GOD’S RULES FOR BATTLE
by Joni Ames
As many of us know, there has seemingly been an increase in the level of battle or warfare in these times. Just as the weather has been heating up, so has “life,” in general. Many have experienced panic attacks, fear, depression, and hopelessness on pretty serious levels. Some that I know have either had to go on medication or even had to be hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. We are talking about Christians. Now, before any of us try to “judge” that, let us just remember that Jesus warned of these times over 2,000 years ago.
This isn’t something “new.” We’ve all gone through warfare and battles before. However, there seems to be an increase and excelleration in the levels of warfare, as well as the amount of it, in the times we are in.
So how do we posture ourselves to “make it through” these times? Thankfully, we have the Word of God to turn to for our answers.
GOD’S RULES FOR BATTLE
While engaging in listening to my “Daily Bible Lesson” on my smart phone recently, the Word of the Lord for the day addressed, “God’s Rules For Battle,” out of Deuteronomy, Chapter 20. Let’s take a look at that….
Rule 1, (Verse 1): DO NOT BE AFRAID
“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEM.”
WHY? – “For the Lord your God is with you.”
Even if we have armies of people coming against us with all kinds of artillery, we need to remember that GOD IS WITH US!!! And if GOD is WITH us, He is FOR us, so who or what (worthwhile) could possibly matter that would come against us?! (Romans 8:31)
Rule 2, (Verses 2-3): “DO NOT LET YOUR HEART
BE FAINT, DO NOT BE AFRAID, DO NOT TREMBLE
OR BE TERRIFIED.”
(2) So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. (3) And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them;
Whenever a point is repeated, it deserves an even greater amount of our attention. Obviously, it is extremely important. We will see even more “why” in the verses that follow. But let me just insert a few things about fear here first.
The famous sales trainer Zig Zigglar used to explain the letters of the word “FEAR” as standing for meaning “False Evidence Appearing Real.”
I’ve had many conversations with various friends of mine who are Christian Counselors, and they all agree that MOST of the cases they deal with are related to fear of some kind. Statistics show that 98% of those fears NEVER come to pass.
So FEAR, in and of itself, is a weapon of the enemy that can paralyze and rob us of our peace, and our purpose, call, and destiny. It can cause us to make seriously bad maneuvers that we would not make if we were not operating in believing those fears. Even though they (most likely) will not occur! In fact, fear can cause us to “loose our minds” and do many untimely and stupid things that we wouldn’t normally do! It can even cause us to seek “other” means of comfort or relief – such as alcohol, drugs, affairs, etc. – It is a trick and weapon of the enemy to try to CAUSE us to fail!
The Word clearly tells us that GOD has NOT given to us a spirit of fear! Rather, HE gives to us POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND!!! (2 Tim. 1:7)
Fear actually is faith, by the way. But it is faith in the enemy, and not God.
Joshua was told, “Be ONLY strong and VERY COURAGEOUS.” – How could He be told to “BE” that?! Well, we can’t “BE” or “DO” anything without HIM. When HE is with us, He GIVES TO US the courage, strength, and faith we have need of! HE is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith! (Heb. 12:12) – So if we “use it all up,” He can make and give us some more!!!
Rule 3, (verse 4): REMEMBER – GOD IS WITH YOU!”:
Again, this is being repeated, because it was already told to us in verse 1. But in verse 4, we are again told that He is WITH US!:
(4) “for the Lord your God is HE WHO GOES WITH YOU, TO FIGHT FOR YOU against your enemies, TO SAVE YOU.”
We are reminded of this in The Great Commission in Mark 16:20: “And they went out and preached everywhere, THE LORD WORKING WITH THEM and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.”
He is WITH us, NOT against us!!!
He doesn’t take our hand over to the edge of the battle and throw us to the enemy so He can watch us get beat up and laugh at us! He walks us to the edge to get a good view of what happens and says, “Watch this! I’m going to fight FOR you against your enemies to SAVE you! Watch Me WIN this battle FOR you!” – Woo Hoo!!! – Yay God!!!
Rule 4, (Verses 5, 6, & 7): GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS
(5) Then the officers shall speak to the people, saying: ‘What man is there who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it. (6) Also what man is there who has planted a vineyard and has not eaten of it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man eat of it. (7) And what man is there who is betrothed to a woman and has not married her? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man marry her.’
Anyone who had fought in battle can tell you – distractions can kill you. It is so important to be sure that your mind is on what you are doing at ALL times. It’s not just YOUR life on the line, but the lives of those around you.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
2 Corin. 10:5 says we need to be, “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Rule 5, (Verse 8): GET RID OF FEAR
(8) The officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ‘What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint
like his heart.’
Get rid of fear! Gee, haven’t we heard that before?! <smile>
But here we get a clearer reason: Because fear is “catchy,” like a bad flu bug.
Remember when the “spies” gave the evil report to the Israelites? In Joshua 14:24 it says, “(7) I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. (8) Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me MADE THE HEART OF THE PEOPLE MELT, but I wholly followed the Lord my God.”
Fear can cause us to miss out on our Promised Land.
SO, HOW DO WE POSTURE OURSELVES IN THIS TIME?
Let us do as the Word says and renew our minds daily with THE Word. (Rom. 12:2) – The Word of God contains everything pertaining to life and godliness, and it does NOT go forth and return void. (Is. 55:11) – Read it, pray it, wash yourself and your family with it. Soak in it. Saturate yourself with it.
Cast down the fearful imaginations the enemy brings to your mind (2 Corin. 10:5) and bring them into the obedience of Christ.
War with the prophecies God has given to you. (1 Tim. 1:18-19) God is NOT a liar. Pray and speak life over those words that you know are from Him, and GO FOR IT!
Prov. 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Speak life to yourself and your loved ones, and death to the plans of the enemy.
We can say to the enemy, “I refuse that spirit of fear! By the power of the blood and name of Jesus, I command you to take it and go to the feet of Jesus for judgement!”
That may sound simple, but the enemy has to obey the name of Jesus.
Spend time in praise and worship. He inhabits His praises. (Psalms 22:3) WORSHIP is your WAR-ship!
We come before you and repent of fear and of speaking in such a way as to infect others with fear. We pray to you as David did, “Let the words of our mouth and meditations of our heart be acceptable in your sight.” Help us to remember that we win IN YOU, and help us to remind others of that as well. We love and worship you and thank you that you are fighting for and winning our battles for us!
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
— Joni Ames
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