Battles

* God fights our battles

What encouraging news for Joshua, who was to lead his men against the persistent forces of evil in the Promised Land! Since God promised to help him win every battle, he had nothing to fear. Our battles may not be against godless armies, but they are just as real as Joshua’s. Whether we are resisting temptation or battling fear, God has promised to fight with and for us as we obey him. (NLT)

Deuteronomy 3:21-22 – “At that time I said to Joshua, ‘You have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings. He will do the same to all the kingdoms on the west side of the Jordan. Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.’”

* As the enemy bore down on Judah, God spoke through Jahaziel: “Do not be afraid! . . . For the battle is not yours, but Gods.” We may not fight an enemy army, but every day we battle temptation, pressure, and “rulers . . . of the unseen world” (Ephesians 6:121) who want us to rebel against God. Remember, as believers, we have God’s Spirit in us. If we ask for God’s help when we face struggles, God will fight for us. And God always triumphs.

How do we let God fight for us? (1) Realize that the battle is not ours, but God’s; (2) Recognize human limitations and allow God’s strength to work through our fears and weaknesses; (3) Make sure we are pursuing God’s interests and not just our own selfish desires; (4) Ask God for help in our daily battles. (NLT)

2 Chronicles 20:15 – He said, “Listen, King Jehoshaphat! Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. . .”

* Don’t fight when you can make peace

When the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar near the Jordan River, the rest of Israel feared that these tribes were starting their own religion and rebelling against God. But before beginning an all-out war, Phinehas led a delegation to learn the truth, following the principle taught in Deuteronomy 13:12-182. He was prepared to negotiate rather than fight if a battle was not necessary. When he learned that the altar was for a memorial rather than for pagan sacrifice, war was averted and unity restored.

As nations and as individuals, we would benefit from a similar approach to resolving conflicts. Assuming the worst about the intentions of others only brings trouble. Israel averted the threat of civil war by asking before assaulting. Beware of reacting before your hear the whole story. (NLT)

Joshua 22:11-34 – When the rest of Israel heard they had built the altar at Geliloth west of the Jordan River, in the land of Canaan, the whole assembly gathered at Shiloh and prepared to go to war against their brother tribes. First, however, they sent a delegation led by Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest. They crossed the river to talk with the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. In this delegation were ten high officials of Israel, one from each of the ten tribes, and each a leader within the family divisions of Israel.

When they arrived in the land of Gilead, they said to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, “The whole community of the Lord demands to know why you are betraying the God of Israel. How could you turn away from the Lord and build an altar in rebellion against him? Was our sin at Peor not enough? We are not yet fully cleansed of it, even after the plague that struck the entire assembly of the Lord. And yet today you are turning away from following the Lord If you rebel against the Lord today, he will be angry with all of us tomorrow. If you need the altar because your land is defiled, then join us on our side of the river, where the Lord lives among us in his Tabernacle, and we will share our land with you. But do not rebel against the Lord or draw us into your rebellion by building another altar for yourselves. There is only one true altar of the Lord our God. Didn’t God punish all the people of Israel when Achan, a member of the clan of Zerah, sinned by stealing the things set apart for the Lord? He was not the only one who died because of that sin.”

Then the people of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered these high officials: “The Lord alone is God! The Lord alone is God! We have not built the altar in rebellion against the Lord. If we have done so, do not spare our lives this day. But the Lord knows, and let all Israel know, too, that we have not built an altar for ourselves to turn away from the Lord. Nor will we use it for our burnt offerings or grain offerings or peace offerings. If we have built it for this purpose, may the Lord himself punish us.

“We have built this altar because we fear that in the future your descendants will say to ours, ‘What right do you have to worship the Lord, the God of Israel? The Lord has placed the Jordan River as a barrier between our people and your people. You have no claim to the Lord.’ And your descendants may make our descendants stop worshiping the Lord. So we decided to build the altar, not for burnt sacrifices, but as a memorial. It will remind our descendants and your descendant that we, too, have the right to worship the Lord at his sanctuary with our burnt offerings, sacrifices, and peace offering. Then your descendants will not be able to say to ours, ‘You have no claim to the Lord.’ If they say this, our descendants can reply, ‘Look at this copy of the Lord’s altar that our ancestors made. It is not for burnt offerings or sacrifices; it is a reminder of the relationship both of us have with the Lord.’ Far be it from us to rebel against the Lord or turn away from him by building our own altar for burnt offerings, grain offerings, or sacrifices. Only the altar of the Lord our God that stands in front of the Tabernacle may be used for that purpose.”

When Phinehas the priest and the high officials heard this from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, they were satisfied. Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, replied to them, “Today we know the Lord is among us because you have not sinned against the Lord as we thought. Instead, you have rescued Israel from being destroyed by the Lord.”

Then Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, and the ten high officials left the tribes of Reuben and Gad in Gilead and returned to the land of Canaan to tell the Israelites what had happened. And all the Israelites were satisfied and praised God and spoke no more of war against Reuben and Gad the people of Reuben and Gad named the altar “Witness,” for they said, “It is a witness between us and them that the Lord is our God, too.”

