by Pastor Tim Burt
Ever find yourself fighting battles you don't want to fight? I have recently had to deal with a phone company that I was going to switch over to but decided not to. I cancelled the change I was going to make only they didn't cancel my order and began billing me immediately. I called again to make sure they cancelled the order and they still hadn't. I went through this four times. I felt furious inside and thought, this is why some people go crazy and then do crazy things. This phone company (Century Link) shouldn't even be allowed to do business their systems are so bad. Although I felt like this, the Lord spoke to me and said "I want you to do three things; keep calm with each person you talk to, be thorough in your explanation, and, journal this experience so you have all the facts." I did what the Lord has said, and I believe that He will help me escape from the grips of this dysfunctional company. (Today I have to go return a modem I did not order. They have also warned me of potential bills I will have to call and work out. All this from an inquiry about their services.)
I haven't wanted to take this out on each employee I've had to deal with. The Lord already reminded me, "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."(Ephesians 6:12)
You might think, Tim, don't you think this is a little dramatic? You are having troubles with a phone company and you are saying it's demonic principalities and powers? What I am saying is that we live in a world influenced by demonic forces. That is what the verse we just read said. The enemy would try to use people and systems to bring trouble to our life in the same way the Lord desires to bring blessing. You will know when that is happening because you'll end up furiously made at people. Let me give you the Tim Burt version of what God is saying. God says, "Chill out. Don't make people your enemies. There are dark unseen forces at work behind the scenes trying to get your goat! Be respectful. Be appropriate. Deal with things in the most Christ-like fashion possible. Walk in my grace and I'll help you through this. And pray and be led by me as you deal with the issues at hand."
I have some precious friends who are battling for their lives. They are fighting an enemy. Who is their enemy? You could say sickness, disease, and calamity. They are ultimately the weapons of infliction raised up through Satan - God's and our enemy in this earth.
With every battle, one thing is for sure, each battle is different. For that reason, there is no formula or perfect strategy for every battle. God needs to be sought in every battle as to how to stop and defeat the enemy in our lives. We never do well when we try to fight a spiritual battle with human understanding and resources. When we pray and seek God in how to defeat the enemy in a battle, He comes and He aids us. Battles aren't always won in an instant but they can be won. Winning a battle by faith means the defeat of the devil and his attack against us. Doesn't the thought of that sound delightful? It truly is!
One battle that I love reading about, amplifies the need to seek God as to what to do. The Lord knows just how to defeat the enemy. This is one of many stories given in God's Word to encourage us and remind us to seek and trust in God in these hard places.
In 2 Chronicles we see King Jehoshaphat seeking God how to stand against an enemy that is well capable of defeating him. 2 Chr 20:12-19 says, "For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD. Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah...as he stood in the assembly. He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! 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. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.'" Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with very loud voice."
As you read this, you see that God gave them specific instructions on what to do. Does He still do that today? We don't have a prophet to tell us what to do. We have the Holy Spirit of God to lead us and show us step by step. Did you also notice that there were those that were willing to wait on the Lord and others that instinctively praised and worshipped God? These people knew the Lord and knew how to seek Him. In the same way, we need to daily practice seeking God and let His Word speak to and direct us as we praise and worship Him. Over time, you'll learn to handle things as God would lead you rather than through the destructive emotions that will take you where you don't want to go. You will have faith. You will become patient. And you'll experience more victories. Victories are sweet and the Lord is our Victory!
1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ"
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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