Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus I Am Resting Resting"1 (Lyrics)
2 Chronicles 20:15b – 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." (NIV)
Yes, it's true, it's God's battle, but there is a "but"! No, I am not trying to rewrite the Bible — but there is a "but"!
At our children's drama camp, the story was based on the Old Testament biblical book of Esther. Our particular version included a song called The battle is not ours. While Esther did not really want to do what she was asked to do, she also knew that she could not save her Jewish people by herself. Only God could do that.
That's where the "but" comes in: Yes, it was God's battle, but God's battle plan included Esther. While God could have saved His people without Esther, He wanted her to do her part, which included some really undesirable but very courageous tasks.
Similarly, when God asked Moses to go up against Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses was very reluctant and came up with all kinds of arguments as to why not. One of his excuses was that he did not feel eloquent enough in speaking for God, so God provided Moses with Aaron as spokesperson. God wanted Moses to do his part, no matter how difficult or scary. It took a number of confrontations with Pharaoh and ten plagues for Moses to accomplish what God wanted him to do.
Recently, I have had to face some situations resulting from hurtful actions and attitudes, which affected not only me, but others as well. At the time, I felt that I needed to confront the issues, but like Moses and Pharaoh, that only seemed to make matters worse. Often in such circumstances, we are advised to forgive and to "let go and let God", knowing that doing so will ease our pain, grant us peace, and help us to move on. I tried to do that, and found temporary peace, but as the situation kept recurring, I became confused about God's will, and started doubting both myself and God. Eventually, I asked God to spell it out, which He didn't do exactly, but He did lead me to confront the situation one more time. Because my own emotions and frustration had been getting in the way, He even provided an "Aaron" to help me clarify the overall picture. Forgive, yes, but not let go!
I am not trying to compare myself to Moses or Esther, but God doesn't always want us to let go, nor does He promise that doing His will is always easy. Why else would Paul tell us to "Put on the full armour of God"? (Ephesians 6:11a NIV)
Sometimes, God wants us to be like the biblical prophets, the apostles, and even Jesus, doing our part in His battle. It may also mean being hurt, alone, disliked, ignored, and even persecuted! We need to hang on to God and know that He will be with us, no matter how difficult things may seem. God will always love us — even if no one else does — and we will always have His support when we are doing His will. What more can we hope for or even ask for!
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to recognize Your will for us, to know when to let go and when not to. No matter how difficult and painful it may be, we know that You will work out all things — good or bad — for our good and Your glory. We thank You in and for all circumstances, and we praise Your holy name. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.