As Christians today, we know that we are in spiritual warfare. We are in a battle against sin, evil, wickedness in high places, and the very devil himself. But we know that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. (2 Cor. 10:4.) The moment that we say goodbye to the devil and the world, our battle begins. A popular song that we sing is, “We’re Soldiers in the Army of the Lord.” When we are saved, when we make a wise decision to follow Christ, the battle is on. We must be ready and willing to fight the devil, and all that opposes Christ. As soldiers in the Army of the Lord, we must put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:11 tells us,
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
And what does that armor consist of? Ephesians 6:14-17 tells us:
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
But there are times when we win a battle by merely giving the problem to Jesus and watching Him work it out. In 2 Chronicles, chapter 20, King Jehoshaphat sought the face of God when the children of Moab and Ammon came against him in battle. After crying out to God, a word came to him through Jahaziel, a Levite and descendant of Asaph.
15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
The following day Jehoshaphat and his people praised and worshipped God and believed His word. When they arrived at the proposed battle site, they found that God had already fought their battle. They found dead bodies everywhere, and they never had to throw a single blow.
The Apostle Paul, in the 19th chapter of Acts, found himself in the middle of a storm. This was not a natural storm, but a storm of uproar and outrage by Ephesus’s people. The worshippers of Diana, a Greek goddess, were outraged and in an uproar against Christians. In the 21st verse of the 19th chapter, the story unfolds that a man named Demetrius, a silversmith who had become wealthy by making statues of Diana, started the uproar against the teachings of Apostle Paul. He realized that Paul’s teachings against idol worship were going to do two things: 1) destroy the silversmith’s craft and 2) cause Diana to be despised. The men threw the city into confusion, and they grabbed two of Paul’s companions, Gaius and Aristarchus, and ran into a theatre.
Of course, Paul’s first impulse was to rush into the battle and defend his cause. Fortunately, wiser and calmer disciples refused to allow Paul to go into the theatre. He humbled himself to their wisdom and did not rush into the battle. The confusion, loudness, and outrage of the crowd could have proved disastrous for Paul. Alexander, another of Paul’s companions, was put forward and he was fully prepared to defend the Christian position, but he never had to say a word. Exodus 14:14 tells us: The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. God had another way of fighting the battle. In the 35th verse of Acts chapter 19, we are told that God raised a town clerk who calmed the people. He told the crowd several things:
- Be quiet and do nothing rashly.
- If the silversmiths have a matter against a man, they should use the law to deal with the problem.
- If you have other issues, use a lawful assembly.
- He reminded them that they were in danger of being called into question about the uproar and,
- They had no good reason for the disruption that they were in.
After saying these things, he was able to dismiss the crowd quietly. No one was hurt, and Apostle Paul didn’t even have to get involved in the raucous.
So, what essential lessons do we learn from these situations? We know that although we are indeed in a battle, we must always seek God’s wisdom for how we are to fight. If He says to speak in a situation, we open our mouths, trusting Him to fill them. We do so without fear and give it all we’ve got. On the other hand, if God says, “Be quiet and hold your peace,” we must do just that. Apostle Paul did not rush into the theatre; he listened to wise and calm counsel from other men of God. We must listen to the Spirit of God when He speaks through others, even if we are in a position of leadership. When God speaks, we must humble ourselves and receive His word in whatever manner he chooses to send it. Sometimes we have to be quiet and trust God to fight our battle, trust the process, and depend on God.
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you that You are the God of every situation. We thank you for the holy boldness to stand firm and declare your whole counsel to a lost and dying world. We also thank You, O God, for leading, guiding, and directing our every step. Help us never to run ahead of You. Please help us to seek your face for when and how to fight life’s battles. In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray. Amen and Amen.