Turning Back In The Day Of Battle (or) Fighting The Good Fight Of Faith
Psalms 78:5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
8 And might not be as their fathers, (notice how he describes their fathers) a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.
9 The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows,turned back in the day of battle.
The Lord is looking for a people who will not turn back in the day of battle. A people who’s spirit is stedfast with God. He is looking for a people whose heart is perfect towards him to show himself strong.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
In the first scripture there are a lot of different areas we could talk about, we could talk about passing down the things of God to our children or the heart of the fathers. What I want to talk about is a people who turned back in the day of battle. There are many reasons people are turning back in the day of battle. Some from the riches and cares of this world while others are turning back because of fear. As we read the rest of this scripture, you will see they didn’t keep his covenant, walk in his ways, and they sinned more by provoking him, they spoke against him, and that they didn’t believe in and trust in their God. This was not a people who never heard about the power of their God to do great things.
10 They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;
11 Andforgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.
12 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.
14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.
15 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.
16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.
18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.
19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?
21 Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;
22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:
So what went wrong. If they knew about all the signs and wonders in the past, why did they turn back in the day of battle? In the above scripture we can see several problems. They didn’t keep the covenant, refused to walk in his laws, forgot his works and wonders, their hearts tempted God, they spoke against him. These are all things that can happen when we give place in our hearts to the things of the world. Before we come down to harshly on the children of Ephraim, I want us to look into our own lives, and think a moment on some of the things you have seen the Lord do in your own life in the past. Call back to mind what the Lord has done for you and your forefathers. Now yes I know that truly we can not live on past blessings from the Lord, but we can use them to encourage us when we face the trials that come up. We can remind ourselves of the God that delivers and walks us through the fire. The God that never forsakes us. Verse 11 says they forgot his works and wonders. I would say most of us have fell into fear at times during our Christian walk. Trouble comes our way, fear grips our hearts and worry and terror set in. Fear is a spirit and does not come from God.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
The Spirit God has given us is one of power love and of a sound mind. If we allow it, fear will cause us to turn back in the day of battle.
Fear kept an entire army held back. A possession that was rightfully theirs was being robbed from them because of their fear. We are talking about an army that had a mighty weapon at their disposal, they had God on their side. But they looked at the opposing force, there was a giant problem was standing in their way, and they were held back by fear. I am talking about the story of David and Goliath. We too as Christians face giants in our lives, and if we are not careful, like the army we will make the same mistake they did. We’ll look at the giants in our lives and at the troublesome storms with carnal eyes. David saw the same giant that the rest of the army saw, but David looked at that giant differently than what the army did. He was looking with spiritual eyes. He wasn’t looking at how big his problem was, he was believing in his God.
In the opening scripture did you notice the children of Ephraim were armed and carrying bows when they turned back? Satan is deceiving and robbing man of the greater blessings that God has in store for their lives because of fear, discouragement, hurt feeling, the riches and cares of this world and many other things, and because of this they are turning back in the day of battle. When trouble comes they believe the lies of the devil instead of the truth in Gods Word. David knew the covenant he had with his God. Like David we too have a covenant with our God. We are covenanted to God through the blood of Jesus. Do you realize as a Christian we have God on our side when we go into battle and that we are fully armed with weapons?
Before you turn back in the day of battle or allow the enemy to keep you from pressing forward, let me tell you about your weapons. You have been equipped to tear down the strong hold with those weapons.
2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
One of our weapons is the Word of God. That word quick in that scripture means alive. There is power in the Word of God, the Word of God is alive.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Prayer is a weapon.
James 5: 13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 Andthe prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Your confession/what you speak is a weapon
Job 22:28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised;
Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Our opening scripture also talked about the Fathers not having a right spirit and a right heart. Having a right spirit and a right heart is important. A wrong heart such as a heart of unforgiveness, bitterness, unbelief or strife can stop the move of God in our life. Don’t allow your feelings to control your actions, seek the Lord for help in those areas. Don’t think you are the only one who strougles with emotions. Look at what the psalmist wrote
Psalms 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
51:9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
To often Christians let their feelings controll their actions. Its not worth what it will cost you to walk by sight, walking by sight will cause you to lose the battle. We are to walk by faith not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight:
We are told in Ephesians chapter 6 to put on the whole armor of God.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Now lets look a little more into that scripture in Ephesians, because the next thing that is mentioned is WHO IT IS WE ARE FIGHTING AGAINST. It talks about who our enemy is. You can’t will a battle by fighting the wrong enemy. Then once again in verse 13 we are told a second time to put on the WHOLE armor. Putting on the whole armor was important enough that he thought to mention it twice. You can’t win a battle without the entire armor fully on. If you are missing a piece of your armor you will have a weak spot.
12 For we wrestle 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.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Imagine if we sent our armed forces into another country to fight a battle and all we give them is a helmet, no shields, no tanks, no guns, no ammo and then say to them “go… conquer our enemy”. I bet our enemy would stand at the battle line taunting us the way Goliath did the army of Israel.
Sometimes we as Christians try going into battle like that. We put on the helmet of salvation and think we are good to go. But the US armed forces prepare before they go into battle. They know who their enemy is, and they put on their whole armor and listen to their commander in chief before they go in to fight. We as Christians have armour and a commander in chief as well. The commander in chief is Jesus and we have been given armor that is to be put on.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
If your armor is not fully on, you will have a weak spot and your enemy will know where to hit you. If you have lost a battle I want to tell you it is not time to give up, give in and quit, the war is not over yet. And that it is time to put on the whole armor of God and do what Paul instructed us to do, fight the good fight of faith.
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
There is a war to be fought and battles to be one. Put on the whole armor of God, that prepares you for the battle. Use your weapons. Read the Word of God and learn about the weapons you have and use them. Trust and believe in your God, Pray about all things big and small, even the impossible storms of life are not so big that they cannot be touched by our God. We need to remember our God is no statue of stone, gold, wood or any other earthly material, but a living God who loves us and cares for each one of us.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Remember his works and wonders, confess a good confession as David did, when he said this day I will take thine (Goliath’s) head from thee.
1 Samuel 17:46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
David faced Goliath boldly with faith in God.
Let me show you what Goliath said
1 Sam 17:8-10 (Goliath)…stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. And the Philistine (Goliath) said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
The army was afriad of Goliath, but David in verse 26 said “What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel?” and ran to meat his enemy in verse 48. A friend once gave me a paper that had a comment from another minister on it. I was going through a very trying time in my life. The words on that paper were… “Sometimes we don’t like the path God has laid out for our victory because it runs right through the middle of a valley of giants!” and that was exactly what I was facing, a valley of Giants, but just as God proved to be faithful to David, he was faithful to me also and the deliverance came.
Whatever the problems are in your life, in the lives of your family members, your friends and loved ones. Start professing the word of God over every situation in your life and over the lives of your loved ones, witness to them, pray about all things and listen to your commander in chief (Jesus). Don’t allow the devil’s fear, discouragement, hurt feelings or any other snare of the devil, turn you back in the day of battle.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
You can run the race that is set before you or you can turn back in the day of battle. The choice is yours. But if you want to see the mighty hand of God move during the storms of your life, giving up isn’t an option, you’ll have to ride out the storm and run the race that is set before you. If you fall, get back up, finish the race and fight the good fight of faith.
Not By Sight!