I’ve been wondering lately why the Lord’s plan for Israel involved them killing and destroying so many towns. There must have been a reason or some kind of lesson — perhaps in obedience — because the Lord could have just sent a plague to wipe out the natives. Yet, he did not. He chose to show His glory and might to all the nations through his people by going into battle and fighting for them….not by eliminating the fight.
I don’t like conflict. Fighting upsets me more than fingernails down a chalkboard. When my husband and I argue with each other, I get a hard lump in the pit of my stomach that does not go away until things are smoothed over again. In a hand to hand combat battle, I’d be the one to curl up in the fetal position and beg for the Lord to zap me away like Star Trek heroes in the transporter.
It’s clear, though, that the Lord doesn’t eliminate our fights for us. The life of a Christian is not one of daisies and roses and everything flowing smoothly. It is instead a hard-pressed road. There are battles along the way, and there will be even more battles the stronger we stand up for our faith.
The important thing to remember is that the Lord is WITH us in these battles for His glory. We are not conquering cities, but we are conquering a culture that scorns clear boundaries between right and wrong, that scoffs at the existence of their Creator, and that believes that wrong is right and right is wrong. But our God prevails! He has the victory!
There was a news story circulated on Facebook about a cardiologist who prayed for a dead man…and the dead man’s heart promptly started beating again after forty minutes of being stopped. We live in a culture where stories like that one are buried or filed along with alien abductions and celebrity reality shows.
We need not be afraid of the battles we encounter:
21 “At that time I gave Joshua this charge: ‘You have seen for yourself everything the Lord your God has done to these two kings. He will do the same to all the kingdoms on the west side of the Jordan.22 Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.’ Deut 3, NLT
The battles I will face as I walk this journey with the Lord are certain; but just as certain as their existence is the Presence of the Lord with me, fighting for me.