Saturday, September 20, 2014
September 20 – Master + Commander
Listen, Israel: Today you are about to engage in battle with your enemies. Do not be cowardly. Do not be afraid, alarmed, or terrified because of them. For the Lord your God is the One who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. (Deuteronomy 20:3-4 HCSB)
We’ve all seen movies where a commanding general gathers his troops as he’s about to send them off to war. They stand bravely at attention as he sternly reminds them of their noble mission. Some will die on the battlefield that day, but that is their sworn duty to their country. Warfare is a scary thing, and spiritual warfare can be just as scary when we’re battling unseen forces that have existed from the beginning of time. But our Commander is in another league altogether, and our victory is guaranteed. We have no need to fear an enemy that cannot destroy us.
Just as conventional warfare requires courage, determination and fierce battle, spiritual warfare is no different. If we want our problems eradicated but don’t want to engage in the fight, we’ll never see victory. The Holy Spirit teaches us in Ephesians 6 that God provides us with every weapon needed to fight and overcome demons, principalities and rulers in the spiritual realm, but we are the ones who have to put on that armor, and we are the ones that have to fight. The power and authority comes from God, but the battle happens when we rise up in defiance out of our own initiative.
One of the reasons that God requires us to fight is to bond us closer to Him. We experience His goodness when we face our enemies. When we fight, we learn how to focus on what we truly want to achieve and how much we believe in what we’re are doing. Christians who live out a vague and undefined faith see no victories. Jesus fought the greatest, most painful battle that ever was, or ever will be fought, so why do so many shirk the lighter battles that God asks us to fight? We miss out on blessings, but even more, we miss growing closer to Him. The sweetness of victory over evil is a taste of the sweetness of heaven, and a glimpse of God’s face.
Our Commander promises to go out into battle with us. Though he needs us to fight, it’s His power and His authority fighting through us. Just like young David was no match for the massive warrior that stood in front of him, his faith allowed God’s power to hurl that little stone into Goliath’s head and knock him dead. All of us who’ve surrendered our lives to the Lord Jesus, have this promise to stand on. When we face our giants, no matter how scary they try to appear, God is telling us, “Do not be afraid, alarmed or terrified!” We never have to fight these enemies alone, and we can always be certain of victory.