The Battle Is Not Ours
by Stephanie Olson, Set Me Free Ministries Co-founder
I have been in the process of writing a message on worship in the midst of battle. The message came out of a very difficult time I recently experienced when I felt like I wanted to give up. I was fighting a fight against Satan, and I seemed to be losing pretty rapidly.
Every week the Set Me Free Ministries prayer team comes together for a prayer time over the phone. It's a beautiful experience in which godly women, from all over the country, spend almost an hour beseeching, glorifying, and worshipping a God who goes before us in all we do.
During one of these prayer times, I was barely holding my head above water. I know that sounds dramatic, but the spiritual attack I was experiencing was so emotionally draining that I had spent the entire morning in tears. One of our dearest prayer warriors was the first person on the phone with me, and she innocently asked me how I was. That was all it took for the floodgates to open. I told her exactly how I was feeling. As each person joined the call, I shared my darkest feelings, and those amazing women covered me in prayer in the most precious of ways.
During that prayer time, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something so simple. When Jesus was being tempted by Satan in the desert, He fought His battle by saying three little words before speaking scripture directly to the enemy. Those words: it is written. I had been doing my best to pray, read the Bible, and even worship, but I had forgotten to battle with scripture. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about positive confession or anything like that. But you take the Word of God and believe that God is who He says He is and He will battle for you, then the battle is already won!
After I hung up the phone that day, I immediately grabbed my Bible and found and wrote down scripture upon scripture on spiritual warfare. I spent at least an hour just speaking and praying those scriptures with those three little words in front of each one. I did the same thing the next day, feeling as if I were face-to-face with the enemy himself. Only this time, I was facing him with the armor of Jesus Christ!
Several weeks later, I was worshipping the Lord one afternoon and was singing the song "I Cast All My Cares Upon You." It’s a beautiful worship song about giving the Lord your worries when life gets difficult. The words say this:
I cast all my cares upon you
I lay all of my burdens down at your feet
And anytime that I don’t know what to do
I will cast all my cares upon you.
Something occurred to me as I was singing the phrase, “I lay all of my burdens down at your feet.” In order to be down at the Lord’s feet laying down our burdens, we have to be on our knees. We must be bowing before Christ. So, I decided to look up the verse that this song is based on, 1 Peter 5:7, which says, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
But, if you’ll notice, that’s not a complete sentence. So, when we look just one verse up it says this: “Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares about you.” And when we go up just one more verse we see that Peter is telling us about submitting to God, and he makes reference (as does James in James 4:6) to Proverbs 3:34, Psalm 138:6, Job 22:29, Matthew 23:12, and Isaiah 57:15. In one form or another, all of these verses say that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
What is humility? Well, the world might tell us that humility is being a doormat and letting people step all over you. They may tell you that humility is thinking you are worthless or not good enough. However, none of these things are true humility. I love the definition of humility in my biblical dictionary. It says this: “[Humility is] a freedom from arrogance that grows out of the recognition that all we have and are comes from God.”
You see, true humility is simply recognizing that without God, we can do nothing. That everything we have and everything we are is a gift from God. Humility is understanding that it is through our weakness that He is strong. Humility is understanding that God deserves the praise for all the good we have or do. Humility is understanding that it is all about Him.
I encourage you to read the story of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:1-12. It's a story of a king in the midst of battle, but in the center of his fear, he turns to the Lord. And when Jehoshaphat humbles himself before God's mighty hand, the Lord says this, "Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” And then, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed, tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”
So, when you feel like you are in a losing battle, remember who is fighting for you! When we recognize that the battle is not ours but the Lord's, we have the power to fight in the name of Jesus and win.