“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... You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you…” -2 Chronicles 20:15-17
I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but way back when I didn’t know what it meant to have faith, I’d hear people talk about this. You know those preachers on TV– “You don’t even have to fight! This battle is the Lord’s! It’s the Looooorrrddd’s, Sister!” My response: “Yeah, right. Not exactly sold on that one right yet.”
Because if you’re a part of this crazy thing called life, you know that every second can, at times, feel like a battle. It feels like you don’t do anything but fight- for yourself, for your mental sanity, for your desires, for the hope of becoming more like Christ in the trials. What do you mean, “You will not have to fight this battle” and just “stand firm”? It feels like I’m the one fighting right about now.
Funny how God doesn’t say something like this just once in His Word. He says it again in Ephesians 6. Okay, if you know anything about Ephesians 6, you’re probably thinking, “Ohmygosh, what is going on? Ephesians 6 is all about waging war and fighting!” Yeah, well.
” Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then…”
So, you put on the full armor of God, and then what? You stand firm. …That’s it? What does that even mean? Look at 2 Chronicles 20 and Ephesians 6 again. You see crazy things like praying on all occasions in the Spirit, praying for others, falling down in worship before God even before the battle, singing songs of praise and thanking God. In verse 20 of 2 Chronicles 20, it says, “Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld.” This is expanded upon even more if you look at Isaiah 7:9- “Stand firm in faith or you will not stand at all.” So, what all of these pieces of Scripture are saying is this: After you’ve done everything you’ve been told to do- you’ve fixed your eyes on Jesus, you’ve put on the full armor of God, you’ve prayed and are continuing to pray, you’re worshipping, and you’ve surrendered the situation to God- just stand firm in faith. Maybe “standing firm” isn’t as easy as it sounded before looking more deeply into its meaning, but it’s what the Bible says to do. Stand firm, and give the rest to God. It truly is His battle.
Reminds me of a story found in the gospels. John 9:6-7, to be exact. So, Jesus is walking around and He and His disciples see this man who was blind since birth and His disciples are like, “Hey, why’s this guy blind? What’d his parents do?” and Jesus is like, “No one sinned to make this happen. This just happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” Interesting. This is when Jesus does that spitting on the ground thing to make mud and he shoves it on the man’s eyes. But what happens next really hit me. “Go,” He told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Think about it. This guy’s blind and completely hopeless, until a Stranger puts mud on his eyes and tells him to go to a pool. But that’s the thing- he’s hopeless. There is absolutely no way he could’ve ever gotten better. He could’ve very well spent the remainder of his life exactly as he’d spent it every day before the day the Stranger put mud in his eyes. But there was a Healer. Jesus did the miracle of healing this guy. I don’t know exactly what happened with the mud or why Jesus did that, but when that happened, something started to change in him. Suddenly, there was hope like never before. A healing, a victory, was promised, and all the blind man had to do was go wash in the pool. Obediently, the man washed in the pool and all of a sudden, he had sight. It wasn’t the washing in the pool that generated a healing; Jesus already took care of that. All that was required for this man to see after his encounter with Jesus was enough faith to go wash in a pool. If this man wouldn’t have acted in faith and obedience, he wouldn’t have seen the power of God come through in his situation… actually, he wouldn’t have seen anything at all. See where I’m going with this?
It’s kinda like these battles we’re in. 1 Corinthians tells us that the victory is ours. So, why do we still screw up? Why do we still wander around like a blind man? Because if we aren’t acting on faith- standing firm in faith, as it were- we’re not gonna see the results of the work that’s already been done for us. If we’re going to war but not standing firm, we’re not gonna see the deliverance of the Lord. It’s all we’re asked to do. Stand firm and let God show you the deliverance; let Him bring the victory. Keep your eyes on Him. Keep praying. Keep acting in faith and obedience. Keep putting on the full armor of God. Keep allowing Him to renew your mind. Keep worshipping. Keep trusting. It’s just like washing in a pool. Just do it. And remember when Jesus said the blind man was blind so that the work of God could be displayed in his life? What if you’re struggling so that when you stand firm and allow God to bring deliverance, the work of God will be displayed in your life?
I mean, just look at the cross. When Jesus died and covered His children with His blood, the victory over sin and death and the enemy was given to us. It’s ours because He did what we could never do. He did the hard part of swallowing the grave- all we have to do is accept this and stand on it. He took up our fight and won for us. Accept it. It’s not up to you to win the battle or heal your eyesight or overcome the grave, because He did it for you. Just stand firm.