Prayer and Reflections

The Battle Is Not Ours

Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
- 2 Chronicles 20:15

One of the most valuable lessons I learned in my battle with cancer at midlife was that much in life was beyond my ability to control. I needed wisdom and discernment to take responsibility for what I could control, while trusting God with what I could not. 

Oswald Chambers once said, “God only does the impossible.” (My Utmost for His Highest) Discerning what was possible became a challenge for the rest of my life by meditating on truths from God’s Word through the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. The good news—God was sovereign! He was ultimately in control, and victory required my submission to His will.

I have since learned that much of our efforts to control are motivated by fear. We often try to control life’s situations because we do not trust God’s promise to supply our needs. But as we come face-to-face with our own inadequacies, we are then mindful of how dependent we are upon Him. Faith is the antidote to fear as we are reminded that His ‘perfect love drives out fear  (1 John 4:18). It is ours to receive as we walk daily with Him, and trust His promises and provisions. What a load is lifted with this realization!

There are times in our lives when there is no doubt the battle we are against is well beyond our ability to win on our own. In 2 Chron. 20, King Jehoshaphat faced an invasion of the kingdom of Judah with insurmountable odds. In desperation, he gathered the people together and prayed: “We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (v. 12) A prophet then shouted: “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (v. 15) He was instructed not to fight but: “Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with You (v. 17). 

Then Jehoshaphat and all the inhabitants humbled themselves and worshiped the Lord. The next day, a group of musicians preceded the military forces with songs of praise and worship. The Lord responded by turning the enemy armies against each other and the battle was won without them having to fight. As they journeyed to Jerusalem in worship, ”the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel” (v. 29). 

We are in a battle for the very soul of our nation. While we can ‘fight’ this battle by taking a stand, speaking truth in love, and voting when elections are held, we are helpless to defeat the enemy with our own strength. Our most important charge is to pray for wise, godly leadership, and God’s mercy and grace on our nation. 

Humbly recognizing that the battle for America’s survival is beyond our control, and petitioning God in faith and repentance with praise and worship, is as important now as it was in days of old. His promise is the same: “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14) Imagine what God could and would do if we, His children, returned to Him! In submission and faith. Join me in praying for a spiritual awakening in America!

“'Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts.” Zachariah 4:6 

It will not be military strength or power
That will deliver us from evil hands;
Nor will it be the wisdom of those
Who lead but do not understand---

For deliverance in our time of need
Comes not through human means, 
But through God’s power and unseen hand,
That hears our prayers and intervenes.

For He alone is in control
And will bring the impossible to pass, 
Victory over fear and evil,
Peace and security that for eternity will last.

For He alone can heal a soul
Change our motives and transform from within,
And the one to whom our nation must cry
For deliverance from ungodliness and sin.

© 2016, Doris Haver Rouse 
Reflections for America: Hope for a Divided Nation