What do you do when an enemy is out to get you? It’s easy to think you can fight the battle on your own. But that almost never works. Do you know why? It’s because the battle is not yours, it’s God’s.
The Battle is Not Yours Meaning
As Christians, we like to say “the battle is not yours, it’s the Lord’s”. And I deliberately said “yours” instead of “ours” or “mine” because the truth is we love to tell other people that they can trust God with their problems. We love to remind others that God is greater than any problem they face…it’s not so easy to accept it when we’re the ones going through the situation.
It’s easy to say we understand that the battle is not ours, but what does it really mean when we say the battle belongs to the Lord?
It’s about surrender. It’s letting go and allowing God to do what He believes needs to be done to solve our problems…if He decides they’re worth fixing at all. Because you see, understanding that the battle is not yours but God’s also means that we understand that sometimes He will choose not to engage. It means that sometimes the greater benefit to our characters and our walk with Him is the lesson we will learn instead of a victory in whatever the situation may be.
Jehoshaphat was a Judean king. In 2 Chronicles 20, the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites came to wage war against him (2 Chronicles 20:1). Understandably, some of the people were afraid. They brought their fears to the king and basically told him:
“They’re coming to get you. A whole lot of people are coming from beyond the sea, and they’re coming for you.”
Jehoshaphat was afraid and rightly so. The Judean army was nothing in comparison to the greater armies of Moab, Ammon, and the Meunites. How would such a tiny nation withstand the attack of their more powerful enemies? But Jehoshaphat did not put his faith in the wisdom, money, or the might of his armies. He put his faith in God.
He dropped everything and sought the Lord. He commanded a fast throughout the land. This was a man who knew that the battle was not his to fight or to win, it belonged to the Almighty God.
In his prayer in 2 Chronicles 20:6-12, he recognized the sovereignty of God. He was basically saying:
“God, You created the heavens and the earth. There’s Nobody greater, Nobody greater than You.
A whole lot of people are coming after us to destroy us, and they will too.
But You have the power to stop them. With You on our side, we can prevail against them. So here I am, here’s Your people, humbly bowed before You asking for help, for grace, for mercy. Hear us and come to our aid.”
The entire country stood before the Lord. Waiting for an answer (2 Chronicles 20:13). Would God deliver them? Would He fight on their behalf as He had done so many times in the past?
The Battle is Not Yours But the Lord’s
The response was swift:
“Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them…
You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you.
Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you. (2 Chronicles 20:15-17, emphasis added)”
Notice the words that are used in this passage: You will not need to fight. Position yourself. Stand still and see. Do not fear.
There are a lot of action words here but it’s clearly conveyed that all God’s people have to do is be obedient and submissive to God and He will do the rest.
There’s this thing that I do when I’m upset or worried or scared: I build up this whole scenario in my mind and I battle it out. I imagine my opponents and give them their lines and practice my response. And I find myself getting angrier and angrier and angrier.
I can’t concentrate on the task at hand because I’m busy arguing with the people in my head. But thank God He interrupts my thoughts and reminds me that the battle is not mine, but His.
Oftentimes when this happens, after I have subjected that, whatever it is that’s bothering me, to God, when it comes time to face it, it’s as if the wind blew it away. God fought the battle for me and I didn’t even have to lift a finger.
My friend, God loves you just as much as He loved Jehoshaphat. He’s saying the same thing to you today, “My child, you will not need to fight. Position yourself. Stand still and see my salvation. Do not be afraid. I am with you.” The battle is not yours, give it over to God.
What Does the Bible Say About “The Battle is Not Yours”?
What does the Bible say about winning battles? The Bible has a lot to say about giving the battle over to God. Here are 15 verses to when you need a reminder that the battle is not yours but God’s.
And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 2 Chronicles 20:15 ESV
You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17 ESV
And that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” 1 Samuel 17:47 ESV
And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. Exodus 14:13 ESV
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 ESV
The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord. Proverbs 21:31 ESV
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV
For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’ Deuteronomy 20:4 ESV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 ESV
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. Psalm 34:17 ESV
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Psalm 34:7 ESV
“No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17 ESV
The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name. Exodus 15:3 ESV
“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14 ESV
‘You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.’ Deuteronomy 3:22 ESV
The Battle Is Not Yours But God’s
Have you ever tried to fight a battle that belongs to God? I imagine it looks a little like how the fight between David and Goliath would have looked had David chosen to go in his own strength instead of in God’s–a tiny human pitted against a much bigger one. It would have been a massacre!
Thankfully, David chose to fight the giant in God’s strength instead of his own. Because he did, we have a powerful testimony of what we can do when we surrender our lives into God’s hands acknowledging that the battle is not ours but God’s.
You may be going through a situation that is beyond your control…you may even feel that you are in control, whatever the situation, you should not be fighting your battles in your own strength. The battle is not yours, sweet friend, it’s the Lord’s. Won’t you give Him control over your life and your troubles?
Almighty God, I subject myself into Your hand because I know that the things that seem impossible for me are possible for You. Thank You for fighting on my behalf and those times when I forget, remind me that the battle is not mine, but Yours. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
When the Bible says “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”, what’s your tip for keeping your sanity while you wait for God’s perfect timing? How do you remind yourself that the battle is not yours but God’s?
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