Re-write # 3 of this blog topic. I think it is because I have been really struggling with some battles in my life. Some were chosen by others and some small ones I brought on (because I took my focus off positive things and focused on negative).
The big battles have caused impact to my family, and well, a mama in the battle for her family is intense. I felt guilty for a while when I considered them battles, because there are many others facing life/death battles. But I was reminded of a conversation I had a long time ago (and believe even wrote about), that God cares about all things of our lives. Big things and little things. I shouldn’t compare my battles with someone else’s battle AND I serve an amazing God that can handle every single one!
I have read through some scriptures for answers – after of course, I worried and tried to face it all on my own. Because, you know, God has too much to do to worry about my little battles. Not to mention, I surely know what I need more from my small little view than God’s view (LOL!).
So, as I went in to face my second battle in the same week, I said a little prayer – actually a little request of a prayer…. I only had a small window of time and really needed a parking spot so I could run into my meeting. And sure enough, I pulled in and found a very close parking spot. It was a little sign that spoke LARGE VOLUME to my soul, that I was not going into the battle alone. He was going before me! I didn’t win the battle, but I did win some compromise.
I was so distraught, because I still had to deal with the outcome. I also had another battle brewing also affecting our family. I can’t even describe my inward turmoil. I cried… couldn’t eat… over ate junk… got sick to my stomach (literally)… lost even more of my limited sleep…
So I eventually searched scriptures (which is what I should have done BEFORE the meeting)
2 Chronicles 20
Vs 2. There was a vast army coming against them – that is exactly how I was feeling. I was feeling attacks from various battles.
Vs 14 – The Spirit of the Lord came…
Vs 15 – This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. How many times do I worry, fear, become discouraged instead of repeating – even better repenting – God this is YOUR Battle!
16 Tomorrow march down against them. (and the spirit even said how they would be attacked – and they listened….) Do I listen when God sends His Spirit to tell me where the battles will come. Or am I so busy in making MY plan and stressing I can’t hear Him.
17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’” – He tells me I just have to show up! Show up, stand firm, and trust Him and watch HIM DELIVER. I am also a little amused that they also had to have repeated instructions to Not be afraid or discouraged!
18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. What is their reaction to the battle that is coming the very next day? They fell down in WORSHIP! What was my reaction leading up to my battles?– worry, stress, loss of sleep, eating, crying, vomiting!!! It was NOT WORSHIP!
19 Then some stood up and praised the LORD with a very loud voice. Did they do it quietly in their home? NO THEY STOOD UP and with LOUD VOICE they PRAISED Him! They would have blasted it all over facebook! They were seen (by standing) and heard (by loud praise).
20 Early in the morning they left – they set out, Jehoshaphat (the leader) stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” – They got up early instead of hiding under the covers. They didn’t moan and groan it wasn’t fair. They set out. They are reminded right before a battle that could cost lives! HAVE FAITH and you will be UPHELD. So it is when my faith wavers that is when I FALL. If I keep faith I am upheld!
21 appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.” Again THEY SANG and PRAISED HIM!
22 As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men who were invading Judah, and they were defeated – they showed up, worshipped Him even as they were being invaded. They stood firm, they kept their faith, and GOD DELIVERED!
What an amazing example and reminder – 1. Be still so I can hear the spirit directing me, letting me know a battle is coming, and the assurance that God has this battle. 2 Praise and worship God loudly in ADVANCE of the battle in full confidence it is HIS battle. (So much easier to worship and praise when the battle is over and I win!) 3. SHOW UP with truth, righteousness, readiness, faith (The Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18). 4. Just keep PRAISING and keeping my faith!
I have some choices to make after the battles I face/am facing. I must keep praising and keep my faith (regardless if I win / loose the battle). I still have a few battles raging. I love this verse too – Exodus 14:14 “ The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Stillness is not my typical response, and neither is praise.
I do pray for wisdom for the aftermath of the battle(s).
1. Do I let the battle keep me knocked down and feeling defeated and sorry for myself?
2. Do I get back up, brush myself off and move forward?
3. Do I look at the battle as a blessing and figure out a good outcome?
4. Do I choose to stay with the same leader, or do I change?
5. How do I share the outcome of the battle – do I destroy my opposition with words, do I praise Him for the outcome, do I praise Him regardless of outcome?
Not only is God watching and wanting my praise. But others will WATCH my reaction to battle. I am human and thankfully God is loving and forgiving. The example above, the leader was an apparently well trusted leader, to convince all of his followers to also break out into songs and praise! I want to be under that type of leader – HE LED by example! He didn’t send everyone else into battle as he hid. He listened for / heard the spirit and obeyed. He united everyone and led them. They trusted him. He didn’t waiver – didn’t become discouraged and worry. Again, I want to be under that type of leader.
I pray that when I lead/follow in small and large battles, I am that kind of leader or follower. Even in my own home. Do my children see me listening for GOD’s guidance (not just guidance from friends), breaking out in song and praise as I face battles (I can assure that is NOT what they saw)? Not only does the world watch me, but more importantly my children watch how I fight, how I lead (if I am the leader), how I follow, what I stand for, how I handle the battles outcome (win/loose/compromise). I can say at first I couldn’t see the good in the compromise and I spouted at home and to others. I now can look at the one battle and see the positive… I can see how God was there from the parking space and beyond. I know I have some more praising to do… as more battles approach.