Battle Strategy

Psalm 59: 16 – 17

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my strength, I will sing praises to You; for God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.

You may need to read the beginning of this psalm to get the full thrust of these last two verses. The backstory is familiar. Saul was in relentless pursuit of David. Saul’s men surrounded, besieged and attacked David and his men. Day and night, there were spies, sneak attacks and ambushes. David tells of the trials and persecutions through the first fifteen verses. At the end he says, “but as for me . . ..” In these last two verses, David reveals his battle plan.

No matter what the enemy’s tactics were; regardless of being outnumbered, trapped or under siege, the battle plan David employed was praise and complete confidence in our Lord. David’s confidence wasn’t just something he held in his breast, though. His faith in the Father was boldly declared from his lips. That is one thing which distinguished him from every other. Perhaps other people thought God was a stronghold and deliverer, but David made a career of proclaiming it.

How about you? Are your words like David’s? Perhaps we too can turn the tide with our words. You know the end of the story. God removed Saul from the throne and installed David in his place. As I have studied David’s life, I noted his continual boasting in the Lord. I think his success was tied to his proclamation. While others count their soldiers and array their weaponry, David installed his stronghold. His plan involved the power of the Almighty, his strategy relying on the promises of his Lord.

It seems, then, that David didn’t have anything we don’t have. That is what makes his story so attractive. We can do what he did. We can love the Lord and trust in His prowess as David did and enjoy the same success. The strategy that prevailed for David will work for us too. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and soul. Lean on Him and His understanding. Make joyful praise to the Lord and let His power arise in your battles.

Battle Plan

2 Chronicles 20: 15, 17, 20

Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf. Put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.

This is just one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I wish for you to go to the 20th chapter of Chronicles and read the entire story for yourself so you can receive the richness of this event and its telling. Jehoshaphat, King of Judah was faced with the invading armies of three nations: the Moabites, the Ammonites and the Meunites. It was reported to him that a “great multitude” was coming against him. He sought God in this crisis and God answered him telling him, through the prophet Jahaziel, to stand and watch his enemies destroyed before his eyes. Jehoshaphat set those who sang to the Lord and those who praised Him before the army. The text then reads, “And when they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.” Jehoshaphat’s army never lifted a finger. The enemy was completely and thoroughly routed on their behalf by the might hand of the Lord.

This is the same power that is at work for you today. You don’t even have to lift a finger. You spend your time serving the Lord and let him fight your battles for you. The mightiest warrior of Judah that day did not even draw his sword. Jehoshaphat’s battle plan ended up being singing and praising the Lord. Wow! Can you imagine today a general directing his forces to stand with their weapons sheathed but their voices lifted to God? People would think he was crazy, at least until the battle was over. About the enemy of Judah that day the Bible says, “no one had escaped.” There was no loss of life on Judah’s side. What a wonderful report that would be to give to the people. Before hand, though, the general would look like a complete idiot. The moral of this story might be that sometimes you might appear crazy when you stand in faith but the results just cannot be beaten.

The lesson of the story is to let God fight for you. Stand firm and watch him deliver the enemy into your hands. How do you stand? Just stay resolute in faith and in speaking words of faith instead of words of doubt and struggle. Do what you are called to do and don’t be distracted by the attacks of the enemy because that is exactly what the enemy is trying to do, distract you. Let God handle the battles as you go about God’s work and you sing praises to the Holy One.

Rescue Me!

Psalm 35: 17 – 20, 23 -24         NIV

Lord, how long will you look on? Rescue my life from their ravages, my precious life from these lions. I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you. Let not those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; let not those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye, they do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land.

23 Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord. Vindicate me in your righteousness O Lord my God.

Yesterday we saw David forlorn and depressed. He moaned under the weight of his grief. In today’s portion of Psalm 35 we see David beginning to transition. He is beginning to look for the answer and he knows that his God is the answer. He recognizes God as his vindicator and his own role as praising and thanking the Lord for his salvation.

As you listen to David’s words you may think that his problems are not that different from our own. Perhaps we would be well advised to view our role in the battle in the same way as does David. David understood the lesson from 2 Chronicles 20: 12 – 25. In this great adventure the people learned how to fight a battle. God told them, “You need not fight in this battle” (v. 17). Instead they gave themselves over to praise and thanksgiving while God routed the enemy for them. They didn’t even go down to where the battle took place. They stood on the high ground and praised their God.

