How to win the war?

I was teaching second grade a few years ago, and I asked the class if Joshua had a good battle strategy.  They had heard the story so many times that they were a bit callous to the fact that God’s plan, from a human perspective, was crazy.   So, imagine a war strategy session today where Joshua suggests that they march around a city for a week, blow trumpets, and shout.  What about Moses winning when his arms were in the air?  From a human perspective, this is crazy.

Joshua 6: 2-5

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

On the other hand, when the Israelite people were winning, they thought that they could continue their success by defeating a weaker opponent.  This was very logical from a human perspective, but they forgot to ask God.  They were doing what God had generally told them but had forgotten to ask for each specific occurrence.

The battle was never theirs!

2 Chronicles 20:5

He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

So, this is the key.  The battle is not ours, it is His.  The outcome is not ours, it is His.  Sometimes, He asks us to do things that do not seem productive towards the outcome just like he asked Joshua to have men marching around a wall.  Sometimes, we fight very sane, logical battles that are not ours to fight or to win because they are not what God specifically asked us to do.  The battle was never ours.  It was His.

The most important place to be tonight is where God asks you to be.  The rest of it is His; he merely asks for our obedience.  It’s not really that complicated.  It’s counter cultural and spirit focused, but it is not complicated.  Be who God asks you to be and leave the battle in his capable hands.

2 Kings 6:17

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.