Introduction

The battle is not yours, it’s the Lord’s — a statement that I believe most of us have heard or maybe even said ourselves at some point, but do you really believe that the battle is not yours?  The reason I ask is because so many of us live our lives in a manner where we believe the battle is ours and ours alone.  Sadly, many end up losing the battle because they end up believing that the battle was theirs and theirs alone.  

For those genuine in faith in the Lord, to say that the battle is not yours, it’s the Lord’s, is a statement about our faith.  This is a statement that speaks to trusting in the Lord rather than thinking the battle and all of the skirmishes within are just ours.  When I tell you that the battle is not yours, it is an encouraging statement for you to stand still and put your hope and trust in the Lord to handle all the fighting.

As we go through life, we find that life, the journey and all that comes with it is quite the battle.  Like the children of Israel, we have many trials, tribulations, and adversaries that we fight and battle against on our journey to the land of heaven that has been promised to us.  So, we must focus on our battle and how we go about enduring the battle so that we can reach the finish line and be victorious.

Dealing With the Battle

There are a few ways that we can choose to deal with our battle to reach the finish line of our journey.  First:  we could try to take on the battle to reach the finish line by ourselves without any assistance from the one who is able to help us.  Second:  instead of trying to take on the battle because it is so difficult, we could give up and stop fighting.  Third:  we could choose to wait on the Lord – be steadfast – and rely on Him and His help in our battle to endure and reach the finish line. 

Taking the battle on by yourself

I would suggest to you today that taking on this battle and all of the fights within it by yourself is a very poor strategy.  Many people in scripture tried to do this with tragic results.  A very good example of this type of person in scripture would be King Saul.  Saul was a man who was given an extraordinary opportunity as he was anointed and allowed to be king of Israel by the Lord.

Yet, with this opportunity, we find that Saul did not rely on the Lord as an ally.  As shown by his unlawful sacrifice, Saul became a man of impatience when it came to waiting on the Lord (1 Sam. 13:1-14).  In his impatience, he grew to be a man that would not heed the voice of the Lord or follow God’s commands as shown when he did not destroy the Amalekites as commanded by God (1 Sam. 15:1-9).

Saul had gotten so far away from the Lord that he literally began to take on battles without God’s assistance.  In the end, the consequences were tragic for not only Saul but also his sons and those that followed him into battle (1 Sam. 31:1-6).  You see, Saul tried to will himself to victory but even our will cannot lead us to be victorious in what we have to endure in life — we need help!

Cannot be fearful

I would also suggest to you today that the Lord does not desire for anyone to give up because the battle is a difficult one.  Some have given up because they are exhausted from fighting the fight and they can no longer endure.  Others have given up because fear has paralyzed them and it holds them back from pushing forward to endure those hills, mountains, valleys, our adversaries, and our great adversary.

Let us remember that when they entered into the Promised Land, the Lord spoke to Joshua and commanded that he and the children of Israel to not be afraid but to be strong and of good courage (Josh. 1:6).  There was no need for them to fear the road ahead because the Lord was always going to go before them and He would always be with them to shield and to protect them on every side.

Listen to these encouraging words from Joshua.  “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.  I will not leave you nor forsake you (Josh. 1:5).”  God was their shepherd that cared for and protected them.  We have a good shepherd in God who is always protecting us from those that would desire to come upon us and cause harm.  We have a good shepherd that will not allow the wolves to come into the field and scatter us!  You are always under His watchful eye.

When He spoke of being the Good Shepherd, Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  I and My Father are one (John 10:27-30).”  

I feel I must remind you that you have a guide in this battle that will guide you to places of rest so that you can endure.  You also have a protector in this battle to fight for you so that you can survive and endure.  So, why should we give up and why should we be afraid?  You will never grow weary when you realize that the battle is not yours and that it’s the Lord’s.  Because your protector is mighty, I want you to understand that He is also greater than all our adversity and will win the battle!  Again, why should we be afraid?

Our Mighty Protector

So, I must ask, what do you think of when you think of a protector?  I think of someone who is always watchful – meaning that they are always on guard.  I also think of someone who, if a situation arises, is able to provide safety, security, and protection so that the one they are protecting can survive and make it through.  I want you to see how our mighty protector works through scripture.

