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TCH MINI-STUDY: 52
 
THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, BUT GOD'S
 
Are you in a battle, spiritual or earthly? Are you tired of what seems to be endless wars and fighting in your life [spiritual and worldly]. Are you feeling hopeless, trapped, helpless and weak. Are you lacking in mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual strength. Do you feel like you are exhaused and totally unable to continue the spiritual fight; and have thought seriously of giving up? Does it just not seem worth it lately?
 
THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST WILL INEVITABLY ENCOUNTER
BATTLES INVOLVING PERSECUTION, AFFLICTION, SUFFERING, AND MORE
 
The scriptures clearly teach that the believer in Christ will encounter many battles involving persection, affliction, and suffering, because these battles are inevitable.
 
Paul explains to the church in Ephesus, For we wrestle [to throw, strike, or thrust violently] 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 (Ephesians 6:12).
 
The great apostle Paul even described to the church in Corinth the depths of his battles and suffering, suffering which was so severe that at times that it caused him to feel hopeless. He wrote, For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired [Greek,exaporeomai, to be utterly at a loss, to see no way out, despondent] even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead (2 Corinthians 1:5-9).
 
For the believer in Christ, persecution is inevitable. Jesus warns us: Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they [those who do not know God] have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me (John 15:20-21).
 
For the believer in Christ, affliction is also inevitable. Peter warned, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: [Greek katapino, to drink down, gulp entire, drown, swallow up] Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions [Greek, pathema, hardship, pain, suffering] are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you (1 Peter 5:8-10).
 
For the believer in Christ, suffering is also inevital. Paul warned, The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together (Romans 8:16-17).
 
THE LORD YOUR GOD HE SHALL FIGHT FOR YOU
 
Despite the believers' almost constant battles, God reassures us that the battle is not ours alone. He is able and willing to assist us. Although somewhat long, the story of Jehoshaphat is instructive: It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying, If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help. And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this bettle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high. And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much. And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day. Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies (2 Chronicles 20:1-27).
 
God's promises of help in the battle are obvious within scripture. He reminds us,The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes (Deuteronomy 1:30) and Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you (Deuteronomy 3:22).
 
God knew that Joshua was anxious about entering the land God had promised Israel. God, therefore, encouraged Joshua, There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee (Joshua 1:5). In the new testament, God also promises us, ...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5).
 
As a Man of War, God the Father mightily delivered Israel out of the strong hand of Egypt: Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy (Exodus 15:1-6). If we need God's help and humbly ask Him, God will become a Man of War for us as well.
 
THEY CRIED TO GOD IN THEIR TROUBLE AND HE DELIVERED THEM
 
Man more often than not boasts in his own ability, strength, and power, but the scriptures clarify without a doubt that it is God who grants us victory. For example, regarding Israel, the psalmist instructs us, O give thanks unto the LORD, for he good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses (Psalms 107:1-6). When we cry unto God, He will deliver us as well.
 
God said to all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reasonof this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD (2 Chronicles 20:15-18).
 
As with Israel, God promises us, Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness (Isaiah 41:10), and thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee (Isaiah 43: 1-:2). The psalmist exhorts us to call upon the Lord in our need:I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me (Psalms 118:5-6).  Paul reminds us, Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
 
The psalmist also reminds us that our victory does not come from our own hand, but from the God of heaven: For they [Israel, as well the believer in Christ] got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them. Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever (Psalms 44:3-8), and Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands (Psalms 138:7-8). David, the psalmist adds, Blessed be the LORD my strength, 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 (Psalms 144:1-2).
 
Moses comforted Israel [as well as the believer in Christ], The eternal God is thy refuge [den, retreat, habitation, dwelling place], and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places (Deuteronomy 33:27-29).
 
In his wisdom and understanding, Solomon sums up our battles with this simple, but complete, instruction: Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on [bind together] the LORD [the self-existent and eternal Jehovah], and he shall save [defend, rescue, get the victory] thee (Proverbs 20:22). The understanding apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian church, But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).
 
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren,whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you"
 (Philippians 4:6-9).
 
SHEW FORTH THE PRAISES OF HIM
 
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should shew forth the praises of him
who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were
not a people, but are now the people of God:
which had not obtained mercy, but now have
obtained mercy."
(1 Peter 2:9-10)
I WILL MAKE A NEW COVENANT 

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more

(Jeremiah 31:31-34).