* Fighting battles God’s way

David fought his battles the way God instructed him. In each instance he (1) asked if he should fight or not, (2) followed instructions carefully, and (3) gave God the glory. We can err in our “battles” by ignoring these steps and instead (1) do what we want without considering God’s will, (2) do things our way and ignore advice in the Bible or from other wise people, and (3) take the glory ourselves or give it to someone else without acknowledging the help we received from God. All these responses are sinful. (NLT)

2 Samuel 5:19-25 – So David asked the Lord, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand the over to me?”

The Lord replied, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly give you the victory.”

So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord has done it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So David named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). The Philistines had abandoned their idols there, so David and his troops confiscated them.

But after a while the Philistines returned and again spread out across the valley of Rephaim. And once again David asked he Lord what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” the Lord replied. “Instead, circle around behind them and attack them near the balsam trees. When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the balsam trees, attack! That will be the signal that the Lord is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistines.” So David did what the Lord commanded, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.

* David consulted God before battle

Before David went to battle, he inquired of God first, asking for his presence and guidance. Too often we wait until we are in trouble before turning to God. By then the consequences of our actions are already unfolding. Do you ask for God’s help only as a desperate last resort? Instead, go to him first! Like David, you may receive incredible help and avoid serious trouble. (NLT)

1 Chronicles 14:10 – So David asked God, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”

The Lord replied, “Yes, go ahead. I will give you the victory.”

* The final battle of history

[Also read the next topic below]. This is not a typical battle where the outcome is in doubt during the heat of the conflict. Here there is no contest. Two mighty forces of evil—those of the beast (Revelations 19:193) and of Satan (Revelations 20:84)—unite to do battle against God. The Bible uses just two verses to describe each battle: The evil beast and his forces are captured and thrown into the lake of fire (Revelations 19:20-215), and fire from heaven devours Satan and his attacking armies (Revelations 20:9-106). For God, it is as easy as that. There will be no doubt, no worry no second thoughts for believers about whether they have chosen the right side. If you are with God, you will experience this tremendous victory with Christ. (NLT)

Revelations 20:9 – And I saw them as they went up on the board plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.

* Are you fighting on the winning side?

Sinful people will unite to fight against God in a final display of rebellion. Many are already united against Christ and his people—those who stand for truth, peace, justice, and morality. Your personal battle with evil foreshadows the great battle pictured here, where God will meet evil and destroy it once and for all. Be strong and courageous as you battle against sin and evil. You are fighting on the winning side. (NLT)

Revelations 16:16 – And they gathered all the rulers and their armies to a place called Armageddon in Hebrew.

1 These who are not “flesh and blood” are demons over whom Satan has control. They are not mere fantasies-they are very real. We face a powerful army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, these beings become our enemies, and they try every device to turn us away from him and back to sin. Although we are assured of victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ returns, because Satan is constantly battling against all who are on the Lord’s side. We need supernatural power to defeat Satan, and God has provided this by giving us his Holy Spirit within us and his armor surrounding us. If you feel discouraged, remember Jesus’ words to Peter “Upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (Matthew 16:18). (NLT)

Ephesians 6:12 – For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

2 A city that completely rejected God was to be destroyed so as not to lead the rest of the nation astray. But Israel was not to take action against a city until the rumor about its rejecting God was proven true. This guideline saved many lives when the leaders of Israel wrongly accused three tribes of falling away from their faith. If we hear of friends who have wandered from the Lord or of entire congregations that have fallen away, we should check the facts and find the truth before doing or saying anything that could prove harmful. There are times, of course, when God wants us to take action—to rebuke a wayward friend, to discipline a child, to reject false teaching—but first we must be sure we have all the facts straight. (NLT)

Deuteronomy 13:12-18 – “Suppose you hear in one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the Lord our God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep one of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors.

“The Lord your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him . . .”

3 Revelations 19:19 – Then I saw the beast gathering the kings of the earth and their armies in order to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army.

4 Revelations 20:8 – He will go out to deceive the nations from every corner of the earth, which are called Gog ad Magog. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty host, as numberless as sand along the shore.

5 The battle lines have been drawn, and the greatest confrontation in the history of the world is about to begin. The beast (the Antichrist) and the false prophet have gathered the government and armies of the earth under the Antichrist’s rule. The enemy armies believe they have come of their own volition; in reality, God has summoned them to battle in order to defeat them. That they would even presume to fight against God shows how their pride and rebellion have distorted their thinking. There really is no fight, however, because the victory was won when Jesus died on the cross for sin and rose from the dead. Thus, the evil leaders are immediately captured and sent to their punishment, and the forces of evil are annihilated. (NLT)

Revelations 19:20-21 – And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came out of the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And all the vultures of the sky gorged themselves on the dead bodies.

6 Satan’s power is not eternal—he will meet his doom. He began his evil work in people at the beginning and continues it today, but he will be destroyed when he is thrown into the lake of fire. The Devil will be released from the bottomless pit, but he will never be released from the lake of fire. He will never be a threat to anyone again. (NLT)

Revelations 20:9-10 – And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.

Then the Devil, who betrayed them, was thrown into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/

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