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The Battle Belongs to the Lord

Life often feels like a series of battles. We wrestle with unspoken internal battles, relationship battles, and health battles, just to name a few.  Our culture has become immune to the concept of battle.  Daily we hear talk of drug wars or that someone is battling depression or even cancer.  Life feels like a fight on multiple fronts.  Yes, there are wars taking place around the world, but it’s the battles you fight daily that drain and exhaust you.  The problem is that typically we don’t fight just one battle at a time.  On our own, we don’t have access to the unlimited supply of energy and resources to confront our adversaries head on.  Yet, we read in 1 Samuel 17:47 that “the battle is the Lord’s.”  It’s not our fight.  If it’s the Lord’s battle, then He doesn’t expect us to be equipped to fight alone.  When we fight alone, it’s so much harder to win.  So, what do we do?

We find the answer in Exodus 17, where we read of the Amalekites waging a battle against the Israelites.  In response, Moses instructed Joshua to go out and fight while stood on top of a hill with his hands lifted.  If his hands were raised, Joshua and the Israelites were winning; when his hands were lowered, they began losing.  When Moses became tired and didn’t have the strength to do it alone, two men lifted Moses’s hands for him. 

Acknowledge the Battle

Pretending that the battle doesn’t exist, or ignoring the enemy or adversary is not the answer.  Everyone has battles.  There is no shame in that.  Nor is it an indication of failure on your part.  Social media portrays everyone’s highlight reels.  You don’t see the battles they face.  By comparison, it leads people to shrink back and not acknowledge what they are experiencing out of fear of appearing weak or not being good enough.  When you don’t fight, the enemy can advance without any resistance.  Acknowledge that you are in a battle.

Accept our Limitations

David’s words in 1 Samuel 17 are a reminder that when we face seemingly insurmountable odds, it’s not about our strength or resources—it’s about trusting in God’s power and plan. This perspective shifts the burden of battle from our shoulders to God’s capable hands.  In Exodus 17, Joshua was fighting; he was doing everything in his power.  But the victory came from Moses’s raised hands.  Why was that?  It’s an unorthodox method of fighting.  But lifted hands is a position of praising and worshipping God.  Moses brought God into the battle.  And when Moses’s arms were too tired, two men, who also knew the power of lifted hands during battle, assisted Moses.  You are not called to fight battles alone.  Bring in the God who declares the battle belongs to Him.  Also, find like-minded people to fight along side you.   

Surrendering Control

It is so much more comfortable to always be in control.  You know where you are going and how you are going to get there.  But, if the battle belongs to God, and, as we are told in Proverbs 21:31, that “victory rests with the Lord,” then His ways are not our ways.  Just because something seems like it should be handled a certain way doesn’t mean that is God’s plan. 

In a culture that often celebrates self-reliance and independence, the idea of surrendering control can be challenging and uncomfortable. It’s an act of humility and faith, a recognition that God’s wisdom far surpasses our understanding. When we surrender, we open ourselves to God’s guidance and allow Him to work in ways we might not expect.

Psalm 21:31 tells us “The horse is made ready for the day of battle…” We can prepare and fight a battle in a typical way, but “…victory rests with the Lord.”  The traditional way of fighting doesn’t mean it will always lead to victory.  Victory can only be guaranteed by fighting the way the Lord leads us. 

Finding Peace in the Midst of Conflict

When we face trials and challenges, it’s easy to be consumed by worry and fear. But when we remember that the battle belongs to the Lord, we can find peace during conflict. This peace doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of struggle, but rather the assurance that we are not alone. 

After Joshua conquered the Amalekites, Moses built an altar to God to memorialize the event.  It was to recognize God as Jehovan Nissi, or “The Lord is my Banner.” In Hebrew, Jehovah Nissi means the Lord is my mighty warrior and victory.  Ancient armies carried banners when they marched into battle.  The banner always preceded the fighters.  It is the same today.  When we face battles, recognize that Jehovah Nissi, the victory, has already gone before you.  He will lead you into victory.  It may be instructions that are contrary to what tradition dictates or to the advice of friends and family.  But God knows how you will win.

Philippians 4:6-7 encourages us to bring our anxieties to God in prayer, with thanksgiving, and promises that the “peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This peace is a powerful reminder that God is in control, even when we can’t see the full picture.

Trusting in God’s Timing

One of the most challenging aspects of surrendering the battle to the Lord is trusting in His timing. We live in a world of instant gratification, but God’s timeline often differs from our own. It’s easy to grow impatient when we don’t see immediate results, but God works in ways that are beyond our comprehension.  When the battle is long, we get tired.  We need to rest.  But thankfully, God never tires or slumbers.  He’s got it.  

Conclusion

When we declare that the battle belongs to the Lord, we acknowledge His sovereignty and our dependence on Him. This doesn’t absolve us of responsibility—we’re still called to act with faith, courage, and integrity—but it does shift our focus from our own abilities to God’s infinite power.

In our daily battles, whether big or small, let’s find comfort in knowing that we don’t have to face them alone. The Lord is with us, guiding us, and fighting for us. As we surrender to His will, we can experience a peace that transcends understanding and a hope that endures through every battle.

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