"Real help comes from GOD."
- Psalm 3:8 MSG
Years ago, I heard a very wise man say that Christians lose more battles because they don't allow the Lord to do their fighting for them. I've discovered the hard way that there's a lot of truth to that statement. Nowadays, I do my best to cooperate with God to let Him fight all my battles. I've made a list of "battle verses" that speak of God working mightily on behalf of His people. These precious promises from the Lord remind me that I have a God who is willing to fight for me--and I claim them in every battle I face.
When an angry gang of neighborhood kids began attacking our home and family because I stopped allowing my children to associate with them, we used the law and the courts to try to get them to stop. After all of our attempts failed miserably, the police told us that our only hope was to catch these kids in the act. In exasperation, I surrendered the battle to the Lord, and began declaring Jeremiah 20:11 (NIV): "The Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail." One evening, my husband and our oldest son discovered one of the troublemakers attacking our house. They took off after the perpetrator in hot pursuit, and the boy stumbled so badly that my son, Joseph, was able to grab a hold of him and stop him in his tracks. We called the police, who said we finally had an ironclad case against the guilty parties. As a result, all matters between us and our neighbors were peacefully resolved without us even having to go to court.
When my husband, Joe, and I purchased a used car from a local dealership, the car's engine blew up the first day that he drove it to work. Buying that car was a hardship for us, and we could not afford to pay for the costly repairs that would be necessary to get it back on the road. Joe and I suspected that there had been something wrong with the car when we bought it, and that the dealership had been aware of it. But we had no proof, so we took the matter to the Lord and asked Him to fight the battle on our behalf. I claimed God's promise in Psalm 105:14 (NKJV), which says: "[The Lord] permitted no one to do them wrong; yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes." If the Lord is willing to rebuke even kings on behalf of His people, then you can bet that He'll rebuke car salesmen. And that's exactly what He did. I have no doubt that it was God who caused the dealership to offer us a free warranty on the car before we drove it off the lot, and we were able to use it as leverage to get them to pay for all of the expenses involved in getting the vehicle back on the road.
When I started having numerous recurring attacks on my health, I began seeing medical specialists who listened to my complaints, and prescribed various medications they hoped would provide me with relief. After many months of following the doctors' orders to the letter, and still finding no relief, I was at my wits' end. I began declaring Psalm 60:11-12 (NIV): "Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies." I wasn't saying that there was no place for doctors or medicines in my life, but I was declaring that they are no substitute or match for God--and that I was depending on HIM to win the victory for me. Sometime later, I had a routine checkup with my family physician, and I shared my symptoms with him. He took some tests and discovered a problem that responded readily to new medication, and I began experiencing relief in a very short time.
The Bible says, "From the Lord comes deliverance." (Psalm 3:8 NIV) I especially like the Message Bible translation, which says, "Real help comes from God." In every battle we face, the Lord has a plan for our victory. Sometimes our victory will come swiftly. Other times, it may take quite a while. But in every case, one thing is certain--the sooner we commit our battles to the Lord, the sooner we will witness Him working mightily on our behalf!
Prayer: Lord, when trouble arises, and I'm tempted to fight my own battles, remind me of what it could cost me. Teach me to cooperate with You and Your plan of victory in every situation I face. May I always have the confidence to declare with conviction--"We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!" (2 Chronicles 32:8 NLT)
- J. M. Farro