Serving God is like going to battle. To win, we must understand what nature of battle we are facing. We also need to learn who or what is our foe. If we know what we are fighting for, then we have a good chance of winning it.
The early servants of God fought their own war, killed people according to God’s instructions to them. It is God’s ways of taking His revenge to the ungodly people. (Numbers 31: 3) And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian. Their battle is some sort of flesh and blood. They laid their lives to fulfill God’s commands on them. In the succeeding verses, we can read how they prepared for war against the Midianites, how they selected a thousand men for each tribe to execute the vengeance of God against the Midian. They killed the people according to God’s commands, the kings and the men, enslaved the women and the children, and have taken all the spoils and divided among them. (Numbers 31: 4-10)
Since it is God’s will and command to wage war against the Midian, they did not show any fear in the battle. Having God’s side on a war gave them courage. A little boy named David, who fought courageously against the giant Goliath, showed this. Because of his faith and trust in the Lord, he faced the giant bravely and won. (1 Samuel 17: 34-50)
God promised that He should always be with them in all their battles. He became their refuge and protected them against their enemies. God became their rock and salvation (Deuteronomy 20: 1-3) When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;
In all their battles, they showed their firmness because they know that God is always at their side. Their faith and trust in the Lord is their foundation in all their battles. (Hebrews 11: 31-34) By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Are we facing the same battle like they have?
In the Christian era, the battle switched from flesh and blood to spiritual battle. We fight not against each other or to physical enemies, but against the darkness of this world. We also commanded to kill but not people, but to kill the lustful desires of our flesh. (Ephesians 6: 12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (2 Corinthians 10: 3-4) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Like what we need to know, we need to understand our battle and learn about our enemy, which is the devil, the enemy of God. The Bible tells us that the devil has the power to deceive people and turn them away from God. Through his deceits, people were enslaved by sinful desires and eventually lose the power and strength to serve the almighty God. The Bible also tells us that the devil won’t stop until he turns most especially the elect away from God. (Revelations 2: 24) But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. (Revelations 12: 9, 17) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
The devil is strong and powerful. If we don’t know his strength and prowess, we will be defeated. He has the ability to know our weaknesses and strike on it. He is very wise and clever. He concentrates much of our weak spot and takes advantage of it. Apostle Paul didn’t escape from him. (2 Corinthians 12: 7) And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. He was telling about his weak spot, which led him to sin.
The devil should have won against Apostle Paul if his faith and trust in God is weak. Thankfully, God has given him strength to overcome all the deceits of the devil. This is one of the most important things that we need to learn when fighting against God’s enemy, that he can make us unaware of our weaknesses and lure us in all his baits. (2 Corinthians 2: 11) Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
One of the devil’s deceits is the use of God’s words to mislead many people. The Bible warns us not to be tricked because there are many false prophets and teachers whose aim is to turn us away from the truth. (Colossians 3: 8) Take care that no one takes you away by force, through man’s wisdom and deceit, going after the beliefs of men and the theories of the world, and not after Christ: We should not be surprised why there are many contradicting teachings and groups of faith, because the enemy of God came to this world to spread false doctrines and wisdom. (2 Corinthians 11: 13-15) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Apostle Peter’s faith was not firm and strong when he denied Christ. This can also happen to us. (Luke 22: 31-34) And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
How should we fight according to faith?
It is a great challenge to each and every one of us to face God’s enemy in everyday of our lives. If we loose, we are damned. Early servants won their battles because of their strong faith and trust in God. Likewise, we should do the same if we would like to prevail. We need to fight a good fight because eternal life is at stake on this battle. (1 Timothy 6: 12) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Stories of the early servants should inspire us to fight courageously. Apostle Paul for example, made sure that before the end of his life, he knew that he had prevailed on his battle, for he had kept his faith until the end. (2 Timothy 4: 7-8) I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
The greatest illustration of trust is Jesus Christ. His sufferings were shown to us as an example that we should overcome all trials, tests and temptations to succeed. We need to overcome this world as He had. (John 16: 33) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. The battle according to faith will not be easy, because we need to endure everything for the sake of our soul. (Luke 21: 19) In your patience possess ye your souls.
We can be defeated if we only trust on our own strength and abilites. But with God on our side, we can overcome anything. Believe that God will always be there in all our battles. (Philippians 4: 13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (1 Timothy 1: 12) I am grateful to the one who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me faithful in putting me into ministry,
Each day is a battle and once a day has passed, it is a clear indication that we are inching closer to victory because we continue to keep our faith. Thus, we thank the almighty God who always show His mercy and love on us. (Psalms 144: 1-2) which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
Let us all remember that it is GOD WHO GIVES VICTORY in all our battles. Praise Him who gives victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15: 57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.