Are you tired of fighting?
I sure am.
We live in a society of fight or flight triggers that seem to keep our stress hormones at an all time high and our sacred encounters at an all time low. We fight traffic and feelings, different opinions and all too familiar foes.
Familiar foes are perhaps the most dangerous triggers because we have become so comfortable with their presence. I’m referring to strongholds and sins that we have assimilated into our lives over time to the point of tolerance and acceptance.
Familiar foes like overeating, abusing alcohol, obsessing over body image, foul language, taking the Lord’s name in vain, controlling and manipulating others, past mistakes, and future fears. We don’t remember buying a ticket and, yet, we can’t seem to hop off the struggle bus!
In 1 Samuel 8 there is a verse that resonates with me and my exhaustion from fighting. It says in verse 20 “that our king may . . . go out before us and fight our battles“.
Oh, how I long for someone to fight my battles for me!
I understand the nation of Israel’s cry to Samuel for a king, despite his warnings against it. You see, they assimilated with other nations and their foes had become too familiar as revealed beginning in verse 19, “But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, ‘No! But there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.’” (ESV)
They looked around and began coveting what the other nations possessed, but the Israelites forgot Who they had already been given. What the Israelites truly wanted, God had already provided—Himself!
How easily we forget God and His promises.
Generations before, as the Israelites watched Pharaoh’s army and chariots pursue them to the boundaries of the Red Sea, they cried out to the Lord and Moses responded. “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”, says Moses in Exodus 14:13-14 (NLT).
Repeat after me.
The Lord himself will fight for you.
Just stay calm.
So much of the Old Testament points towards the New, including the cry for a king. The King, who the people of Israel longed for, was, and is, and is to come. He goes before us, beside us, and behind us; preparing, providing, and protecting.
Just as Moses reminds and the Israelites later demand, our heart cry finds its voice in the created longing for King Jesus.
There is a reason we long for Someone to fight our battles for us. Some battles require a miracle. Familiar foes teach us dependence on God. Yet, familiar foes are nothing compared to the evil being defeated in the heavenly realms.
Peace be still my friends. Jesus can both calm the storm and be your peace in the storm.
All He asks is that we prepare for battle, put on the full armor, stand firm in His grace, and be still and know that He is God.
Are you tired of fighting?
I am too. Let us get dressed for battle, but not forget Who God already provided—Himself!