Sunday, June 21, 2015

Not your battle to fight

In one of the quieter corners of the Old Testament, rarely visited by Sunday preachers, lived a king of Judah called Jehoshaphat.  Faced with a vast enemy, thoroughly outnumbered, Jehoshaphat responded by calling the nation to fasting and prayer, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

God’s answer through the prophet was this: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

The next morning, they went out towards the battle.  Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendour of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”  It was less a march to battle as it was a procession of worship.

By they time they came to the place that overlooked the battle field, all they saw was a dead army awaiting plunder – the enemy had fought among themselves and so destroyed each other. (Retold from 2 Chronicles 20)

My enemy is within me.  My anxieties well up in me, wave upon wave, threatening to overwhelm me. I try using the breathing and relaxation techniques I’ve learned from my counsellor, but find myself me praying, shaking and trembling, tears streaming down my face.  I have no power to face this.  I don’t know what to do. I’m scared, but my eyes are upon you, God.

This is not your battle to fight.

My default setting is to think “Here is a problem, I must do something to solve this.”  I now have two problems to solve: the original stress that has triggered this, and then the anxiety and fear, which often seems bigger than the original issue. 

This is not my battle to fight.  It’s not about fighting back against the anxiety, but shifting my focus to worship, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”  I’m to change my approach from a march into battle to a procession of praise.  It’s a letting go of the need to DO, and Trusting instead.

Easier said than done.

Don’t be afraid or discouraged.  This is not your battle to fight.


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