Everyday we go through many battles. Some are bigger than others. Some are minor while others are major. Some are internal and some are external.
This year, one of the universal battle faced across the globe is the battle against Covid-19. Despite some wins here and there, this battle is still on-going. The end has not been determined. Alongside this came battles to keep business running, battles against unemployment, battles against depressions, anxiety and all kinds of fears.
Here in New Zealand, we are voting for some crucial referendums which reflects our ultimate beliefs and principles as a nation – battles against the legalization of recreational use of cannabis as well as battles against the End of Life Choice Act 2019 which enables terminal illness patients the option of requesting assisted dying.
I can name a few battles that I’ve been facing personally – battles at school with my students to keep them engaged, battles with Michael to be gentle, battles with John to eat fast, battles as a family to complete a 3D puzzle, battles with our finances… and these are just the top few daily battles.
While I mostly enter these battles with lots of energy, more often than less, halfway through before the battles end, I’m drained.
Losing the battle
Oftentimes we feel like we may be fighting a losing battle. We plan and strategize hoping to accurately hit and sink all the battleships at our first go. Anyone who has played Battleship would be able to identify with the total dismay of wasting countless missiles blindly aiming at a corner where no ships were placed.
When transferred to real life, such fruitless efforts are amplified, akin being slapped in the face repeatedly. The battles seem unending with lady luck never on our side. The harsh reality doesn’t back down and doesn’t give any opportunity for rest or recovery.
We cannot afford to lose the battle. We shoulder the responsibility and fight each battle like a lonely captain in a sinking Titanic surrounded by canons of the enemies. The giant majority feels like they are hovering over us ready to consume us the moment we fall.
The battle belongs to the Lord
While leading the song ‘Never Lost’, Tauren Wells made a comment that the battle is not ours but the battle belongs to the Lord.
In 2 Chronicles chapter 20, we read of the Moabites and Ammonites teaming up to come against Israel. Instead of taking the battle as theirs, the people of Israel from every town gathered to seek God. King Jehoshaphat leading the people, proclaimed in faith that no one could withstand God.
The answer the Israelites received from the Lord was one which matched their surrender and acknowledgement of the sovereignty of God even in the battles that are seemingly theirs to fight.
“‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s… You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you... Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
One thing that stood out for me was that even though the battle was God’s and not ours, we are still expected to go out and face the enemies. While God does His part, we too have our part to play in this partnership with Him. We need to be responsible for our battles; we need to vote wisely.
However, the difference now is this. When we know that no matter how unprepared or prepared we are, how fearful or how bold we are, how weak or how strong we are, we are not fighting the battle by ourselves but God will fight it for us with a sealed known outcome – victory.
We can be assured that with God, we will never be on the losing end of any battle. As the lyrics of the song ‘Never Lost' goes, ‘No, You've never lost a battle, And I know, I know You never will'
God never wastes a battle
What’s more amazing is that Tauren went on to proclaim that not only does God never loses a battle but He never wastes any battles too.
He elaborated on scholars' findings regarding the walls of Jericho. When the Israelites surrendered their battle to God, the walls that were supposedly holding them out went crashing down in such a manner to form ramps for the Israelites to enter Jericho.
Not only does God never loses a battle, but He also turns the obstacle that hinders us in our battle into a stepping stone. He uses what we feared and was stopping us to ease our forward march to victory.
The Rea Sea that blocked the Israelites escape swallowed their enemies. Joseph’s slavery made him second-in-charge to provide for his family.
Romans chapter 8 preempts us for our battles very aptly with verse 31 summarizing it beautifully, ‘What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?’
Whatever our battles may be, however important or trivial, take our stand trusting that God is in control and see how He never lets anything in our life be wasted.
Esther Koh is a primary school teacher living in Wellington with her husband and two sons. She loves people and has a passion for helping others find their purpose for living.
Esther Koh’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/esther-koh.html