When you make war, do you want to win? Do you want to be victorious? The reason for the battle is to determine the victor and the competitors are in it for the win.
“And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them; because they put their trust in him.” 1 Chronicles 5:19-20
The circumstance of this battle isn’t as important as the victory that was won. The situations that cause us to make war are not as important as the steps we can take that guarantee the victory in the competitions in which we engage.
Crying and trusting were the actions that lead to victory. God listened to them because they trusted. Because they trusted, they cried to God. This group asked and appealed unto God urgently for assistance because they knew this enemy of theirs was too strong for them. It was their trust in God’s ability to help them that made the urgent appeal heard. God acted on their request and helped them win.
When this group of people made war, their intention was to put to death the ones they were fighting against. They were attempting to utterly destroy the Hagarites. The Hagarites included at least three people: Jetur, Nephish, and Nodab. This group was standing in the way of God’s people experiencing all He had provided for them. Therefore, they went to war against them.
What is standing in the way of you experiencing all God has for you? What do you need to make war with in your life? Will you appeal to the Lord with urgency in prayer? Will you put your trust in the Lord? Will God give you the help to win against your enemy?
The path of life and peace can be found. Freedom from your enemy and victory over your enemy is possible. Romans 8:6 says to be spiritually minded is life and peace. The path of life and peace is available only as you keep your mind on the things of the spirit and not the things of the flesh. The flesh is at war with the spirit and the spirit with the flesh. They cannot agree.
We should make war with the flesh. Putting to death the flesh because it stands in the way of our life and peace. Experiencing a path of peace and abundant life is only possible as we make war against our flesh. There are 7 steps you can take that will lead you to life and peace.
STEP ONE – Take Your Side With The Lord
Determine you will be spiritually minded. Jesus told the woman at the well, God is looking for people who will worship Him in spirit and truth. The spirit is the breath and movement of God. It is someone who will follow God’s guidance, wisdom, and way of doing things. Following His flow. Like a leaf that is moved by the wind. So a person who is worshipping God is moved along by God’s effect on their life.
Multiple leaders in the Bible asked the people to take sides, make up their minds, determine for themselves whose side they would be on. One leader who stands out with this appeal is Joshua. He said, “choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Before you can begin the road to victory and experience life and peace, you must take the Lord’s side. You must determine His way is right. You must choose life over death. You must determine to walk by the spirit and not the flesh. You must move with the breath and ways of God and not your own understanding.
STEP TWO – Make War
Identify the enemy. Determine to put to death the things that are in the way of your life and peace. Encounter this enemy with the intention to attack and defeat, leaving no survivor. As we live in this world, we have enemies that set themselves up against God and His ways. There are three broad categories of the world. the flesh, and the devil. Whatever we war against, you can guarantee it is identified with one of those groups.
We are helped in Colossians 3:5-9 to understand a list we’ll refer to the “dirty dozen” things that we should make war against. Paul was great at listing things out for us and he doesn’t disappoint us in here. He says we should make war so that we are “dead to sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. . . now you also, rid yourselves of all of them: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another”
The list includes making war against immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, greed, anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene speech, and lying. Twelve things specifically that we should make war with. If you’ve ever tried to fight these things on your own, you know it is hopeless. You lose every time. These thoughts, words, attitudes, and actions are too strong for you. They often master you and get the better of you. It is only as you continue on the path of victory that you can win over them.
STEP THREE: Stand Firm
How hard it is to stand? Have you ever had to stand for a while and then get light-headed, bored, or distracted? We are reminded in step three to keep trusting in the Lord. Keep watching for the victory. Don’t be tricked by the enemy to give up, stop short of utter destruction of the enemy, or just quit.
The writer of the book of Philippians reminds his readers in the last chapter to be strong in the Lord, to stand fast, to stand firm. Throughout the book of Philippians, Paul had admonished his readers some things they could do to ensure they were spiritually minded and putting no confidence in the flesh. He wanted their complete allegiance and trust to be in Christ Jesus alone. He explained they must do the following to stand firm:
- Empty themselves like Jesus. Jesus though he was equal with God, did not seek to lift himself up to equal standing with God. Jesus humbled himself, emptied himself, made himself low and of no reputation.
- Become a bond-servant. Be bound to God to only do His will. Only listen to God and His instructions, have no other masters other than God, maker of Heaven and Earth.
