal someone else's grace because ours is depleted from the day before. As each day unfolds, we have a fresh supply of grace.

God knows what I will encounter today since he has already been here. He is the God of all time. He is never caught off guard by our trials; he's always at his post, ever ready. So I can get up, wipe the sleep from my eyes, and know with certainty that I will have enough grace for whatever he places before me.

Note: I did not say I will have enough grace for tomorrow. There's a big difference. Many times I'll worry about things in the future and wonder why I don't have the resources to deal with them. The Cliff Note answer is that if it's not in our present, it's not on God's list for us today.

If I want to be a responsible Christian, it means that I need to respond to what God wants me to do, limiting myself to only what he puts before me. God knows how much grace to dispense to me, just as he supplied the Israelites with the right amount of manna. If they tried stockpiling it, it was ruined.

God Is the Ultimate Transformer

God is in the renovation business. He takes wounded sinners who are weak and instead of just obliterating the weak spots, he camps out there. He strengthens us in the areas we need, becoming what we lack. And he does it for a couple of reasons.

  • He loves us. Look in the mirror. See that person before you with the doubting eyes? Well, he not only created that person, fashioning each and every detail, counting each single hair, but he genuinely loves the person reflected before you.
  • He is God. He will get the glory. He is the only one who deserves the glory. The more obvious it is that you don't have what it takes to be victorious, the more you can trust that he will step in. He's the God of the final hour, the last curtain, the impossibilities. He loves it when we stand with gaping mouths, recognizing what he did. So why not give him every opportunity to show us?

We have a choice. We can continue to try to do things in our own strength, peter out and falter, or we can recognize as it says in 2 Chronicles 20:15 that the battle is the Lord's. The battle is his, but the victory is ours.

If we let God fight our battles, we'll always be on the winning side.

Anne Peterson is a poet, speaker, and freelance author. If she isn't writing she's having fun with grandsons, Jude and Charlie. Visit Anne at Facebook or at annepeterson.com, where you can read her blog and listen to her poetry.

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