Updated: Nov 5, 2019
Maybe you are in a battle right now.
You or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer. Your child is rebellious and making a ton of poor choices. Your spouse lost their job. Or you lost your job. You are addicted to alcohol, drugs, porn,... You are reeling in debt. Your friend betrayed you. Brutal fighting is going on within the walls of your home. Your loved one just died. Your spouse walked out on you. Or fill in the blank.
Maybe you aren't in a battle. Maybe life is going just great for you right now. You couldn't be happier or more content. Enjoy it now, because it won't last. Things can be going great and that proverbial rug gets pulled out right from under your feet in a matter of seconds.
Life is just hard sometimes. We will have battles. But how do we be victors?
First we must prepare. Read His Word. Why? To know who He is/ what He expects of us/ and who we are. And to be able to put on the Full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Next, know who our enemy is. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." "Flesh and blood" refers to physical humans and they aren't our enemy. However, in many other verses we are told "flesh" is our enemy. For instance in Romans 8:7. "Flesh" refers to our sinful nature and it is one of our enemies. Another enemy is "the world" - the corrupt world order where God is not recognized. And the third is Satan and his army of demons. The New Testament repeats over and over that our enemies are flesh, the world, and the devil. Recognize your enemies so you know when they are attacking and you must fight them.
And then - we join God's side. We stay close to the Lord. We obey Him. We trust Him.
God has told us in His Word:
"Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you."
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.
'Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
...for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.
In my trouble I cried to the LORD, and He answered me.
For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
One of my favorite books of the Bible is Joshua, the 6th book of the Old Testament. It is named after Joshua, the successor of Moses, who leads the people in the conquest of the Promised Land and oversees the allotment of the land to the tribes of Israel. This is a big battle book! The people prepare for the battles. They obey the LORD. They are victorious. And at the end Joshua reminds the people that God has kept all of His promises and they are to continue to keep their part of the covenant by serving the LORD and obeying His voice. (Joshua 24:24)
In the book of Joshua are the biblical concepts of covenant, rest, inheritance, redemption, warfare and the Kingdom of God. All of these concepts come to fruition in the New Testament.
In Old Testament times, God redeemed Israel, made a covenant with the people, promised rest in an inheritance, and led Israel to fight against enemies to claim an inheritance. In the New Testament we find a new covenant, a fuller redemption, a renewed promise of rest in our inheritance, and more warfare to establish the Kingdom of God.
Source: LifeChange Series - Joshua, copyright 1988 by The Navigators, page 14
(Excellent study I highly recommend.)
Some application questions from the LifeChange Series - Joshua:
Why do you think God repeats "Be strong and courageous" so often in Joshua chapter 1?
Who is in charge of your life's battles?
Who gives the orders, and who obeys?
Do you expect God to be on your side, or are you doing all you can to be on His side?
Do you want to be victorious in your battles?
To have peace and rest?
To claim your inheritance?
To live an abundant life?
Let the Commander take over.
Be prepared to go to battle, put on your full armor.
Follow your Leader.
And He will deliver you from your enemies.
He will bring victory in the battle.
More importantly, you will win the war.