“Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
If you had to read one verse of scripture every morning to get your head straight as you begin a new day, this might be the one. Why? Because you are about to enter into a fight. That is what today is going to be. That is what tomorrow is going to be. That is what every thing you want to accomplish will require. A fight.
This passage was spoken to Israel. They were getting ready to enter into a literal battle. They were going to have to fight for the Promised Land. The imagery of warfare is one of the over arching themes of Scripture. It isn’t just Old Testament. Jesus is the Good Shepherd that fights for his sheep. The Christian is in a battle against spiritual forces. We are challenged to fight the good fight. At the end of his life, the Apostle Paul feels satisfied with his life. Why? Because he fought the good fight, finished his race and kept the faith.
You have to fight for things in this life. You have to fight for your marriage and your kids. You have to fight for your friendships. You have to fight your integrity. You have to fight for joy and happiness. You have to fight for the lost. You have to fight for those too weak to fight.
Understanding that life demands a fight helps me. God’s words to Israel in Deuteronomy 20:34 make it clear how.
It helps me to not be surprised or discouraged when life is hard.
“Today you are going into battle.” You are never prepared for a fight that you don’t know you are in. Do you ever feel like life just kicked you in the face? Me too. It can be discouraging. Why does life have to be so hard? Answer: You are in a fight and you are going to get bloodied. Knowing that changes everything. It readies me to fight back. God makes it clear. Today, when you head to work or school or wherever you go to do what you do, you are in a fight. Be ready to fight the good fight.
It helps me press forward.
“Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified.” Fear keeps us from too many things. We are way too quick to give up ground and accept our circumstances. Accept nothing. Fight for what is right and good and life-giving. Passivity has been ravaging mankind since Adam stood by and did nothing while Satan deceived his wife. I understand it. It’s easier. We like easier, but easier doesn’t win. We win when we set our fear aside and fight. Maybe it still doesn’t turn out well. Okay. But you fought for something that mattered and that is honorable and that helps us become godly men and women.
It helps me remember that I don’t fight alone.
“For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies.” The reality that God fights for me is one of most encouraging truths that I know. Whatever I lack, God has in abundance. Whatever weakness exists in me becomes strength with God on my side. What battle are you in right now? Invite God to fight for you. Not only does God love to be invited into the details of your life but the act of inviting God in will inspire confidence as you enter into the battle. God is fighting for you. How incredible is that?
It helps me hope.
God is fighting “to give you victory.” Following Jesus, obeying Jesus, inviting God to fight for you, doing everything a Christian ought to do is no guarantee that everything turns out happily ever after. That is for eternity. You can read more about that here. However, knowing that God is fighting to bring me a victory, helps remind me that God is always pursuing what is good in my life and helps me hope. Victory is in his hands.
Read Deuteronomy 20:34 again. If you believe that is true, why hesitate? Why hold back? Why fear? Trust God and fight the good fight. Fight for what matters.