Surrounded by our adversaries

In 2 Chronicles 20, we come across a very interesting moment in time where Judah, the southern kingdom, had a similar choice as Israel, the northern kingdom, had to make in the text I referenced in my sermon last week – Give Me Direction.

At this point in time, Judah was under the reign of Jehoshaphat – one of the good kings of Judah that walked in the way of the Lord (2 Chr. 17:3-5).  Jehoshaphat led reforms to turn Judah away from its wickedness and back to living under the commandments of God (2 Chr. 19:4-11).  

Interestingly enough, it was after these reforms that Judah’s adversaries of old came knocking on the door.  We are told that Moab, Ammon, and others from Mount Seir came to do battle against Jehoshaphat and Judah (2 Chr. 20:1,10).  This was interesting because Jehoshaphat was leading Judah through their trials and tribulation of wickedness.  As soon as they were making it through those trials and tribulations, their adversaries popped up.  

Life is like that, isn’t it?  You make it through one storm and another storm isn’t far behind.  For Judah, these were adversaries that they were supposed to be already rid of but as I have mentioned, their forefathers failed to do this.  So, this allowed the adversaries to hang around, and now cause trouble for their descendants.  

This, I believe, is representative of how some of the hardest things we face in life are the things we never truly put away from us when we should have.  Fighting these things off becomes the most grueling fight we have, isn’t it?

Even after we have confessed our faith in the Lord, we find that we still struggle with our old self, his or her old ways which ends up adding on to our trials and tribulations.  As Paul said, we, the genuine believer, are hard pressed on every side.  Yet, Paul would tell you that even though we are hard pressed on every side, we are not crushed (2 Cor. 4:8).  Now, how could Paul say this confidently to us?

Jehoshaphat’s response to being surrounded

Let us pay close attention to how Jehoshaphat responded to Judah being surrounded by their adversaries so that we who are hard pressed on every side can respond in a like manner.

We will see that his first action was not to try and take on the battle without God or to give up.  Jehoshaphat, we are told, was afraid, however, we are also told that he set himself to seek the Lord in this matter (2 Chr. 20:3).  In fact, to take it a step further, we are shown that Jehoshaphat had all of Judah to come together and stand before the Lord (2 Chr. 20:4-5).

You see, Jehoshaphat truly was a man of genuine faith in the Lord and his very first response was to go to God.  Our response, when we are fighting that uphill battle against our trials, tribulations, and adversaries should be to seek the Lord!  Now, as a king, Jehoshaphat could have moved like other kings of that era.  He could have moved with ego and arrogance and tried to fight Judah’s adversaries by himself.

Yet, Jehoshaphat prayed – this is how he fought!  In his prayer, we will first notice that Jehoshaphat first acknowledged the power and authority of the Lord and that no man could withstand Him (2 Chr. 20:6).  Who is there that can go up against God and actually defeat Him?  Some will foolishly answer Satan but we know that Satan has already been defeated.  There is nobody that can challenge and defeat the Lord.  God is undefeated.

He did it before, He will do it again

After acknowledging God’s power and authority, Jehoshaphat then spoke of what the Lord had already done to these very same adversaries before.  Again, though these adversaries were never truly defeated as they should have been, Israel and Judah were able to withstand them.  So, in acknowledging what had happened before with these adversaries, Jehoshaphat was saying in his faith they could withstand them again with the Lord’s help.

We have that saying that goes like this:  if the Lord did it before, He can do it again.  God brings us through so much in our life, things we might be aware of and things we might be unaware of.  This is what our faith is all about – trusting that what God has done for us before, He will most certainly do again!

Now, Jehoshaphat continued with this same thought in mind as he prayer.  We will see that he asked the Lord, “will you not judge them (2 Chr. 20:12)?”  This was to ask, ‘are you not going to do to them what you did to them before?”  Jehoshaphat was showing that he clearly understood that this looming battle was beyond what he and Judah could handle; he desired for God to take this battle completely into His hands!  Do you desire for the Lord to take your battle completely into His hands?

