Your turning point in difficult times

If you are fighting a battle…know that God is FOR YOU, WITH YOU, AND WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU…

Battles are simply a part of the life of a believer…

Why?

because you have an enemy
because the enemy wants to defame God
because if the enemy can cause you to fall it will affect others also
Believe it or not…your life is important to many people…
and what goes on in your life always affects, not only you, but other people surrounding you…

when I first gave my life to Jesus…it seemed like there was a length of time where everything was good…

For me, I have looked back at that time over and over again…and it amounted to about a 9 month time span. A beginner’s grace period.

during that time:

My prayers seemed alive at every moment
God’s presence was always strong
The Bible came alive to me
There wasn’t an enemy in sight
If you are not careful…you’ll get the idea that THIS IS HOW THE LIFE OF BELIEVER REALLY IS…
Here’s the deal…God promises peace that passes understanding, but sometimes that peace is in the middle of the storm!

Since that “grace period”, other things have happened:
I’ve prayed prayers that were difficult and drenched with pain and tears
God’s presence hasn’t always been tangible…and I’ve had to LIVE BY FAITH
The Bible has become something to cling to for safety and strength
Enemies surround constantly
THIS DESCRIPTION IS THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER…
Don’t get me wrong…God is GOOD…but LIFE IS REAL…and BATTLES ARE REAL…
We must learn to FACE THE BATTLES. 

I think that most people probably had a similar experience in the start of their spiritual walk with God…

and honestly the reason that some people never seem to be fighting anything is because they are really no threat to the army of the enemy…

We need to understand that it really is true that if you are no threat…you probably won’t be in battle often…but if your life poses no threat to the enemy then you are not being obedient to God either…!!

HERE IS WHAT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT BATTLES:

Every battle has a starting point
Every battle has an ending point
Every battle has a turning point
Now…Let me ask you a question…
WHAT WILL THE TURNING POINT BE IN YOUR BATTLE?
 As a believer your turning point and my turning point in the middle of our battles has to do with us letting the Lord fight our battles…
***The turning point in battle is turning the battle to the Lord***
We need to understand that the stakes in any battle that we face are high…but that God is higher…!!
God wants you to win the battles that you face more than you can ever imagine…
 ***The turning point in battle is turning the battle to the Lord***
The Bible talks about a specific battle in the Old Testament that is often quoted but rarely ever copied…
It’s this battle and the principles that we see in it that will help us to TURN OUR BATTLES TO THE LORD…

Jehosaphat was one of the few…very few…Kings recorded in the Old Testament that followed God…

He was a Godly man…This story is recorded during the time of the divided Kingdom…

There was Israel on one side…full of evil kings…and on the other side was the tribe of Judah which was carrying on the royal line of david from which Jesus was going to come as promised by the Lord…

God had promised that the “throne of David will last forever”…

Jehosaphat and the land of Judah suddenly find themselves about to be UNDER ATTACK by not one but three invading nations…

THEY WERE NO MATCH ON THEIR OWN…

AND THAT IS WHERE WE PICK UP THE STORY:

2 Chronicles 20:1-4,10-12 (NLT)After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat. [2] Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.) [3] Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. [4] So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.
During his prayer…
 [10] “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them. [11] Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance. [12] O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”
King James says:

“our eyes are on You”

When your eyes are on Jesus…when your vision is fixed on God…you are looking in the right direction…

God will always answer someone who is looking to, and depending on Him for help

REMEMBER:

 ***The turning point in battle is turning the battle to the Lord***
LISTEN TO WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS NEXT…THIS IS THE REPLY OF THE LORD…
2 Chronicles 20:15-19 (NLT)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.
The enemy is REAL but we don’t need to be discouraged or afraid
Some people try to deny the enemy…
Denying the enemy STOPS God’s hand because you can’t defeat an enemy that you say doesn’t exist
You don’t have to deny the sickness
you don’t have to deny the report
you don’t need to put the problem under the rug
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IS RECOGNIZE IT AND TURN IT OVER TO THE LORD…!!

The battle is God’s…it just happens to involve you
The battle in your life is about bringing glory to God ultimately…you are simply in the middle of it – satan wants to stop your life from glorifying God
if that means stopping your prayers…then he will attack them
if that means trying to cause division or turmoil…then he will try
if that means trying to discourage you…he will do his best
Don’t try to win the battle on your own…because it is not yours in the first place!
[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.

God told them to, “march out” – there will always be some steps that you have to take
This is God SETTING THE STAGE
Don’t be afraid to walk towards your enemy
OFTEN you will have to meet your enemy FACE TO FACE
You’ll see the report
You’ll hear the news
You’ll get the call
You’ll face the crisis
[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!” 
You won’t have to fight in the LORD’S BATTLE…but you will have to take the courage to stand in your position and WATCH
The reason that we STAND STILL is to stay out of His way
ALL kids love to help their dad…But let’s be honest, Dad can get it done quicker and better!
[18] Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. [19] Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.

How do you turn your battle to the Lord?

What do you DO while your just STANDING THERE?

PRAY
specifically
pray God’s word back to Him
pray often
pray pleading the blood of Jesus
pray with authority in Jesus name
WAIT
wait expectantly – knowing that something is about to happen
wait talking of God’s faithfulness – this is the sure way to BUILD YOUR FAITH
wait productively – we wait on the battle while taking care of the home front – don’t get so caught up that you let other areas of your life fall into ruins…!
PRAISE
praise thanking God for victory
praise, being open with others about what God is doing
praise, WHILE PUTTING ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET
EGGS break easy – in this context they represent our prayers, our trust, our hopes, our dreams
if everything is riding on God then we are risking it ALL on His ability and faithfulness
let Him have your basket 

The battle is NOT YOURS…

 ***The turning point in battle is turning the battle to the Lord***
 I would love to hear from you! Leave your comments below…

Larry Shankle is a pastor, author, and blogger. He helps people get clarity and direction in their calling, purpose, dreams, and leadership.

Larry and his wife (Amanda) live in the Arkansas river valley with their two boys (Braxton and Dawson). He has spent almost two decades in active local church ministry serving in multiple leadership roles. Larry has spent the last six and a half years serving as Lead Pastor of GrandviewChurch in Natural Dam, AR.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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