Maybe your tormentor, like King Saul, seems misled and unreasonable. That is what David had to contend with. He said his enemies hated him without cause or reason. It is said of Saul that he was influenced by an evil spirit, or that he suffered from a mental disorder. Those who plague us have their own issues. Often, probably most often, their suffering is the genesis for the agony they cause us. This, I believe, is why Jesus taught us to pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5: 44). They have their own pain and it is that hurt that causes them to persecute us without cause.

So what do we have to say to these things? Look to God to be your vindicator. Stand in trust. Pray to the Lord your God giving Him praise and thanksgiving. Sing to Him with a glad heart for all that He is. Expect Him to rescue your precious life from the roaring lion. Stand and see the glory of the Lord.

Bold Declaration

2 Chronicles 32: 7 – 8

“Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him. With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.”

I am still pulling from the example of Hezekiah. We are learning from him some lessons on spiritual warfare and leadership. In today’s selection he encouraged his followers by letting them know that the good guys are more powerful than the bad guys. There is a similar story in 2 Kings 6: 17. In that story the King of Aram was angry and wanted to kill Elisha so he sent an army after him. Elisha’s servant awoke that morning to discover Aram’s army was encircling the city and he was in a state of panic. Elisha, however, knew his God and could discern spiritual things as well as physical. He prayed for his servant’s eyes to be opened and when the servant looked around them he saw that the hills were full of horses and chariots of fire. Elisha looked into the spiritual realm and knew that the forces of good outnumbered the forces of evil. He trusted God to deliver him as did Hezekiah.

Hezekiah declares boldly that the army of the flesh cannot defeat the army of God. Jesus said that God would send twelve legions of angels to his aid if he should request it. A legion is 6000. So, the spiritual forces outnumber the armies of the enemy and they are more powerful. Hezekiah said that the Assyrian King only had the arm of flesh whereas Israel has the army of God. “With us,” he said, “is the Lord our God.” That meant something to the people of Israel. They were greatly encouraged and understood that they need not fear.

I so wish this was the kind of revelation we lived in today. Our God is bigger and stronger than any foe whether that foe be a terrorist, an army or the devil. Jesus is our might and our salvation. Greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world (1John 4: 4). We can be encouraged today by the words of Hezekiah. Be strong and courageous. Do not fear the enemy for the greater power is with you and lives within you. If Hezekiah could prevail in the pre-messianic covenant then we should be very encouraged indeed. Let’s start living in this revelation. Our Father is bigger, stronger and with greater numbers than any force which comes against us. Be filled with courage, strength and boldness today and declare greater is the one who is with us than the one with them.

Sentry Duty

Psalm 141: 3

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

Yesterday’s Word was actually a teaching on spiritual warfare. It was about how to survive and even win the battles of life. I can’t leave you with yesterday’s teaching without giving you this verse too because they go so very much hand in hand. As you run into the presence of the Lord the very last thing you should do is explain the problem over and over to him. In truth, He already knows the problem. What He is looking for from you is trust and faith. So, the key thing you have to do is to guard your mouth. Now I know for myself that I don’t necessarily do a very good job of even that in my own strength so the first thing I do is to pray asking for help. Don’t make this hard. Just pray these exact words. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Write this verse on a 3 X 5 card so that you have it handy when you need it. Then just speak it to the Father.

You won’t be surprised, perhaps, to discover that David wrote this psalm in addition to the one from yesterday. (If you missed yesterday’s Word of the Day you can read it at .  It seems to me that he learned that one of the first things you have to do in the day of trouble is shut your mouth.  

When we get upset it seems to loosen the cords that hold our mouth. The first thing that many of us want to do is to call someone and tell him how someone did us wrong. You may feel that if you don’t tell someone you will just explode. I know the feeling. That is why the first thing to do is to pray this verse. Honestly, God will help you. Then get out your Bible and read. Let God lead you into peace.

This is a trick of the devil and we really must stop playing by his playbook. His strategy is to get us upset or angry so that we let loose with our language. When we do that we actually give him building blocks that he can use to defeat us. In a sense we defeat ourselves because we provide the ammo that shoots us down. So, do yourself a big favor. The next time you get mad, someone does you wrong or some ugly problem jumps up in your face, set a sentry over your mouth. Get one of those big dudes to stand guard for you. Put this verse into action and then let the Lord lead you.