Humble admission

After asking for the Lord to move in judgment of his adversaries, Jehoshaphat makes one of the most humble admissions that we see in scripture.  Jehoshaphat, in that same verse, says to the Lord, “we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do.”  What a humble admission this is to the Lord!

How often do you humbly admit when you have no power over all that you are going through?  In times when our trials, tribulations, and afflictions are great, can you humbly admit when they are too great for you to handle and that you need help from the Lord?  When your adversaries (including Satan) join in and you feel hard pressed on every side, can you humbly admit that they are too great for you to handle?

Jehoshaphat understood that the Lord was still with Judah not only as their guide and director, but also as their shield and protector.  So, because he genuinely believed in the Lord, he was not ashamed to admit when he didn’t know what to do or when he was not capable.  With God watching over them, why would they have to fight a battle when the Lord was always more than ready to fight the battle for them?

It makes you wonder why we, as believers, are so adamant to jump out in front of God and try to fight our own battles?  What is with our stubbornness – the ego – to do that?  We have to reach that place in our mindset to where we are not ashamed to admit our limits and know when we are not capable of taking on our trials, tribulations, and adversaries by ourselves.

God is with all of us who have genuinely believed, received the Holy Spirit, and are making their way to the land of heaven.  As He was to Israel, the Lord is to us, His children – He is our guide and director, our shield, and protector.  So, why should you, a child of God, feel you have to fight your own battles when the Lord is always more than ready to fight the battle for you?

The Battle is Not Yours

In our key verse, we will see the Lord say to Jehoshaphat and all of Judah in an answer to his prayer, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

KEY VERSE – 2 CHRONICLES 20:15 NKJV

 You see, there was no need for them to be concerned  or even afraid when they were surrounded by so much adversity.  The same holds true for all of us as well — we have no need to be concerned or even afraid when we are surrounded by so much adversity.

God goes before us and He is very well aware when adversity surrounds us as we fight to draw closer to heaven. An enemy to one who is in fellowship with the Lord becomes an enemy of His.  Again, our enemies are all of those things that try to pull us away from the Lord and God is not going to allow anything or anyone to snatch us out of His hands!  God will easily brush these things away from us with a swift stroke of His hands!

Confident in our protector

In Psalm 27, David said that the Lord was his light and salvation and asked who should he fear?  He said that the Lord is the strength of his life, of whom should he be afraid (Ps. 27:1)?  David was a man who diligently sought the Lord in his soul (Ps. 63:1).  David said in his heart, “when the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell.  Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident (Ps. 27:2-3).”

All that we go through on this journey is trying to consume our soul – defeat us.  Are you confident that your soul can handle this battle without the Lord?  I do not have the arrogance or the ego to answer yes to that question.  Because I don’t have the arrogance or the ego to do this, I lean on my protector and He delivers me.  This time last year, the Lord delivered me from a very long fight within my battle to get to heaven

We should have the confidence of David as we go through life.  David was confident that he did not have to fight his battles because the Lord would handle them for him.

To Jehoshaphat, the Lord said, “You will not need to fight in this battle.  Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you O Judah and Jerusalem!  Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you (2 Chr. 20:17).”  So, have the confidence in the Lord to keep on pushing forward!

Deliverance because of our protector

I believe that in all we go through in life, God is our protector.  I want you to truly know today that the battle is not yours, it’s God’s; your trials, tribulations, and adversaries are the Lord’s.  You see, the battle is the Lord’s because you are in fellowship with Him and He takes anything that could bring harm to you as an attack against Him.

As our protector, God tells us not to be afraid and not to jump out  in front of Him and take on all that we are going through on our own.  You may be strong willed and believe that you can handle things by yourself, but learn to humbly admit when this battle is too much for you – even the strong willed needs help from the Lord!  We who are of faith should remain steadfast and confident in the Lord taking on our battle.  God is going to take on our battles and He is going to win which is most certainly a win for you.

Thought: The Battle Is Not Yours

By Rev. Leo H. McCrary II – May 8, 2022
Responsive Reading – 2 Chronicles 20:5-17
Key Verse – 2 Chronicles 20:15

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