Recently, while reading the bible, I realized this wasn’t just my daily routine reading (which it should never become just “I read it just to say I read it”). I was reading Deuteronomy 20. This chapter details Moses teaching Israel the laws for going to war. I realized God was speaking to me. In fact, He was teaching me and revealing to me things I had not come to understand until now.
GOING TO WAR
When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3 He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. 4 For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
5 The officers shall say to the army: “Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it. 6 Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoys it. 7 Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.” 8 Then the officers shall add, “Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too.” 9 When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it.
10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.
19 When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?[b] 20 However, you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit trees and use them to build siege works until the city at war with you falls.—Deuteronomy 20
Plenty of times in my life, I’ve let the devil intimidate me and get me to focus on the problems, storms, and the SIZE of my God-given assignments and subsequently my weaknesses and insecurities to keep me from fulfilling them. I have went to the battlefield trembling and unprepared to put up a fight. I have had battles at work, in my relationships, and with anxiety and fear. Yet, we all have battles and you probably either just came out of a fight or going in one. Real talk, this is life. No journey is all roses and beautiful green grassy fields. Sometimes, your fields become brown and your grass becomes flat because Goliath stepping all in it and messing it up. But God!
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.—Ephesians 6:12 KJV
As always, here are some Tools to encourage you along your Journey!
You have to remember that although some battles you may have lost and some fights may wear you out, Jesus won the war and every believer is on the winning team. You are more than a conqueror and God has given you every weapon you will ever need to beat the devil’s behind and walk victoriously. Here is what I learned about going to war:
- Don’t be afraid.
Naturally, you begin to assess your opponent’s strengths as well as your weaknesses. The devil gets you to do that—focus on the problem, focus on how he can retaliate, and what can further go wrong. He loves to intimidate.
God will neither leave you, nor forsake you.
God will fight for you.
Jesus doesn’t just have the solutions; He is the SOLUTION!
- Talk with a spiritual authority and especially JESUS FIRST.
A spiritual authority/mentor such as your pastor will help you to get some clarity on the situation.
They will encourage you.
They will intercede for you and pray with you.
- Get your affairs in order.
Put things in perspective.
Pray for God’s perspective so you can see it the way He does.
Assess how and when you should be “fighting”. Do you just pray and be quiet? Do you seek outside help? Is this a preparation period or a go period?
Have you forgiven others and have you mended what God has told you to mend? Are you walking in love? Are you providing for your household?
Is this really a battle or a diversionary one? The devil loves to distract us.
- Are you pessimistic?
Do you have disbelief that God can move and do what He said He will do? Are you surrounded by other believers like this?
If you are pessimistic, those fears, disbelief and negativity can rub off on others.
Get with people who not only will help you to search God’s Word on the matter but believe and fight with you and vice versa.
Get with believers who remember that they already won because they are on the winning team.
- When you are struggling with someone, be a peacemaker.
Don’t go looking to fight naturally.
Handle any wars period spiritually for we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Right? I know some people TAKE you there. Sometimes, I too have to catch even my thoughts because that is where the suggestions of giving someone an aggressive hug start.
Perhaps that person is too struggling with something and cannot see clearly. Perhaps they are not. In any event, ask God for wisdom.
God will make your enemies your footstool, but the key is to LOVE and don’t be so proud. Love them anyway no matter the outcome.
- Check the sin in your life.
Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ Jesus.
Cherish sin no more.
Ask God to reveal the root cause of any sin in your life and give you grace to repent.
- Be a life-giver and a fruit-bearer.
When you are hurt and wounded, sick and frustrated, tired and fed up, you can do and say things you regret.
You can make decisions that you would later regret.
You can take every innocent thing a person does and think it was meant for harm, become easily offended, and want to retaliate as well as cut people off for good.
Don’t destroy others around you. Don’t stunt the growth of your love walk and yourself.
- Finally, OBEY GOD and saturate in His Word.
His Word is synonymous to His wisdom and His will. You need all three: His Word, His Wisdom, and His Will.
God’s Word is a weapon.
Obedience is better than sacrifice. Obedience to God protects you, helps you and brings you prosperity.
JESUS used the Word against the enemy when he was tested. Jesus won! https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+4
- Bonus: Pray and Praise! Talk with God and praise His Holy Name! Prayer and praise too are weapons!
Now GO TO WAR!
Put your shoes on honey, our journeys await,
To purchase my books, Wearing Someone Else’s Shoes Ain’t Never Been Me or Setting The Captive Free, click here. Kindle versions also available!