As Christians, we are always in a battle...whether we want to be or not. The enemy of our souls wants to kill and destroy us. Thankfully, Jesus came to bring not just life, but abundant life.
I am in a fierce battle right now. Some days I feel like I am battling for my very life. There are days that I feel like I'm gaining ground...and other days that I know I am being defeated. The main area of struggle is my desire to adopt a healthier lifestyle and the biggest area of concern is my weight.
I know that it is God's desire for me to be healthier and to glorify Him with my life. He has brought some incredible people to encourage and pray for me during this journey...people who have been on the journey as well and have seen victory in their own lives. Sometimes I just want to whine "It's just too hard!" and throw in the towel. But these new friends refuse to give up on me...and I know that God has not given up on me either.
I was working in my First Place Bible study book tonight and I read in 2 Chronicles 20 about Jehoshaphat's run-in with the Moabites and Ammonites (and a few Meunites thrown in for good measure). Jehoshaphat heard that a vast army was coming and verse 3 says "Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah." Now there is a man who knows from where his help comes.
The Lord spoke to them in verses 15-17 saying "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's." He gave them instructions on what to do and then in verse 17, He said "You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverace the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you."
I started thinking about our battles that we have today. They might not be against vast armies, but boy, the battle seems just as fierce. We are told in the Bible to fight the good fight. In Ephesians, we are given instructions about the weapons of our warfare, so we know that there are times that we have to fight. But then there are other times that we are not required to fight because that battle belongs to the Lord. I'm not sure how we know the difference. I guess that is why we must depend on the Holy Spirit to lead us.
Notice that twice in that passage above, He tells them to not be afraid or discouraged...apparently that was important if He felt the need to repeat it. I think that we let fear and discouragement steal far too many victories from us.
When things are getting tough for me, I like to remind myself that He is able "to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20) Even when we are called to fight, the battle is never truly ours alone.