Thursday, February 1st, 2024
I had to take a moment after I wrote that date. It’s hard to believe we have already accomplished the first month of the year! Sometime last week I came across a scripture that has been bouncing around in my mind. It’s one of those scriptures where it’s tempting to point my finger at someone else, until I stop and think about all the times I used to live that way too. Here it is, 1 Samuel 8:19-20:
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
The Israelites in this passage knew that Samuel was getting old and that his sons did not walk as he walked. So they were petitioning him to find them a king. The Lord spoke through Samuel telling the Israelites how hard it would be with a king, but as we see in the above verses they still desired a king.
A few days ago, God spoke to me regarding this verse. He said, “I didn’t make you to give up; I made you to stand up. I didn’t make you to find someone else to fight for you; I made you to strap on your armor and go to battle.” There is a little bit of my heart that sinks when I read that the Israelites needed someone to “judge them” and “fight their battles”. If I could have read their body language as they spoke these words, I am guessing it screamed apathy with a side of defeatism. Even though God had spoken to them on numerous occasions about how to live if they wanted blessings and how to live if they wanted curses, they still needed someone to judge their actions. Even though they had seen the hand of God conquer every single enemy He wanted them to conquer, they still wanted someone else to fight for them.
But, if I am being honest, I have been in these places spiritually too. Before I took the time to develop an ear to hear the voice of God, I used to ask others what I should do in certain situations or whether or not I was doing something wrong. I remember looking to numerous other people in hopes that they would have just the right prayer or just the right word to pull me out of whatever situation I was in. It is certainly not wrong to pray with people or seek righteous wisdom; however, when look to these people instead of looking to God, then we have crossed into idolatry.
Let’s talk about that “fight their battles” phrase. I would say one of the most significant and lasting turns I took in my walk with God was when I realized Jesus’ death on the cross gives me authority over every demon that ever tries to keep me from the path God has for me. Victory in my battles isn’t determined by who I pray with or who gives me a prophetic word. Victory is about having faith in and using the tools God has already provided. God has given us His Word (the Sword of the Spirit), our voice, and our Holy Spirit language. Satan hates the truths in the Word of God. We need to use them to resist him, and he will flee (James 4:7). When anxiety and heaviness try to fall on me, I declare to the enemy that God has not given me a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7) and that I have traded the spirit of heaviness for a garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3). And if I cannot find a scripture at that moment, shouting “Jesus” or speaking in tongues is just as effective.
I’m not implying that we have to fight our battles alone or that we cannot ask other Christians to stand with us. God created us as a body because we need each other to function as a complete unit. However, if we cannot seek God first and learn to put on the armor and stand as God calls us to, then we will not successfully fill the role of the body for which we were created. Imagine how healthy the body would be if we all walked in the kingdom authority that was released by Jesus’ death on the cross?