- Completely Obedient. Jesus listened to God’s instructions and did them. Then he listened to God’s instructions and did them. This was the pattern of Jesus’ life even to the final point of death and that on a cruel, harsh cross.
- Glory in God. Jesus did not seek His own glory. He only sought and looked for the glory of God. He wanted everything He did to reveal God’s kindness, love, and grace.
Standing firm means you stand very low. You stand with no inflation. You are not puffed up, but make yourself of no reputation. You are very still, having no movement of your own. You are led by the spirit of God wherever He wishes.
STEP FOUR: Suited Up For War
God knows your battle is not against things you can see. Ephesians 6:12 instructs us the war we are engaged in is against, “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” There is nothing you can see in this list. It is an invisible battle. Therefore, we must fight with invisible armor. We cannot fight the enemy with our own weapons, we must have special weapons.
After we have decided for God, to make war with the enemy, and stand firm, we must get suited up for the fight. We must put on the following that only belong to God: (Ephesians 6:14-17)
- TRUTH – This is in the form of a belt that holds us together. It keeps us from stumbling over things that would drag us down. The truth that causes you not to be swayed by opinion of men or opportunities in the moment. Keeping reality tied around you.
- RIGHTEOUSNESS – This is in the form of a breastplate. It not only protects our vital organs, but gives us identification that we are approved by God, pleasing to Him, and fighting in His army.
- PEACE – This is in the form of shoes. It is these that show we walk in agreement with God, not going our own way or doing our own thing, but instead walking in line and step with our leader.
- FAITH – This is in the form of a shield. We hide and take cover behind our confidence in God. We know He is victorious and we are victorious because we are in Him, covered by Him, helped by Him.
- SALVATION – This is in the form of a helmet. It is how we protect our thinking, knowing the victory is already won in Christ Jesus who has already defeated all these enemies (the world, the flesh, and the devil). This helps us understand we have conquered through Him who loved us.
- WORD OF GOD – This is in the form of a sword. We have the decisive, sure, stable, strong Word of God. It makes clear cuts and decisive divisions that ensure we cut away all the enemies that so tightly cling to us, the things that hold us back and drag us down, keeping us bound.
STEP FIVE: Pray
Praying without stopping is an instruction we read in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Prayer is an exchange with God, We are exchanging our lack for His great supply. Since he’s already won over these opponents, we call on Him to fight for us. We call on Him in urgent appeal to help.
We do not focus on the enemy, but our focus is on God who has already won the victory for us in Christ Jesus. The distractions of our circumstances should not deter us from calling upon God. Instead these distractions should force us to rely on God. The interest of our inner being should talk to God about what is lacking and looking to Him to supply all that is needed
Thankfulness to God should consume us as we understand His great love for us, His desire to help, His ability to supply, and the great help He is giving to us. Admiring his great supply and asking for it with thankfulness not with a feeling of entitlement. We would be more thankful when we understood we are not “entitled” for God to give us anything. We deserve nothing from God. It is only because of God’s mercy He helps us. He helps us because we trust in Him.
STEP SIX: Experience Life and Peace
Dwell here. Remain in this place of abundance and peace. Don’t fall back, stop, or be faint. Instead keep your mind focused on God. Keep your eyes directed at His. Rejoice and lean in to Him. As the beloved disciple leaned on Jesus’ breast, lean in to Christ. Hear His heart beat and make your heart beat in time with his.
Truly as we are connected to Christ Jesus, yoked to Him, that is when we find rest. He tells us when we are tired or burdened, to take His Yoke upon us, learn of Him, and then we’d find rest. We’d experience life and peace when we do things His way in step with Him.
STEP SEVEN : Practice the path of life and peace
Every moment of every day, ensure you are deciding to be on God’s side, make war against the enemy, stand firm, suit up, pray always, experience life and peace, and practice. Then repeat. This is the way to have the abundant life or God in Christ Jesus.
ENCOURAGEMENT: MOMENT BY MOMENT written by D. W. Whittle
Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share,
Moment by moment, I’m under His care.
Never a heartache, and never a groan,
Never a teardrop, and never a moan;
Never a danger but there on the throne,
Moment by moment He thinks of His own.
Never a weakness that He doth not feel,
Never a sickness that He cannot heal;
Moment by moment, in woe or in weal,
Jesus my Savior abides with me still.
Article – Written By: Anne Gurley