Guest Author: Abbey Brown
“I apologize for snapping at you.”
As my brain computed the words and my mouth formed a response, my heart was having a jaw-drop moment at what had just transpired. While performing my receptionist duties at work a few minutes earlier, a frustrated patient had snapped at me. Now she was back to apologize. What?!? The reason why this was so amazing was that, after she had left, I surrendered her and the situation over to the Lord, as He had reminded me.
Now, He was showing Himself strong on my behalf.
Over the past year, the Lord has been revealing how He fights for me. Instead of carrying my burdens, I can give them to Him. Instead of dwelling on irritating situations (such as an encounter with an angry patient) I can surrender them to God, for Him to deal with. Instead of worrying about a seemingly impossible situation, I can give it to Him and let Him show Himself strong.
Let’s step back a bit to where we find this in Scripture.
The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes. | Deuteronomy 1:30
You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himself fights for you. | Deuteronomy 3:22
For the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. | Deuteronomy 20:4
These promises were spoken to the children of Israel. They were told not to fear their enemies because the LORD would fight for them. But wait a second, how awesome is this? The LORD God, the Creator, was humbling Himself to defend His people, that He would be glorified in their deliverance!
The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. | Exodus 14:14
Imagine being an Israelite, trapped by the Red Sea, hearing these words and watching as a furious army drew near. One thing would be needed right then…
f a i t h !
Faith that God was going to stick to His promise and send deliverance. Stand still while the enemy is getting closer? Stand still, instead of trying to find your own solution?
How do we stand still before the Lord?
Proverbs 3:5-7 offers a gentle, yet stunning blow of conviction:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.
Oh, how much confusion and difficulty we could save ourselves from by obeying this command, by trusting in the LORD, not ourselves.
Trust, however, becomes harder when God’s ways don’t seem to line up with the path we would take.
Just ask Gideon. The command to go and destroy the Midianites was challenging enough before he knew how badly his army would be outnumbered. Despite God’s assurance that Gideon would be aided by the Lord Himself, he hesitated before his soldiers were marching toward the battle, pitchers and torches in hand. Once they did, however, God proved His greatness in a mighty way, by using the tiny Israelite army to overturn the Midianites.
Let’s return to the Red Sea. An incredible development takes place in Exodus 14:15, after Moses encourages the people with the news that the Lord will fight for them. The LORD Himself speaks to Moses: “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.” Interestingly,
God’s battle plans include the people He is delivering.
The Children of Israel were not idle and helpless bystanders as God acted. They took part in the action.
Similarly, while David praised the Lord for giving victory in Psalm 18:39, he recounts how the Lord prepared him for the battle:
For you have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued under me those who rose up against me.
The Lord wants us to see His power in the victory
and a position on the front lines is sometimes exactly where He wants us.
If He is calling us forward, we cannot merely say, “the Lord is fighting for me,” as an excuse to not act.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. | Joshua 1:9
Friend, what battles are you facing today which need the Lord’s intervention? His presence and concern for you are just as real today as they were for the children of Israel.
No battle is too large or small for Him.
Acknowledge Him in your struggles! He is a trustworthy Captain.