The reason you and I can be strong is simple: God is strong.
As believers, we don’t rest our strength on our accomplishments, our abilities, our own power, or our giftedness.
Rather, believers look to Jesus as the author and finisher, not only of our faith, but of our strength also.
We are strong, because God is strong.
God lives inside of us and it’s his power at work within us that accomplishes the things in life that we need accomplished.
On our own, we fail; but with God we succeed.
All through scripture, we see the enemy trying to sway the people of God to believe that they won’t make it, or that they will never pass the test.
The children of Israel were bogged down many times with people who didn’t really believe God could come through as he said he would.
Time and again, the Lord proved the naysayers wrong, just as he will in your life.
The people of Joshua’s day didn’t believe they could take possession of the promised land. They had spied out all the good things that the land had to offer. They had seen the land and described it as a land that flows with milk and honey.
Nevertheless, nearly all of the spies brought back a negative report.
They declared that giants were in the land, and that the people had great walled cities. These spies didn’t believe that God could come through on his promise.
The people failed to realize that the Lord would empower them to take the land.
Any time that you begin to count on your strength, the battle will look too hard, and indeed it is too hard when we try to fight the battle alone.
The battles you face were never meant to be fought alone, but with the strength of the Lord.
Listen again to the scripture we spoke about in the last post of this series…
Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV
6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Why is it that the Lord can tell the people to “be strong?”
His “be strong,” isn’t a suggestion, it is a command. The Lord is TELLING the people to be strong. In other words, DO IT.
Don’t let anything keep you from being strong. Don’t let anything keep you from being of “good courage.”
There is a good reason that the Lord can give the people a command like this. In fact, God’s reason is what I want to focus on.
We are to be strong BECAUSE God is WITH US.
Here’s a hashtag for you: #GodIsWithUs
God goes with us.
Whenever the Lord is WITH you, you CAN be strong. Why? Because you can lean on him instead of relying on yourself.
Listen to what the Bible says in another place…
Deuteronomy 20:1–4 NLTse
1 “When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you!
Here’s a key: fear WILL attack you.
A spirit of fear tries to rise up in us when we see things attacking us that are greater than our ability to defeat. In fact, the Lord makes this perfectly clear…there WILL be armies greater your own.
In other words, some battles are more difficult than YOU can win.
Some enemies are bigger than you.
Some trials cannot be conquered under your own strength.
When human beings sense this, we start to fear.
In spite of their fear, the Lord gave the people another command. He said, “do NOT be afraid.”
When you see enemies greater than you can handle…do not be afraid.
How is it possible to not be afraid? The answer is simple: The Lord your God is with you.
This scripture goes even further. The Lord calls himself “The Lord your God who brought you out of the Land of Egypt…”
In other words, God is reminding them that he has ALREADY COME THROUGH BEFORE.
Isn’t that same idea true for you? Has not God already come through for you time and time again? Sure he has.
The same God that worked on your behalf in the past is the God that will fight for you in the present.
He has NOT changed.
Don’t let fear conquer your faith.
Do Not Fear.
2 When you prepare for battle, the priest must come forward to speak to the troops.
3 He will say to them, ‘Listen to me, all you men of Israel! Do not be afraid as you go out to fight your enemies today! Do not lose heart or panic or tremble before them.
Don’t let your battle cause you to panic. Don’t tremble in front of your enemies.
Don’t let them see you sweat.
Why? The next verse declares the reason.
4 For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!’
God not only fights for us, but he gives us the victory.
Be encouraged by God’s Word to you.
2 Chronicles 20:13–17 NLTse
13 As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children,
14 the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
Let me tell you a secret: Fear comes when we try to take something out of God’s hands that clearly belongs to HIM.
When you try to take your battle out of God’s hand and take matters into your own hands, fear will arise.
Why? Because the Spirit of the Lord is NOT in it.
God’s Spirit doesn’t give us fear, instead he gives us courage. The Bible declares that God has NOT given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind.
We are not to be timid and discouraged because the Spirit of the Lord encourages us by reminding us that the battle belongs to God.
Here is wisdom: If the battle belongs to the Lord, leave it in HIS hands.
16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.
17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”
When God is with you, you don’t have to fight. God fights for you.
The next time the devil comes against you, remind him of your hashtag!
Now, notice what happened when King Hezekiah learned of an imminent enemy attack.
2 Chronicles 32:1–8 NLTse
1 After Hezekiah had faithfully carried out this work, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified towns, giving orders for his army to break through their walls.
The enemy alway wants to break into your life in those places where God desires to work and move.
He will fight against the very things you’ve spent your time investing in.
Don’t be surprised by his attack, instead, learn a lesson on preparation, encouragement, and strategy from King Hezekiah.
2 When Hezekiah realized that Sennacherib also intended to attack Jerusalem,
3 he consulted with his officials and military advisers, and they decided to stop the flow of the springs outside the city.
4 They organized a huge work crew to stop the flow of the springs, cutting off the brook that ran through the fields. For they said, “Why should the kings of Assyria come here and find plenty of water?”
Here’s the first line of strategy that WE need to undertake in the battle: Don’t give the enemy an advantage.
If there is something in your life that the devil can use AGAINST YOU, cut it out.
Remove it from your life. Don’t let the enemy slip in and find something that he can use to defeat you.
So if you have areas of sin, or an unforgiving spirit, remove those things from your life.
Don’t let the devil be aware of anything in you that will give him the tactical advantage.
5 Then Hezekiah worked hard at repairing all the broken sections of the wall, erecting towers, and constructing a second wall outside the first. He also reinforced the supporting terraces in the City of David and manufactured large numbers of weapons and shields.
Notice that Hezekiah did what he COULD. He didn’t just do nothing.
In any battle you face, you can be strong. There is something that you CAN do. When you identify an area in your life where the enemy is seeking to attack, do WHAT YOU CAN.
Hezekiah did a lot of repair work. If there were broken down fortifications, Hezekiah fixed them.
So let me ask you a question: Are there any broken down spiritual fortifications in your life?
If there are spiritual non-negotiable items that you’ve let go…it’s time to repair them. Scripture says that Hezekiah also manufactured large numbers of weapons and shields.
This tells me that believers need to continually hold on to our spiritual weapons. Why? Because our spiritual weapons are mighty through God to tear down strongholds.
We need to take back up…
- The belt of truth
- The breastplate of righteousness
- The shoes of the Gospel of peace
- The shield of faith
- The helmet of salvation
- The sword of the Spirit (Word of God)
- Prayer (The warriors resource)
6 He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate. Then Hezekiah encouraged them by saying:
7 “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side!
What’s awesome about this passage is that, although King Hezekiah did his part and accomplished what HE COULD, he didn’t RELY on what he could do, nor did he try to encourage the people with what they could accomplish in their own power.
Hezekiah reminded the people of a great truth: There is a far greater power on our side.
King Hezekiah also doesn’t sugar coat the truth of their present situation…
8 He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” Hezekiah’s words greatly encouraged the people.
The truth is, your current battle or your next one, may be the toughest battle you’ve ever faced, but the other part of the truth is: You have the Lord your God to help you and fight for you.
Why? Because God is with you.