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    by Fred Price

The Battle Is The Lord's!
Date Posted: March 11, 2005

Have you ever been baffled by a problem, confused by a series of incidents you didn't understand, questioned an insurmountable task you were expected to perform, had difficult decisions to make that you didn't feel capable of? Well - you're not! None of us are; life being too big, the decisions to be made too important and far -reaching to be easy. But then you're not alone! Remember, '…with God all things are possible.' Matthew 19:26 To quote King David, '…the battle is the Lord's,' therefore victory is assured! But what does that mean? Does God intervene in practical matters involving everyday life? There is an old saying that God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform. Maybe the most mysterious is that God chooses to work through us at all to accomplish his purposes, but he does; often accomplishing great things through small incidents and people. David, Noah, Gideon, and Paul are great examples of just such mysteries.

David as a shepherd had experience dealing with hardship and trials and had grown confident in his dependence on God. (I Sam. 17:32 -37) This concept was expanded on by Christ in his parable concerning servant -hood and responsibility. Not only will we gain confidence as we prove God trustworthy by faithfully experiencing success through obedience, but our ability to handle life and it's complications grows and is rewarded as well. (Luke 19:11 -26,16:10,11)

Does that mean God will work everything out for me? Possibly, depending on what your needs are and what you are trying to do. Romans 8:28 assures us God will work all things to our good - our mistakes, our effort - even tragedy, if we allow him to help us grow, develop and look for that good; possibly by changing our expectations. Will we have to do anything to get a job done or is God so big and powerful that we just have to learn to let him do it? God is big and powerful enough - but he expects our involvement; not because he needs it, but because we do. We need to learn to do, to grow, to become all we can be. Before David became King he had several experiences that went a long way in developing him into the person he needed to be to become king. One was his confrontation with Goliath.

David was the youngest son of a large family who was not allowed to go to war but stayed behind to care for the family's livestock. Having been sent with food for his brothers who were at the battle -front, he heard Goliath's challenge of single combat and the insults to Israel's manhood and God as a result of no one taking up his challenge. David, indignant at the challenge and the reluctance of anybody to accept, volunteered. Saul, Israel's King, outfitted him with armor and a sword, but it was too much. David could later recall his ability as a lightly clad, fleet -footed shepherd and his subsequent success; realizing it always came from God. Yet he was not heedless of danger or reckless in relying on his own ability; though he was not prepared to accommodate the world's expectations either. His confidence came in knowing what he was capable of by virtue of God working through him as his faith grew alongside his fame. This enabled him to embrace the challenge and defeat Goliath! David's assured declaration that the battle was the Lord's rang out again and again throughout time by faithful warriors whose trust and hope for victory rested in God. (2Chron. 20:15,2 Chronicles 32:7,8; Zechariah 4:6 - knowing they were expected to give their best effort, trusting God to bring it to a victorious conclusion.) David was undaunted by the enemy and the lack of support from his family and others about him. He was no match for Goliath in size, experience or weaponry. Yet he still experienced success in battle, not by avoiding it. (I Sam. 17:1 -54)

'Noah found favor (and grace for salvation) in the eyes of the Lord' Genesis 6:8 How? By giving up when ridiculed for his lifestyle, quitting in frustration part -way through the task of building the Ark (a huge craft no one had seen the likes of before), questioning why he had to have two of EVERY kind of creature as well as gathering food and water for them all? (Not to mention cleaning up the mess they must have made!) He was asked to prepare for a disaster on an unprecedented scale, of an unimaginable nature. It was incomprehensible! It was too much, too big, too hard - for Noah. But not for God. As he took courage, exercised his faith and obeyed God one task at a time, one part of the task at a time; he got the job done. He was successful not only in preparing for the disaster to come, but in warning - one final time - those about him of their impending punishment and the possibility of salvation. (See 2 Peter 2:5 and 2 Peter 3:9) For along with everything else, Noah was expected to witness, to 'preach' by word and deed of God's dealings with men.

God brought about the incredible cleansing of the earth and resurrection of the world with the help of Noah, who performed an indescribable feat of engineering as well as an incredible exercise of faith. As Noah and his family were saved through the storm, not delivered from it. (Genesis 6,7, 8,9)

Why would God make us work that hard? If he can fix it - do it without us - why doesn't he? What would stimulate our personal growth and abilities; where would our faith come from? We often grow professionally and spiritually the most when we work the hardest, when we are most unsure of the final result. That is when we allow God to work his fullest and when we tend to seek him out the most; for if we're never challenged - we never grow.

Gideon is a good example of another reason God chooses to work through less than eager vessels. Gideon was a reluctant warrior at best. (Judges 6,7, 8) Finally convinced of God's intent to use him as he made himself available - he raised an army. But God said, 'You have too many men…' Judges 7:2 Not once, but twice God had Gideon reduce their numbers. Why? God said, 'You have too many men for ME to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her strength has saved her,' …reduce the size of the army. Often, human nature being what it is, after experiencing a miraculous deliverance or help in time of need, we forget the source of our victory. We begin to glory in our own strength and abilities, forgetting what God took from us and multiplied into success. We become proud, self -sufficient and boastful; blundering into another mess and then expecting God to deliver us again. Sometimes God allows circumstances to be so overwhelming that even as we do what we can, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was the one who brought about our success; one measure of success being when our actions, 'Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all people.' 1 Chronicles 16:24 God wanted no room for doubt, no excuse for forgetting who was blessed and who did the blessing! His desire and intent was to receive glory, honor and obedience from then on. Our intent and desire should be in all things, '…whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.' Colossians 3:17 Gideon's victory came in uncertain circumstances to gain certainty in faith. (Judges 6 -8)

Check back next week for a prime New Testament example of the success to be had in the realization that the battle is indeed the Lord's.

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Biography Information:

Fred Price - married (48 years), father of two grown children, grandfather of six.

Fred retired earlier this year after 42 years as a factory worker.  He has always had a heart for young people and the challenges they face today.  Over the years Fred has taught Discipleship Groups for High School and college students.  

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